How to Downsize Into a Cabin
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5 Tips for Successfully Downsizing to a Cabin

You’ve found your dream cabin and are ready to move! There’s just one problem: how will you fit all of your things into your new home?

Written by Megan Schetzsle
Photography by Megan Schetzsle

Shelves and Storage for Downsizing in a Cabin 


It’s time to downsize! 

Downsizing when you move into a cabin can be challenging; but it also has lots of benefits. When we moved to our cabin (downsizing from a 1,300 square-foot apartment to a 800 square-foot cabin) we found that the process came with a lot of positives:


Pros of Downsizing

  • We were able to sell many of our things, making money to help us with our move.
  • We got rid of 90% of our things, most of which we didn’t actually need in our cabin.
  • We were able to move into our cabin free of clutter, and it’s stayed that way! 

It of comes with a few cons, like the time it takes to go through everything, but it's well worth it. To make your experience even smoother, I've gathered some of my hard-earned tips and tricks for a quick and easy downsizing experience.  

Here are 5 ways to successfully downsize to a cabin:


1. Plan Ahead.   

Before you begin the downsizing process, make sure you know exactly how much space is in your cabin. Take inventory of the closets, cabinets, and shelves. By knowing how much space and storage is in your cabin, you can calculate how much you’ll want to downsize.


2. Get rid of items you don’t use regularly.

Getting rid of items is key to downsizing - but this can also be the most nerve-wracking part. Start the process by getting rid of items that you don’t use regularly.

Here’s a few questions you can ask yourself to determine if you should throw an item out:

  • Do I use this every month? If not, consider getting rid of it.
  • Have I used this regularly in the last year? If not, definitely get rid of it!
  • For clothing: have I worn this in the last year? If not, also get rid of it.

We did this when we moved to our cabin and threw out more things than I ever thought was possible. We got rid of bags of clothes, entire drawers full of odds and ends, and furniture that was collecting dust.

It was scary at first, but the funny thing is: we haven’t even missed those items! I barely remember most of the items we ended up getting rid of.


3. Find new uses for items.

If you can find multiple uses for one item - decor, furniture, clothing, etc. - then you’ll save space and downsize more efficiently.

One of the ways that we implemented this in our cabin was in the kitchen. We found that we didn’t need as many plates, bowls, knives, and kitchen gadgets as we owned. Instead, we gave away most of our kitchen supplies and try to use what we have in multiple ways.


4. Make the most of storage.

Before moving into your cabin, plan how you’ll use your storage. If possible, plan down to the exact shelf or cabinet and what you’ll store there.

By planning out and using all of your storage, you’ll be more likely to create a space that works for you. And a well-organized cabin is less likely to get cluttered over time!


5. Sell what you don’t keep. 

Lastly, sell what you don’t keep as you downsize. Sell it online, to friends/family or consignment stores. Selling your items will add one more step before your move, but it’s worth it! And you’ll feel better about the whole downsizing process once you end up with extra money at the end.


Downsizing can be a nerve-wracking and intimidating process. But once it’s done and you’ve moved into your new cabin you’ll be thankful that you did it! The more you downsize before you move, the better you’ll be able to enjoy your new cabin and make the most of your space.  


See also: Three Major Lessons From the First Six Months of Cabin Life



Megan lives with her husband and son in an 800-square-foot log cabin in Jackson Hole, WY. In search of a simpler pace of life, Megan and her husband took a leap of faith to pursue their own cabin dreams: they quit their jobs, sold what they own, and moved across the country from downtown Austin, TX to their mountainside cabin in Jackson Hole, WY.  Megan runs her blog The Cabin Diary (, and can be found sharing day-to-day cabin life through social media (@thecabindiary). 

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