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Declutter your life: five steps to surviving life in a tiny house

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Survival guide for a tiny life

1. Stay cool

Ignore the sun at your peril, warns Fred Schultz, from Fred's Tiny Houses.

"You'll need to factor in direct sunlight, shade and think about radiant barriers [reflective insulation], otherwise you'll be cooked up like a sausage."

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2. Declutter your life

Do you really need that ice-cream maker? Downsize one appliance at a time, keeping your absolute essentials and designing the space in your new tiny home around them.

"A tiny house can become cluttered fast," says Lara Nobel, from The Tiny House Company. "You'll be clearing away, and cleaning up, frequently."

3. Be space smart

Living small is all about collapsible and multi-functional furniture such as a pull-down wall bed, a folding breakfast bar (instead of a dining table), floor-to-ceiling bookcases and retractable storage.

4. Plan ahead

Crack out the tape measure and masking tape to figure out how many square metres you could survive in.

Schultz recommends building a little cardboard mock-up to see how best to use the space in your tiny house.

5. Sketch it up

Make use of 3D modelling programs online.

For instance, SketchUp is free to download and allows users to create layouts and 3D models.

SketchUp Pro ($923) lets you generate exact materials, cutting shopping lists for your designs.

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Richard Scott is an English freelance writer based in Queensland. A former sports reporter for The Times in London, he has written for Australian Geographic, Australian FourFourTwo, Virgin Australia Voyeur, The Courier Mail, Junkee, AWOL, FHM and Cleo in Australia.
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