Once the kids have flown the coop, a big house can begin to feel like an empty, unnecessary burden. Downsizing to a smaller space, like an apartment or condominium, provides you with a more economical layout and less rooms to keep clean.
But what are you supposed to do with all of the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years? While downsizing your belongings can be a time consuming, and sometimes heart-wrenching process, it is the key to making the transition to a smaller space less stressful. It can also be help to talk to a professional organizer or interior decorator before moving, they can offer advice on what will and will not fit in your new downsized home.
1. Compare measurements.
Before you begin chucking items left and right, measure the rooms in your new abode and compare them to the same rooms in your current living quarters. This will give you a good idea of what big ticket furniture items make the cut, and what just won’t fit.
2. Know your storage space.
Sadly, your new apartment probably isn’t going to provide you with the same amount of closet and cabinet space that your house did. Most apartment buildings also don’t offer basement storage. Both of these factors are important to consider before you decide what items to take with you in the move.
3. Cut the clutter.
Often, a major de-clutter can cut the amount of stuff you have in half. Grab a garbage bag and go through clutter traps like desks, craft areas and bookcases. Toss any old magazines, bills and miscellaneous scraps. Peruse your pantry for expired food– there’s no need to pack that. De-clutter your closet by donating any clothes you don’t wear.
4. Ditch the duplicates.
Nobody needs two frying pans or three sets of juice glasses, and there’s no room for them in your new digs anyway. If you’re downsizing from a three bedroom to a one bedroom, get rid of the extra furniture. Don’t throw these items out. Give yourself a dose of good karma by donating them to a local charity.
5. Make a list of “must-haves.”
Go through each room in your house and make note of what items you absolutely need. Some of these pieces, like your couch or bed, may be obvious. Other smaller furniture and decor pieces, as well as items that have potential sentimental value, may need careful consideration before making the cut.
6. Lose the yard tools.
The beauty of apartment living is that you no longer need to maintain a yard. Feel free to donate items like hoses, snow blowers, rakes and sprinklers.
7. Pass the buck.
If your kids are living on their own, now is the perfect time to pass on items from their childhood rooms that are just taking up space in your home. Let them decide what they want to keep and then get rid of the rest.
8. Rent a storage space.
When all is said and done, you may still have too much stuff for your new apartment. Pack up the excess and put it in storage.
Getting rid of well-loved items is hard. Instead of focusing on the negative, look at your downsizing as an avenue to a fresh start in a fabulous new apartment.
By Megan Mostyn-Brown