Whether you’re looking to save dollars typically spent on utilities and rent, downsize to a smaller place because all your kids have left the nest, or you simply have your heart set on a gorgeous place amid the bustling streets of a downtown city, downsizing to a smaller apartment has plenty of advantages; however, it can be an incredibly stress-inducing experience.
There’s a strong likelihood that your new abode won’t be able to house all of the belongings you’ve accumulated over the years. So, how do you fit all of it into a tighter space? It’s not easy to decide what to get rid of, what to keep, and what might call for a storage unit.
If you are planning on downsizing to a smaller place, here are some helpful tips to guide you through the process.
Start by Taking Inventory
If you don’t have a solid picture of everything you own, it will be tricky to decide what items you want to take with you to your new apartment and what belongings can be thrown away or donated.
Go from room to room in your current place and make an organized list of all your belongings. You’ll want to create a comprehensive list that details each piece of furniture you own, artwork, appliances, towels, linens, and more.
While it may sound silly, you should also think about what you will do with some of your more personal belongings, such as your collection of books, because there’s a strong possibility that they won’t fit into your new pad.
Take Measurements of Your New Apartment
While your landlord or leasing agent may have provided you with a floorplan of your new place, it’s wise to perform your own due diligence and take accurate measurements of each room.
By doing so, you’ll be able to calculate exactly what can and cannot fit inside each room before you begin carting all your belongings through the door.
It’s crucial that you compare the measurements of your new apartment against the dimensions of your furniture. If your new pad happens to have a much smaller living room, for example, you may need to purchase a smaller couch to accommodate the new space.
Another important consideration to keep in mind is how much space your new apartment has for storage. If it lacks proper storage space, you may want to raise your bed so you can slide containers and other items into the extra space.
Also, you may have to purchase a dresser or extra cabinet to store kitchenware or clothing. By properly planning in advance, you’ll eliminate the headache of having no place to store your belongings once you’re already moved into the new place.
What Can’t You Live Without?
Perhaps one of the harder steps in the process is making a list of your most beloved possessions. What are the belongings that you absolutely cannot live without?
If you can’t imagine going about your day without your cappuccino machine, then you should add it to the list of what you’re taking with you.
Just remember, if your new kitchen lacks storage or counter space, then keeping your coffee maker means giving up something else instead—such as maybe your toaster.
Organization is Key
When you’re limited on space, you definitely don’t want to fill it with unnecessary clutter. All that will do is make your new place feel even smaller. While decluttering may seem like a daunting task, when you take it one room at a time, it’s a much easier feat to accomplish.
If you can, recruit friends and family members to inject a little fun into the process and help complete the task quicker.
Recycle, Sell & Donate
While you’re decluttering your space, separate items into three piles labeled: Recycle, Sell, and Donate. You may have some belongings in great condition that you could sell on Craigslist or eBay to fill your piggy bank with a little extra cash.
You can also leverage social media to spread the word to friends—they may wind up knowing someone who is interested in your dresser or sofa.
Whatever you can’t sell, or you believe would benefit a local charity, donate to those in need. And for items that have overstayed their welcome and are riddled with holes, tears, or stains, they can be taken to a recycling center.
The earlier you get started, the better. If you wait until the last minute to begin organizing your belongings and downsizing your apartment, you might be overwhelmed and anxious.
You wouldn’t want to accidentally toss an item you actually need or be stuck with a couch you can’t fit into your new place because you didn’t give yourself enough time to sell it. Proper planning and getting a head start are the keys to making the downsizing process a seamless one.
About the author: Since 1966, North Dallas Moving and Storage have focused on providing superior service that has made them one of United Van Lines’ most respected moving companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.