Home Tip Tuesday: Downsizing from a House to an Apartment


Downsizing from a family home to an apartment or condo sounds like a daunting task, especially if you’ve been living in the same home for several years. Moving may lead to a life that’s less stressful and more carefree, but getting there is hard work. You can make the process easier with good planning and a good attitude. Keep a list of all the benefits downsizing will bring, and review that list anytime the job begins to feel overwhelming.

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Moving is hard work under the best of circumstances. Downsizing is an extra challenge because, let’s face it, we love our stuff! And more of it accumulates in closets and garages and spare rooms than you may have noticed. If possible, begin the process of reducing your possessions at least three months before the move date. How much do you need to let go of? An easy way to decide is to simply compare the square footage of your current home and your future one. If you’re living in a 2000-sq. ft. single family home and moving to a 1000-sq. ft. apartment, about half of your belongings will have to go somewhere else.

Lists are Your Friends
List the inventory of your current home room by room. Go through each list and decide which items must come with you and which you don’t need. Tackling the job one room at a time will help prevent confusion and force you to take a thorough look at everything you have.  If possible, take your “keep” lists to your future home to get a better idea if your plans are realistic for the space. Visiting a friend who lives in an apartment or condo is also a good idea. You can see how much furniture comfortably fits into a similar space.

Sell or Donate?
Once you’ve decided which belongings you won’t take to your new home, it’s time to face the task of getting rid of them. If finances aren’t an issue, calling a donation center is the easiest way to unload quality used goods. In most cases, a donation center will come to your location, load the items and take them away. You won’t have to lift a finger. If you’d prefer to earn a little money try organizing a garage sale or taking some of your best pieces to a consignment shop. If you’re not ready to make final decisions about your belongings, renting a storage unit is a smart alternative.

Moving day is sure to bring its own challenges, but with proper preparation downsizing to a condo or apartment can be a satisfying process.

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