Whether you’re leaving home to find your first apartment or just want to save some money, downsizing from a house to an apartment can be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared.
You may find that you have many items that you no longer need or want in your new space, and it will help to do a little research before moving in. Does your new apartment allow pets? Will your unit come with a garage or storage space?
By finding the right information before hand and devising a game plan to deal with your accumulated belongings, you can stay sane while downsizing. Here’s how.
Ask lots of questions while searching for your new apartment and measure the size of bedrooms and living areas to see how much of your furniture will fit. Check for ample cabinet and closet space. It may be possible to store larger items like outdoor furniture or a grill on your porch, but some apartments have regulations on what can be stored or displayed on porches. If you will have a storage unit, consider how many of your larger or rarely used items could fit here. You’ll likely not need a lawnmower or leaf blower while living in an apartment, so think about how to sell or store these kinds of items.
Less is More
If you need to scale back on furniture or household items, consider having a garage sale. You’ll make extra money and have a lot less to move! Sell a large dining room table that seats eight and pick up a cute bistro table to save some room in your apartment. Any items that do not sell can be donated to local charities or organizations like Goodwill. You can also post an ad on Craigslist for bulky items, furniture or exercise equipment that people can pick up from you. Any items that you can’t seem to sell are almost guaranteed to go when you post an advertisement with one simple word: FREE!
Organize What’s Left Over
Once you’ve sold or donated your extra items, invest in a few storage containers that will help you organize anything you’re going to keep. Check out Bed, Bath & Beyond or The Container Store for handy boxes, fabric bins and dividers that can help you utilize available storage space in your new apartment. Use them to organize the tops and bottoms of your closet, underneath sinks and inside drawers and cabinets. Clear plastic bins are great for storing seasonal clothes, photo albums or other sentimental mementos. They can slide under the bed or dresser and will be out of sight. Stackable wire, mesh or plastic drawers can also be useful in any room.
Keep the quantity and size of your belongings to a minimum and your new place will look modern and fresh, your cleaning time will be reduced and you’ll have plenty of room to enjoy your newly downsized life!
Photo credit: iStockphoto/kutaytanir