By: Hermine Aslanyan
As you might know, over the past few years, the housing market crushed, and many people have to downsize their home. When looking for a place to live, we consider two most important points – location and size. Sometimes downsizing can be stressful and annoying. Well, for some reason you are moving to a smaller space. The bad news is that you have to say “sayonara” to some of your stuff. The good news is we have some really awesome tips to make the moving easy.
Here you are:
Tip 1: Have a plan
Start planning beforehand. Planning is the key to success. Measure your furniture and think where and how you are going to put it in your downsized home. Don’t overestimate your new space. If you use build-in storage, make sure to check out if there are convenient places in your new home to create build-ins. Make lists of must-haves and things you could replace. Don’t hurry to put all must-haves into boxes. After reading all tips, you may come to a conclusion that you can shorten your must-haves’ list. Ideally, things you could replace are those you could sell and buy new, smaller ones instead. If you’re moving with your family, make sure to have these lists for every member of the family.
Tip 2: You can live without
This might be one more list to have, but I decided to give it a separate point. This whole article is about things you can live without. When downsizing your home, you should keep in mind that you’re not going to throw away any necessary item. Think over each item and if it is not useful, not really inspiring and beautiful, or it’s not something of great sentimental value, let it go. Take only things that make you better and your life- easier. Remember, just OK is not OK.
Tip 3: Use your space wisely
If you’re moving to a smaller space check out these Small Living Ideas. Spend some time with a designer or just read a few tips and tricks on how you should organize your rooms to make use of all of your space. Don’t underestimate any corner; create as many build-in shelves and storage as possible. This will help you avoid clutter and save your time when moving into a new place. Make sure to have boxes with notes about their contents on them. After all, when your items are packed you can hardly remember what’s in the large TV box, or where things you’ll need the very first day after moving are. Before you have all boxes unpacked, you’ll definitely need something out from a particular box. Move your furniture into your new home first. Smaller items can be placed on or between other items. Still your sofa can’t be placed on boxes you’ve moved in and placed on the floor all together. So, place furniture in the rooms according to your plan, saving time and energy. This will also give you a chance to feel you’re home from the first minutes of moving.
Tip 4: Multi-function furniture
Multi-functional furniture is a great idea for small spaces. If your sofa doesn’t have hidden storage, sell it and buy a new one. Besides, if you don’t have a guest room any more, try to get sofas and armchairs that can easily be converted to sleeper beds. In small spaces it’s hard to have several tables that will serve as coffee, dining and office tables. So you’ll have to use cupboards as coffee tables and a sitting place when needed. You can also have a small desk that can be closed up and removed when you are not using it. Remodel your old suitcases with materials from a DIY store and use them as coffee tables and/or bedside tables. That will look creative and give you extra storage to keep some necessary stuff.
Tip 5: Sell you stuff
After all those lists and steps, you now may have so many things that are in good condition and you don’t want to throw away. Well, call you friends and ask them to take what they need. Donate some of your items. And, finally, sell the remaining items. Host a garage sale and get cash for those heavy furniture items and appliances you won’t need in your small place. Think over some items you keep in the garage for unexpected purposes. Now, when you are going to live in a smaller space, you can’t afford to keep them all. Sell and save money. Also think about items you use very rarely. Maybe you can borrow them or rent them when you need them. You should also sell some very large items to buy new, smaller or multi-functional ones.
Tip 6: Rethink your lifestyle
Downsizing is a new start. Ask yourself what lifestyle you want to embrace. If you used to live in a large home with a separate playroom or a large laundry room, now, when moving into a condo or a small apartment, you can’t afford all that convenience. If you love collections, you’ll now have to limit them as well. A friend of mine, who lived in a family house, was collecting toy cars and had a room for showing them. Now, when he had to downsize and move into a one-bedroom apartment, he only shows a few cars on the wall shelf. He has placed the other ones in boxes and rotates them out periodically. Personally I think this is a great idea, as the collection always looks fresh and interesting.
Tip 7: The one-year rule
Here the point is to be realistic. Look at each piece of item and ask yourself whether you use it frequently or not. For instance, when I was working in the bank, I had to follow a dress code and so bought lots of black skirts/trousers and white shirts. When my son was born, I started to work from home and, in fact, I’m not going to work in the bank any more. After two years of having my closet full of all those clothes, when moving to our new home, I donated all the unnecessary ones. I only took those that I used during the last year, because everything I didn’t use, I had even forgotten about. Now think about your stuff. Do you keep paint and yarn from old crafting projects? What about your kids’ old shoes and toys and clothes and many more? Keep in mind if you haven’t used any item during the last year, you’re really unlikely to use it next year. So do you need something you won’t use next year? They say you’re unlikely to use it at all. So get rid of it!
Bonus Tip: You Did It!
Now when you’re done with downsizing, just relax and enjoy. Keep in mind that downsizing your home is a step forward, not backward!