While downsizing requires you to give up a considerable amount of space, living in a small apartment has its own perks. It saves you money on rent and utilities and is easier to maintain.
Moving of any kind is stressful enough. Moving to a smaller space? Don’t even ask. It’s hard to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
But everything works out with a little planning. So here are 5 tips that will help you plan and prepare better for this daunting task.
1) Decide what you want to keep.
Moving your stuff from one place to another is no longer the hardest part of downsizing. Websites like Muval allow you to compare different moving and furniture removalist companies instantly, so you can hire the best professional movers to do the job for you without wasting time.
The hardest part of the job now is to declutter and shortlist the items that you’ll bring to your new place, especially when it’s smaller than your current house.
The first thing that you want to do is make an inventory list and list down all the things you own. You’ll be surprised by many items on the list you didn’t even know you have.
Once you have a good picture of all the things you have, start shortlisting the things you’ll move. Keep in mind that you want to keep only your most coveted belongings and get rid of everything that’s not necessary.
Begin decluttering with the most obvious items first and be brutal about it. The outdated appliances that have been sitting in the store for decades, unused furniture, books, stacks of random papers, and clothes you don’t wear all need to go.
Make four piles of the items you want to get rid of: sell, donate, recycle, and discard. You can sell items that are in good condition on websites like Craigslist and eBay.
Items that have little resale value can be donated to charity. Some organizations even offer to collect donated items from your doorstep, which can be a huge relief when you are in the middle of the moving process.
2) Measure your new place in advance.
You need to have accurate measurements of all the rooms of your new apartment before you start moving in. It would be best if you could acquire the floor plan of your new place.
You can then compare these measurements with your current furniture and decide how you’ll place it according to the new layout. It’s possible that your current furniture doesn’t fit in the smaller rooms of your new apartment. In this case, you will need to purchase smaller furniture
A word of advice: if you want to maximize the amount of space in your new place, start thinking vertically. Use height to save floor space. Furniture like high shelves can help you utilize vertical space better. Plus, when placed above eye-level, these shelves create an illusion that makes your rooms look more spacious.
Also, treat no space as lost space. Be creative and look for spots that are wide enough to add hooks or fit shelves. Look for spaces that are currently underutilized and start making good use of them (e.g. the back of your closet).
3) Get multi-purpose furniture.
Multi-purpose furniture can make all the difference in the world when you’re short on space.
For example, you can get a bed that has storage space underneath it and shelves made into the headboard. This will eliminate the need for an extra cabinet and maybe a dressing table.
There are many more smart pieces of furniture available in the market, and you should definitely check them out.
4) Outsource your storage.
Sometimes, the space you’re planning to move into will be simply too small for your belongings even after rigorous decluttering.
In that case, you should consider self-storage. Self-storage is when you rent out a storage unit and use it to store your belongings for as long as you want. Storage units are usually very affordable, especially when you’re storing for long periods.
Some self-storage companies even offer to collect your stuff from your doorstep, store it in their units, and return it to you when you need it back. This makes self-storage extremely convenient.
5) Start early and plan well in advance.
Finally, delaying decluttering and storage arrangements until the last moment is the worst mistake you can make when moving.
Rushing through downsizing will inevitably result in you forgetting things or throwing something useful away. You can also end up damaging your stuff.
Moving to a new place is exciting and if you want this experience to be enjoyable and do everything right, start early and make sure to tackle only a few things at a time!