How to Downsize from a House to an Apartment: A Checklist

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Tips on where to start downsizing your family home

Downsizing from a house to an apartment can seem daunting, especially when you’ve lived in the same home for years. But don’t stress! Our handy checklist breaks it down for into three simple steps.

Step 1: Measure Your New Apartment

Write the measurements for each room in your new apartment below, then compare with the amount of storage in your current home. This will help you estimate how much you can take with you.

Check every kitchen cabinetLounge room: ___  x ___ x ___
Closet space: ___ x ___ x ___

Kitchen: ___ x ___ x ___
Number of cupboards: ___

Bathroom: ___ x ___ x ___
Number of cupboards: ___

Bedroom 1: ___ x ___ x ___
Closet space: ___ x ___ x ___

Bedroom 2: ___ x ___ x ___
Closet space: ___ x ___ x ___

Bedroom 3: ___ x ___ x ___
Closet space: ___ x ___ x ___

Dining room: ___ x ___ x ___

Hall: ___ x ___ x ___
Hall closet space: ___ x ___ x ___

Additional room 1: ___ x ___ x ___
Closet space: ___ x ___ x ___

Additional room 2: ___ x ___ x ___
Closet space: ___ x ___ x ___

Step 2: Declutter Your Current House

Deciding what to keep and what to discard can be difficult. To make it easier, use the KonMari method. Sort by category rather than room. Place similar items together in a pile, then hold up each item and ask, “Does this bring me joy?” If the answer is no, throw it away.

Declutter your house in the following order:

1. Clothing

  • Shirts, Blouses, Pants, & T-Shirts
  • Dresses
  • Pajamas
  • Jackets & Coats
  • Handbags
  • Belts & Scarves
  • Shoes & Boots
  • Hats & Gloves
  • Socks & Underwear
  • Jewelry
  • Costumes
  • Athletic Clothes, Including Swimwear

2. Books

  • Cookbooks
  • General Books
  • Kids Books
  • Magazines
  • Reference Books & Textbooks
  • Phone Books

Check every bookshelf for opportunities to downsize

3. Papers

  • Coupons & Receipts
  • Taxes
  • Personal Files
  • Warranties & Instruction Manuals
  • Important Documents
  • Bills
  • Greeting Cards
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Checkbooks
  • Lecture Notes & Handouts
  • Business Cards
  • Recipes

4. Miscellaneous Items

General

  • DVDs & CDs
  • Video Games
  • Cords & Remotes
  • Craft Supplies
  • Pet Supplies
  • Coins

Kids Items

  • Toys
  • Outdoor Play Equipment
  • Sports Equipment
  • Board Games & Puzzles

Office

  • Business Files
  • Office Supplies
  • Appliances & Computers

Cleaning

  • Sponges, Rags, & Scourers
  • Cleaning Products
  • Mops, Brooms, & Vacuums
  • Buckets & Rubber Gloves
  • Pest Control Products
  • Laundry Items

Even your silverware could be pared down

Kitchen

  • Pantry & Spices
  • Fridge
  • Coffee, Tea, & Alcohol
  • Vitamins, Tablets, & Supplements
  • Utensils
  • Knives
  • Silverware
  • Pots, Pans, &Baking Items
  • Serving Plates
  • Dishware
  • Stemware
  • Cups & Mugs
  • Plastic Cups & Water Bottles
  • Paper Items
  • Dishcloths & Aprons
  • Small Appliances
  • Storage Containers
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Cutting Boards

Décor

  • Picture Frames, Artworks, & Mirrors
  • Knick-knacks
  • Furniture
  • Lamps
  • Candles
  • Throw Pillows
  • Throw Blankets
  • Vases

Garage

  • Tools & Hardware Items
  • Rakes, Shovels, & Yard Tools
  • Gardening Supplies
  • Light Bulbs & Batteries
  • Flashlights

Bathroom

  • Sheets
  • Duvets & Blankets
  • Towels & Washcloths
  • Medicines
  • Skincare & Shaving
  • Makeup & Brushes
  • Hair Supplies
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Soaps & Body Washes
  • Perfumes
  • Feminine Products

Family photos are too valuable to downsize

Step 3: Prioritize Important Items

Even though you’ve decluttered your home, you may still have to cull more items to fit into your new apartment. Make sure you prioritize any belongings that have personal significance or substantial monetary value before you begin your move.

  • Passports, Licenses, and ID Cards
  • House or Property Deeds
  • Valuable Jewelry Items
  • Valuable Antiques/Furniture
  • Valuable Artworks
  • Family Heirlooms
  • Photographs
  • Journals & Scrapbooks
  • Trophies & Awards

 

Want to take this list with you? Download and print our PDF downsizing checklist.