You’ve decided to take on a brand new adventure. Maybe you got tired of your mortgage payment, or you have decided to move to a new city, or maybe you are simply looking for a change. Regardless of the reason, moving from a house to an apartment is going to be an exciting change. But like anything else, there are challenges to consider.
Moving to a new house is an adventure on its own, but moving from a house to an apartment for the first time (yes, there are many benefits) is a whole different ball game. Downsizing is a must if don’t want to live in an overcrowded, cramped apartment. Downsizing can be difficult and it can be hard to let go of some things, but you will not believe how free you feel once you get rid of all the unused stuff you have hoarded in your house. If you trust the process and follow these guidelines, you’ll love clutter free apartment living in no time.
Assess Needs Rather Than Wants
According to our friends at scgadvisor.com, the most important thing when downsizing is to be honest and realistic with yourself. Yes, you may want to take up exercising everyday, but is the treadmill you haven’t touched in a year worth dragging to your apartment to take up a massive amount of space? Probably not. To avoid your apartment feeling cluttered, you need to eliminate items that you have because one day they might be useful.
Walk through your house and evaluate when the last time you used each item was, and how it would affect your life if you did not have it. A good rule to use is the one year rule. If you have not used the item in over a year, get rid of it. This is an extremely useful mindset when it comes to any sort of decluttering. It forces you to be realistic about how useful the item is to you.
While this mindset can be beneficial in decluttering, do not be cruel to yourself. If you have family keepsakes do not get rid of those simply because you did not take them out and look at all of them this year. You will regret if you throw sentimental items away because you are moving. With that being said, it is a good idea to go through old saved items. Determine how much each item actually means to you. Look at those first grade drawings of yours that your mom saved and think about if you could live without them.
Be Brutal When Clearing Out Storage Areas
Basements, attics, and garages are the places that we tend to store things when we don’t need but don’t want to get rid of just yet. Out of sight, out of mind. Well, now it is time to go looking through those spaces to clean out storage. This is another good time to use the one year rule. You will quickly realize when using the one year rule, that almost everything in these spaces can go.
When clearing out these areas you might find yourself not wanting to let go. Think about the cost of moving all those items. Moving large items, especially if you have a large quantity, becomes expensive very quickly. I mean, do your kids really use that toddler trampoline? You will also most likely have to pay for a storage unit for them because again, there is no room in your apartment for unnecessary items. Are your stored items worth what it will cost to keep them?
Sell Your Stuff
Now that you have all this stuff that you have set aside to get rid of, why not make some money off it? Obviously you could go with the classic garage sale. These can be a good way to get your kids involved and help them process parting with some of their old items. Garage sales aren’t for everyone though, and that is understandable. Thankfully, you have tons of options when it comes to selling unwanted items.
Clothes in good condition can be taken to consignment and resale shops to be sold. Craigslist is a great place to sell large items such as furniture and appliances. Also don’t forget that pretty much anything can be sold on Facebook Marketplace. If all fails, do not keep the stuff that does not sell. Give it to family members or Goodwill. The items will be much more useful at Goodwill than in a box taking up room in your apartment.
Thinking about the money you could get for an item is also another way to help you decide if it worth keeping. Debate if the items usefulness and cost to move it outweigh what you could sell it for.
Envision Your New Home
It is a good idea to think about how you want to decorate the rooms, how you want it to feel, and how you will utilize all the space in your new home. Having this vision in mind will give you a reference point. If any items you own do not fit in your vision, then get rid of them. You are not obligated to keep anything because you have had it forever. If an item would not positively contribute to your apartment then you do not need it.
At the end of the day no one can dispute that downsizing is hard and involves a lot of tough decisions. Let your vision for your new home guide you in these decisions and everything will turn out just fine. Remember that not everything you own needs to follow you to your next chapter in life.
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