Downsizing from a house to an apartment – simple guide

Eco Friendly Packing Guide - November 21, 2019

Are you tired of cleaning empty rooms in your home? Has the constant lawn mowing finally got to you? On the other hand, you might want to move to the city and start a new life there. Whatever your reason for downsizing from a house to an apartment, you are not alone. Many Americans are selling their high-maintenance homes in favor of smaller, but easier to manage, apartments. While there are many advantages to moving from a home to an apartment, there are some things you need to keep in mind during the process. Moving into a smaller space will take some planning, so don’t waste a minute longer. Read on to learn how you can downsize from a house to an apartment without unnecessary stress!

Starting early is key to downsizing from a house to an apartment

From the moment you know that you are trading in your spacious home for an apartment, you should start planning the move. When you have a solid plan in place, it will be much easier to keep track of the many things you have to do. First of all, if you have children, you should plan for them to be away on moving day. The same goes for pets, as they tend to feel your anxiety and mirror it. Moreover, consider whether you want to move by yourself or hire a moving company. If you want professionals to take care of your relocation, you need to make an appointment on time.

A girl hugging a dog while her parents are downsizing from a house to an apartment.
Have a plan in place for your kids and pets – they will want to feel safe during the move.

Your moving budget should be one of the most important items on your moving agenda. There are many ways in which you can save money during a move, that won’t jeopardize it in any way. For example, you can rent moving supplies instead of buying them. Not only will you save money, and time spent on looking for these supplies, but you will also do something good for the environment.

The right supplies will help you stay on track

As with any other task, having the proper tools can make a big difference. That is why you need to have the right packing supplies when downsizing from a house to an apartment. First of all, you need to look for durable cardboard boxes. Since you will be carrying heavy items, your boxes have to be made from double-corrugated cardboard. It will ensure that no boxes break or tear during transport.

A more eco-friendly alternative to these boxes is plastic moving tubs. As the name suggests, they are made from plastic, which has a longer lifespan than cardboard. These bins will allow for more items to be placed inside, as they can support more weight. Additionally, if you are moving during bad weather, plastic bins will keep all of your items, including electronics, safe and dry.

Get rid of the clutter when downsizing from a house to an apartment

Moving into an apartment after you’ve lived in a house can be stressful for a number of reasons. One of the biggest ones is that you will inevitably have to get rid of some of your things. While it might sound scary, it will actually help you start fresh in your new home. Here are the steps you should take when you downsize your house for an apartment.

Storage areas are where the most clutter gathers

When you want to declutter before a move, it’s best to start with the areas that have the most clutter. Usually, these are the attic, the basement, the garage, etc. Here is where most people put all the things they don’t have the room for in their homes. Go through each box and shelf carefully and try to decide right away whether or not you want to keep them. The longer you think about it, the less likely you will be to get rid of an item. So try to keep emotions at a minimum and focus on the practical side of things.

A dusty attic with a slanted roof.
Decluttering and cleaning the attic can also raise the value of your house.

What purpose does an item have in your life?

If you want a straightforward approach to downsizing, we can sum it up in one question: Have you used it in the last year? In case the answer is no, you can probably live without it. When you are going through each room of your house, make three separate piles:

  • the first pile should be for things you want to keep
  • the next one is for items you don’t want anymore but are still in good shape; you can sell these items online or at a garage sale
  • the final pile is for the items you can give to a friend or donate to a local charity

Of course, we don’t mean that you should get rid of everything from your old home that doesn’t serve a purpose. There are some items with high sentimental value that you absolutely should keep. Just make sure that you pack them well before moving so that they don’t get damaged or destroyed during transport.

Measure everything before you downsize from a house to an apartment

It makes no sense to spend time and money to move all your furniture to then realize that it won’t fit in your new home. Before you start lugging boxes and moving tubs, make sure that you aren’t doing it in vain. In many cases, you can obtain a blueprint of your new apartment, with a layout and all the measurements. If this is not an option, you can always measure it yourself. Focus on doorways and halls, as your furniture will need to fit through these spaces.

Measuring tape over a blueprint of a home.
Measure everything twice- it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Afterward, measure all the furniture you plan to move. Compare the layout of your current home with that of your new one. If you have pieces that are too large for your new apartment, you might want to consider buying new ones.

There are plenty of storage options out there

Lack of space is one of the biggest issues of people that are downsizing from a house to an apartment. Especially if they want to take all of their items with them. Luckily, you don’t have to fret about storage, even in a small apartment. If you’ve bought or rented those plastic moving tubs we’ve mentioned, you can reuse them for storage. They are excellent for storing items for longer periods of time. On the other hand, if you want even more space, you can always rent a storage unit. Just make sure to fit one that fits your needs.

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