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Tips For Downsizing Your Home

Tips For Downsizing Your Home

Downsizing your home, whether by choice or necessity, can be a daunting task.

TAKE INVENTORY

The first thing to do is take a close inventory of your belongings.  Take a walk through your house or apartment and evaluate everything you come across.  Go through your storage areas first (attics, basements, closets, etc.).  You will be surprised to find what you have accumulated over time.  If you're like most people, you will find boxes of items that haven't seen the light of day for years and there's a reason for this: you don't need them.   Get rid of them at once.

MUST HAVES, SELL, DONATE OR TRASH

Ideally, you should make three lists: Must haves, can live withouts, and things to replace.  Your "must haves" are the things that need to come with you.  Your "live withouts" are the things you could sell, donate, or get rid of entirely.  This doesn't mean you'll get rid of them, just that if space becomes a concern, they're the first ones to go. Your "could replace" list should be the things that you could sell and buy something smaller that you'd like, like a smaller TV or space-saving furniture to fit your new space.

KEEP MEASUREMENTS IN MIND

Take stock of the things that are actually important to you and ask yourself if you've used it in the past year.  If so, how often?  What would you replace if it were all gone?  If you think you could live without it, out the door it should go.  Measure your must-have furniture and map out a floorplan to figure out which pieces will or will not fit in your new space.  When downsizing from a house to a condo or apartment, make sure you measure your furniture in advance.  Then, map out your new floor plan to make sure you're only taking pieces that will actually fit in your new space.

STORAGE IS KEY

Plan for reduced storage.  Your new place may have less space for storing things like seasonal clothing, decorations, luggage, and anything else you may be used to keeping in your basement or closets.  For these items and stuff that you really have a hard time getting rid of, rent yourself a storage unit.  A self storage unit will allow you to keep items close, without needing to stuff into your smaller home.  Renting a self storage unit is a cost effective way to gain extra space and a great alternative to having to give up items that mean a lot to you.

Be creative with your storage options.  Ottomans that open up and have space inside, under-bed storage boxes, space bags for excess clothing and blankets, are all creative, out of site storage options in your new, smaller space.  One rule of storage, when it comes to small spaces, is that you should store up, not out, so if you can make use of your walls for storage and shelving, do it.  This will keep things off of the floor and out of your immediate living space.