There comes a time in all our lives where we feel the need to trade-in the big living space for something more manageable.  This could be due to children leaving the nest, a loss of wages, or it’s simply time for a change.  However, taking years of treasures from a big home and making it all fit into a smaller house, condo or apartment can be almost impossible to do.  If you find yourself in this dilemma, check out our top tips for downsizing.

downsizing movingGet Rid of the “Just Okays”

In order to downsize your living space, you are going to have to make some tough decisions about what goes and what stays.  A great way to do this is if you view the item as “just okay,” you can let it go.  This can include some of those well-intentioned birthday gifts or even wedding presents you still have stashed away in the attic.  If you haven’t even taken it out of the box yet, it’s probably safe to assume you won’t miss it in your digs.

Clear Out the Unnecessary Items

This particular tip is very fitting if you have large items like a lawnmower, snow blower, garden tools etc. and are moving into a condo or an apartment – you will never need them so sell them off or give them away.  The same could be said for large pieces of workout equipment.  A lot of these complexes come with their own gyms or perhaps, this may be a good time to invest in a gym membership.  Another way to look at this tip is if you can borrow or rent larger items that you only use occasionally, then its best to sell it off and do so if you ever find yourself needing the tool in the future.

Sentimentality versus Practicality

It can be very difficult to get rid of something that you have had for years; however, with downsizing comes the opportunity to start a new.  If you have large pieces of antique furniture it may be difficult and impractical to make it work in a small space.  We suggest you take a picture of the object, then find a suitable home for it.  If it’s been in the family for years, there may be a relative that would be happy to have it.  If not, antique collectors are always on the look out for good quality pieces and will be thrilled to pay for the privilege of owning it.

Changing Your Mindset

Downsizing from a large family unit to just one or two people will require a change in your mindset.  If you got into the habit of buying in bulk and storing it away for a rainy day, this attitude will have to change.  Smaller housing means less storage so you will have to cut down on bulk buying and remember you are buying for two (or one) – fight the urge to stop in at Costco and go get a nice latte instead.

Limit Your Collections

If you love to collect and display your finds then you will have to limit the amount of space you designate to them.  However, this doesn’t mean you have to stop altogether.  A great way to show off your collectables is to put a few choice pieces out and store the rest, then every couple of weeks switch them up.  This not only allows you to save those sentimental valuables, but also keeps your display looking new and fresh.

Pick Your Storage Wisely

Today many companies are making furniture that double as storage.  This is a great way to keep things neat and tidy, yet also serviceable.  Look for cube-shaped containers that are easily stacked or stored away.  Wicker baskets can double as storage yet look pretty as part of the decor.  In addition, many stools can double as seating, storage or even a coffee table.

Downsizing doesn’t have to mean skimpy.  Choose your items wisely and make the most of all your available living and storage space.  With a positive attitude and openness to a new beginning, you will find the transition will go smoothly.