There are many reasons why a person may decide to move from a single-family home to an apartment. Some people may want to forgo the upkeep responsibilities of homeownership, while others may have no choice due to a sudden financial setback.
Whatever the reason, people who live in a house tend to have a lot of stuff. In these cases, scaling back in order to downsize must be done. Here’s what you need to do:
Give Yourself Time
Any move is a big deal, but some can be rather sudden which amplifies the stress load. In most cases, though, people at least have an inkling about downsizing and plenty of time to move forward with the process.
With time, you can begin organizing yard sales or donate items to a charity of choice. Sell the things you don’t need or call local organizations around town to see if someone can come and collect. Start small by going room to room and sorting your belongings into a sell, keep or donate pile.
Giving yourself more time in the process will also allow you to look at more apartments. With wider net, you can search for one that meets all of your needs.
Create a List of What You Need
If you were to return to your old house only to pick up something you left behind, what is it that you would take back with you? For most, it would likely be something sentimental and truly necessary. As you rummage through everything else, you will come across other things you don’t want to part with (though you should!). Make a list of things you need so you're not tempted to bring more back with you.
Sell or Give Away "House Only" Items
Another part to downsizing is getting rid of things inside the home that you won’t need in the apartment. Lawn mower, snow blower, shovel and weed wacker, and outdoor grill are all unnecessary items when you live in an apartment. Lawn care is included in the lease. But, you may enjoy having a small garden on your patio or balcony, so make sure you keep your small gardening tools. Many apartment communities provide grilling stations for their tenants. If you do decide to sell, the money earned can be put towards the security deposit or first month’s rent.
Prepare Kids and Pets
As head of the household, you probably had some time to think about and process the idea of moving. For children and pets, change can be a lot more difficult, so it’s important to be sensitive to what they’re going through.
Talk to your kids about downsizing and all the opportunities they’ll have at the new home. Remind them of ways they can keep in touch with friends from the neighborhood, such as writing letters, responsible social networking or text messaging.
How did you handle downsizing? Let us know in the comment section.