How to downsize your living space

Moving from a house to a smaller space like a condo or an apartment can be challenging task, but it can also be a refreshing one.

For many, it’s an opportunity to de-clutter and recreate a place to call your own. It’s the perfect time to take an inventory of what you’ve accumulated over the years and decide each items fate. Perhaps it’s time to get rid of that old hand me down couch you’ve had since college, or recycle that stack of magazines piling up in your basement. Either way, decisions have to be made. Here are a few tips to make the process a little easier.

Create an Action Plan
Professional organizers will tell you to picture what kind of lifestyle you want and how you will achieve this in your next living space. Is it worth it to keep the bulky armchair? Should you keep that large dining room set just because it was pricey? Where will all this go in your new home? Creating a plan and knowing what furniture and other items you’ll want to take with you will help you along the road to downsizing. Do you pour over images of modern minimalist living spaces? To achieve that lifestyle, you will need to be ready to eliminate most of what fills a large suburban home. On the other hand, if you would have trouble feeling at home without your souvenirs and trinkets, aim to curate your collection to only the ones that you would miss if they were not around.

Purge
Do you need a TV in every room? Probably not, but if you do decide to keep some, mount them on the wall and get rid of that bulky entertainment unit to save space. To take it even further, get rid of your TVs altogether and watch programs online through a computer, tablet and or even a smartphone. Connect to Wi-Fi to reduce cable use.

To downsize even further, consider trimming down your library. Think about only keeping your favourite books and have an idea of where they will go in your new home. If you can’t find the space, it’s time to let them go or purchase a Kobo or Kindle, which can store thousands of books. Keep in mind, you can always borrow books from the library as well.

Kitchen appliances can also take up tons of valuable cabinet space. It may be time to give away the waffle maker or pasta maker you’ve only used once since your wedding day. Clothes and toiletries you haven’t used in a year are a good indication that you can do without them.

Memorabilia and other must-keep items you can’t part with
It can be hard leaving behind items that have been with you for decades so consider going digital. Take a picture of your old home and those items you’ve cherished to preserve those memories. Old newspaper clippings, letters and cards can also be scanned and saved. Remember to plan where you’ll be putting the items you do want to keep or consider letting them go.

Multi functionable furniture
When you have limited space, you have to be creative with the furniture you have. Think about buying a sleeper couch to replace your guest bedroom, or an ottoman that acts as a foot rest, storage unit and a coffee table.

Finding a new home for the unwanted
Make a quick buck or two by hosting a garage or yard sale to rid yourself of all the items that don’t belong in your new living space, sell items online on Kijiji or eBay, or you can also donate the items to worthy charitable organizations in your community.

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