Downsizing or De-Cluttering? Tips to Get You Started

There are a variety of reasons why people choose to downsize.
K. Jones

Perhaps a crash in the housing market has forced your family to trade in your spacious single-family home for a smaller multi-level townhouse. Maybe you've opted for a tiny apartment in the city so you'll be closer to work. Or, you simply want to adopt a minimalist lifestyle.

Once you decide to downsize, regardless of the reason, the next step is to trim down your belongings. Follow these tips to eliminate clutter in your home.

Take Inventory and Measurements

If you're downsizing total square footage rather than number of rooms, you'll have to compromise on what you take to your new home. You'll obviously need to keep all your beds or mattresses, but be prepared to make sacrifices somewhere else.

Take inventory of your belongings and take measurements of your new place. This step will give you a better idea of which items will accompany you on your move and which items you'll leave behind. For example, you can bring your sofa but sell or give away the loveseat.

Ditch Big, Unnecessary Furniture

Downsizing from five bedrooms to three? There's no reason to hang on to two extra beds, nightstands, or dressers. Don't waste your time and money moving big, unnecessary furniture you know won't fit in your new home. Unless you want to pay for a storage unit, keep only enough items to furnish each room and get rid of the surplus.

Take Advantage of all Available Space

When you downsize, space becomes a premium. To utilize every inch of your new home, store items up rather than out.

Exchange wide, wall-to-wall dressers for vertical armoires. Reclaim empty voids of ceiling space by hanging overhead racks at the top of your closet. Load the racks with seasonal items or other gear you don't always need quick access to. Mount a shelf above your bathroom door. Use the area to house everyday extras like toilet paper and hand towels.

If it's in your budget, invest in multi-functional furniture: a sleeper sofa or an ottoman that doubles as a storage chest. Loft beds are another great option. Reminiscent of your childhood, a loft bed is a sophisticated version of the bunk bed you shared with a sibling. Loft beds free up the floor for other activities and frame the perfect spot for a workstation or lounge area.

Adhere to the One-In-Two-Out Policy

You may feel tempted to hang on to things you once loved, once used, or once had plans for. But if you haven't used an item in a year, chances are you won't use it anytime soon. Don't let the past clutter up your present.

Start with you closet. Clothes are some of the easiest items to purge or replace. Toss out that neon windbreaker from high school and graduate to a more current, capsule wardrobe. You should also donate or sell clothes that are too small or that you don't wear. Those clothes only take up coveted closet space.

If you really do need to buy new clothes or any other items, practice the one-in-two-out rule. Each time you bring a new item into your home, get rid of two existing, similar items. For instance, when a new pair of shoes goes in the closet, two old pairs must come out. This method is an effective way to limit accumulation and keep clutter under control.

Whether you're moving into a smaller place or want to free up space in your current home, there are many benefits to downsizing. By selling, donating, or giving away unwanted items, you reduce your environmental footprint and create a home that's easier to maintain. Follow these tips and start living a simpler, less cluttered life.

BRG Apartments
7265 Kenwood Rd; Ste. 111
Cincinnati, OH 45236
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