According to insights from top-selling agents, people are interested in condos, especially in superstar cities. Whether you’re selling your house in a hurry or you’re just selling your house because you need a smaller place, you’re going to want to go through your stuff and declutter!
When you’re in a smaller space, there won’t be enough room for everything you currently own. This is the perfect time to go through your closet and get rid of the stuff you don’t wear, donate toys your kids grew out of, and part ways with your collection of porcelain dolls that are just collecting dust.
If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips to make decluttering a little easier and a whole lot stressful. Well, that is if you aren’t trying to clear out a decade’s worth of stuff jammed into the garage.
1. Go Through The Home One Room at a Time
Start your decluttering frenzy one room at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed. As you start in a room, declutter it in zones. For example, if you’re starting in the kitchen, work on the pantry and only move on to the Tupperware cabinet once the pantry is finished. Likewise, if you’re decluttering the living room, work through your collection of movies before going through the magazines and books.
When you declutter one room at a time, one zone at a time, you’ll find that the process will go much quicker, and it’ll be easier to organize as you go. Plus, when you go through a zone at a time, you’re less likely to get overwhelmed by just how much more stuff you have than you thought.
2. Be Honest With Yourself on What You Do and Do Not Need
It’s tough going through your belongings and parting ways with things you may love. Sure, that collection of band tees from your college days may have tons of memories associated with them, but do you ever wear them? You may have a huge collection of rocks from your travels, but what purpose do they serve? Do you really need 25 coffee mugs?
The name of the game here is to put your emotional attachments aside and be realistic about what you really need and what you’ll actually use. The things that you don’t need, you can ask people in your social circle if they need it, or you could donate it to a local charity.
3. Create Limitations and Stick to Them
Decluttering isn’t just about getting rid of everything you don’t need. You can keep some things as long as it’s within reason. Give yourself a limit on how much of the items you want to keep.
For example, of those 25 coffee mugs, maybe allow yourself to keep 5 to 10 of the ones you like the most. Of those rocks, pick a few that stand out from the rest.
It might be challenging to set limits and stick to them, but by doing this, you’re able to keep the things that mean a lot to you while getting rid of the things you don’t care for as much.
It’ll be harder to stick to a limit for things like clothes, shoes, jackets, and other things that we think we need an abundance of, but that’s when something like a capsule wardrobe can be handy.
4. Measure Your New Place to Figure Out Where Things Will Go
Measuring your new apartment will help you determine how much space you have for your belongings and where they’ll go. If your kitchen is short on storage, you may have to whittle down your Tupperware collection. If your bedroom closet is on the small side, you’re going to need to go through your shoes and clothing to make sure it’ll all fit.
Not only will measuring your new apartment help you determine how much you can bring and where it’ll all go, but it will also help you determine what pieces of furniture you can take with you - if any. Sometimes going from a larger home to a small apartment may mean you’ll need to purchase smaller furniture pieces to fit the space. If this is the case, you could make some extra money and sell it to a second-hand shop, at a yard sale, or even through an online marketplace.
5. Consider Repurposing Things to Keep The Around
For the items that you simply cannot part with, think of ways you can repurpose them. You know all of those band tees we mentioned? You could turn them into a quilt or choose a few of your favorites to frame and hang on the wall. You’d be surprised by how much you can keep when you think creatively!
You aren’t just limited to repurposing small things - you can repurpose furniture as well. If you have a dresser that you no longer have space for but you can’t part ways with it, turn it into a vanity for the bathroom, turn it into a kitchen island, or create a cool new home bar. Whatever piece of furniture you have and want to upcycle, chances are you can do a quick Google search and get some great ideas!
We get it - when you’re trying to downsize, it’s hard to let go of items that you have an emotional attachment to or to let go of the idea that you’ll hold onto something because you might need it someday. But when you’re moving to a smaller place, you will not want to try and cram everything you have now into that smaller place.
If you’re unable to do it yourself because you don’t have the time or you just don’t know where to start, you could ask your real estate agent if they know any professional organizers to help. It’ll be an added expense, but it might be the kind of help you need. Of course, if you know anyone keen on minimalism, you can definitely ask them for help!
About the author: The above article on how to de-clutter when moving to a smaller apartment was written by Maddi Arcurio. Maddi works for Homelight and enjoys writing on all things about real estate to help buyers and sellers make the wisest decisions possible.