Moving to a condo is a great opportunity for a fresh start. But it can also be an unexpected wake-up call for hoarders and collectors!
If your personal items have piled up over the years, you will need some downsizing tips to help you manage the big move.
It can be daunting, but there are so many positives to downsizing. Less stuff means there is less to clean and less to maintain, upgrade, and repair. Without the need to spend your weekends cleaning out the garage, you can spend your time (and money!) on things that matter.
This is a downsizing checklist for condo owners and it will explain exactly what to do before moving from a house to a condo.
Tip 1: Start Downsizing ASAP
First, the sooner you start downsizing the better. It can be an overwhelming task depending on how much stuff you own. If you leave downsizing to the week before your move, it will not be the liberating and positive experience it could be.
It is never too early to start downsizing. However, it makes the most sense to wait until you have a condo under contract to know how much space you will have in your new home.
Tip 2: Measure Your New Space
Before getting into the ‘how to’ part of this guide, you need to know your ‘why.’ Your ‘why’ is your end goal, and knowing it will help you make the tough decisions.
For most people, your end goal is creating an exciting, intentional new life in your condo.
Dreaming about your new lifestyle will motivate and guide you on how to downsize from a house to a condo. Plus, you cannot argue with math. Knowing the measurements will help keep your goals realistic.
Make sure you take all the measurements in your new space. Measure the windows, floor plan, and ceiling height. Plan precisely how you are going to use your new space.
So, why can’t you keep your 12-seat dining table? Because the measurements do not work with your new condo. You might not be able to get it through the front door or it might not fit in the elevator.
Why do you have to cut your holiday decorations in half? Because you have limited storage and you’d need to make room for all that decor.
And why do your kids need to start storing their own sports equipment? Because you will not have the extra space anymore!
Tip 3: Cut Down Your Belongings
Now that you have your motivations, you need to cut down your belongings. It is time to get organized and ask yourself the tough questions.
The KonMari Method offers great tips for moving from a house to a condo. The method specifies not tackling a room at a time but rather a category of items at a time. For example, books, clothing, paper, mementos, and miscellaneous.
While tackling a category, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I used this item in the last year or will I use it in the next year?
- Would I replace this item if I lost it or broke it?
- Do I get value from this item or do I love it?
If you are not sure, leave the item out where you can see it so you can think it over. With sentimental items, we often get an initial buzz of finding something we forgot about which goes away after a while.
Also, start with the easiest items first. Kitchen items are great as they often do not hold emotional value. Tackle sentimental items last!
When using these downsizing tips, keep your end goal in mind.
Tip 4: Remove Unwanted Items (Responsibly)
Now that you know which items can go, it is time to remove them from your life in a responsible way. Here are all the ways you can get rid of your items:
- Donate to charity or thrift stores
- Sell on eBay, Depop, Poshmark, Craigslist, etc.
- Give items away to friends or family
- Throw away (when you have exhausted other options)
Be strategic about what you sell or give away and when. Yes, finding a buyer for your couch on Craigslist is great, but not if you still have six weeks to go before you move out!
Give yourself a deadline to sell your items before giving them away. In most instances, it is more important to donate and free yourself of the burden than keep the item for years hoping to get a good price.
And try not to pressure friends and family members to take things you do not want. The coat may have belonged to your grandmother, but if you no longer want to keep it, it is not fair to expect your children to take it, either.
Tip 5: Digitize Your Paperwork and Photographs
Aside from coats and snowboards belonging to various relatives, a lot of your clutter is likely going to be paperwork or old photographs. These are often the hardest types of clutter to cut down.
You need to keep tax information for several years, so it has to live somewhere. And what about all these photographs from when your babies were little? You cannot throw them away!
Have you thought about digitizing your paper clutter? It might sound like an uphill battle, but everyone holds on to paperwork they do not need to keep. You can request bank statements and old bills from the companies if you need them in the future.
And you can invest in a scanner to digitize the rest. Or better yet, use your phone. Dropbox already has a companion Scan app, and iPhone users can digitize documents using the Notes app.
And what about photographs and old home movies? Companies can digitize those for you if you do not have the time. They will send you digital copies that you can backup and keep forever, taking up zero space in your new condo.
Use These Downsizing Tips for Your New Condo
Moving to a new condo is an exciting experience. And if you use these downsizing tips, you can live a simpler life free from the burden of clutter and constant tidying.
Are you downsizing in preparation for a big move but have not yet found your dream condo? There are so many great options in Washington, DC for every type of family and lifestyle.
Contact us today to start a new chapter and find the condo of your dreams!