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How To - Before Moving

5 Ways to Downsize for Smaller Apartment Living

Smaller Apartment Living

Rent checks — in most cases, this is the largest check (or Venmo payment) for many of us each month. So, when the rent price in your larger Cincinnati apartment turns into a cost-burden, you’ll need to think about downsizing from the larger place in the city into a less expensive apartment elsewhere. And the downsizing and moving can be daunting. But before you get too stressed, look at the following hacks to make your smaller space livable.

1. Store It

You may have a lot of stuff you just don’t want to get rid of. Your band broke up, but you may want to use that great PA system sometime in the future. You are no longer responsible for the green space at your new condo, but you liked cutting the grass and have a great lawnmower. Furthermore, if things get bad, maybe you’ll have to get a side gig as a lawn cutter and that mower will be indispensable. You really liked your extra fridge–it still works great–and you think you may need it sooner than later. Your cat died and you have two cat carriers, but you may re-enter the pet ownership world soon. You can see where we’re going with this. Find a reasonably priced storage unit and put your valuable possessions there. You can always do a storage shed sale and get rid of the stuff later.

2. Think Compact

OK, you’ve got a studio apartment now and your king-sized bed won’t cut it. Those giant dressers that Grandma Mary gave you were great in your old two-bedroom unit, but you have no room for them now. What you should do is investigate dual-purpose furniture. You can go to IKEA and buy a nice-sized bed with a built-in set of drawers at the foot. Remember the ironing board your mom had that folded up into the closet? Think hidden and compact.

3. Light and White

Dark walls may make your place look like a cave on Casterly Rock, and one thing you should throw away are those cans of dark blue paint. Go to the Depot and buy some bright white paint and see what a difference clean bright walls can make. One counterintuitive suggestion: Paint your ceilings a dark color and watch how the added ceiling depth makes the room look bigger.

4. Make a List of What You Really Need

Before you move, try this exercise: Construct your dream apartment, but base it on the square footage of your new place. Compare your wish list with what you already have, and get rid of everything that doesn’t fit in your new plan—except for the PA, the lawnmower, and the extra fridge. Remember, we’re storing those.

5. Do It Now

Finally, don’t waste any pre-move time. Rash decisions caused by procrastination can leave you with lots of extra stuff, or worse, cause you to lose things like that set of Beatle cards your uncle gave you that just were estimated at $3500 on Antiques Roadshow. Downsizing is never fun, and anyone that says they like it is lying. And the reasons for doing so vary in every instance. Perhaps you’re recently divorced and need to find a way to save money for your next house, so you’re downsizing. For whatever reason, you can make downsizing work for you.

By planning ahead and being organized, you can quickly sort your stuff, furnish your new but
smaller place, and start binge-watching House of Cards sooner than you ever thought possible!