Posted on February 26, 2014

The Upside to Downsizing: 5 Tips for an Easy Transition to Condo Living

If you're considering, or in the midst of, downsizing from a house to a condo, there are many things to look forward to. From never having to mow another lawn or shovel another driveway to affording better views, a more central location, or having more money in your bank, there are many ways in which downsizing can be a welcome relief. 

However, with a downsize also comes the reality of less size: how will you fit your entire 4-bedroom home into your new 2-bedroom condo? Well, you won't. But you will surely be able to bring everything you really need to feel right at home. Here are our 5 tips for an easy transition to condo living:

1. Start Early

Packing for a move always takes longer than anticipated. This is even more the case when downsizing as you can't just hire movers to pack and go. Since you'll be needing to take the time to sort what you'll take and what you'll leave, start this process early, even 2-3 months ahead of time. This will allow you to not only pack smart, but also eliminate any mad rush at the end.

2. Start Easy

If you're having trouble thinning out your belongings, start with the non-sentimental rooms like the kitchen or garage. Most people definitely have some extra mixing bowls or old pots and pans that are unnecessary, and without a lawn to tend to, many of the belongings in your garage will be of no use in your new home. Once you're on a roll you can tackle the more difficult jobs of editing your closet or office belongings. 

3. Create Categories

We suggest having 4 bins available when sorting: 1. KEEP, 2. SELL, 3. DONATE, and 4. RECYCLE. Once you make a decision on an item, try to stick to it. 

4. Follow the 2-Year Rule

It's easy to justify keeping that old sweater that you used to love and plan to love again or those snowshoes that you one day intend to use, but our rule states that if you have not worn or used something in 2 full years, let it go. You've gone through 2 full cycles of the seasons and holidays and you it's still sitting there: you don't need it. And we're sure you'll appreciate the extra closet space in your new home.

5. Know What You're Getting Into

Literally. Have a look at your new condo's floor plan and get a good sense of what that square footage really looks like by comparing it to your current space. The last thing you want to do is haul over all your furniture only to find it doesn't fit right. The good news is that if your large sectional isn't going to work in your new home, it only gives you reason to indulge in a modern new piece that was built for condo living.

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