Whether you are an environmentalist trying to cut down on your carbon footprint, or live in Chicago, Illinois with some of the highest instances of rent, downsizing apartments is a great option to save money and cut down on waste. However, it may seem daunting to eliminate so much square footage and risk being uncomfortable. With these five tricks to downsizing to smaller apartment living, moving into your new, small abode will be no trouble at all!
Be Honest With Yourself
It’s the hardest part of moving out: getting rid of things you don’t use, but maybe could use one day. If you are serious about downsizing your apartment, being honest with yourself will make the process much easier.
The easiest articles to part with are old clothes or shoes that you don’t use often; if they are still in good condition, you can donate them to a local shelter or thrift store to ensure they go to someone who needs them. Furniture and storage are much harder to part with, but a smaller apartment means getting rid of larger items. An easy way to determine what to keep and get rid of is imagining yourself using something, and how frequently you’re using it. If you see yourself using it more than once every few weeks, consider keeping it.
Get the Dimensions
Understanding how large your apartment currently is, and how big your new, smaller apartment is, will help eliminate stress and uncertainty of what can fit and what can not. It is important to measure every part of your house, including closet space, to give yourself the best estimate of how much space you’ll lose. You should also check out your kitchen and evaluate the amount of cupboard space that you won’t have. In any case where space is decreased, set aside items that are necessities and anticipate parting ways with anything else.
*Understanding your floor plan and dimensions is very important
Storage, Storage, Storage
*Outside storage can be a huge help when downsizing
Although downsizing your apartment means less space in your immediate living area, it doesn’t mean anything that doesn’t fit has to be tossed out or donated. Some apartment complexes offer in-house storage units in the basement of the building. If you have trouble parting ways with things you have, getting an apartment with a storage unit in the building is a great alternative. If you only use some items seasonally or once a month, consider putting them in the storage area until the proper time arises. Renting out a storage unit is another viable option, especially if you don’t plan on downsizing your apartment forever. Units are typically outside of downtown areas, meaning slightly more work if you need something from it. Renting a storage unit does cost some money, but if you find a cheap storage unit near you, it becomes a great investment.
Trick your Eyes
If a worry of downsizing apartments is that your living spaces will appear small and unwelcoming to guests, there are a few tricks and hacks to make your room seem larger than it really is. One suggestion is to use mirrors throughout a room. Using mirrors reflects images, and by using more than one, the number of images will be increased and the room will seem larger. A second suggestion is using different color schemes to give your room the illusion of being bigger than it is. Darker colors tend to make things look slimmer, so avoiding dark colored paint or drapes will make your room seem less small. Lighter colors give a widening effect, so using light colored schemes in your rooms will give the impression they’re bigger than they really are.
*Use social media to find design ideas to make your space feel like home
Say you’re considering downsizing your apartment but are hesitant or don’t know where to start; social media may provide the inspiration for you to take the first step. Platforms such as Instagram and Twitter have many accounts of minimalist living suggestions and designs that provide endless sources of ideas and motivation. Some of the most notable accounts are sure to give you the spark you need.
Who knows; maybe one day you’ll be moving into a huge house of your own and doing home renovation projects to create more space. Just remember, downsizing is not permanent, but it’s helpful in certain times of life.