Years of home ownership have come and gone. You’re now ready to make a very important transition in your life, one that will have you move from your family home to an apartment. That’s the sort of move thousands of people make every month, typically senior citizens who decide to give up the family home to live in an apartment, such as a senior living facility. Downsizing your home to apartment living means a lot of work. Here’s how to get it done without losing it.
Know Your Layout
Your new apartment will have a certain layout, typically including an eat-in kitchen, a dinette area, a living area and one or two bedrooms. Its a lot smaller place than your current home and that means you need to carefully consider what furnishings will go with you and what you will want to sell or discard before the moving services company shows up.
Start off here by obtaining a schematic or blueprint of the apartment along with the proper measurements for each room. Then, determine what furniture you have will fit in the apartment and where it will be placed. Take your time here — what you bring with you will be with you from this point on. As for everything else, those furnishings that don’t make the cut won’t transition to your new residence.
Start the Declutter Process
You can’t really decide what will go with you before you look at what you own. You’ll need to clear out the attic, garage, basement and sheds before you can wrap your mind around it all. Chances are you have more stuff than you thought possible.
Once you begin to go through your belongings, then set aside those items that won’t be going with you. Likely, you’ll have several rooms full of stuff. If you have children, they may be interested in acquiring what you don’t want — make a point to tell them to stop by to take what they want. Then, plan a yard sale to begin discarding the rest. Or, if you prefer, call up a local charity such as your church organization, Goodwill, or the Salvation Army to cart it all away. Ask for a receipt too — it will come in handy for tax purposes next year.
Stay or Go
Not everything that can fit in your apartment should go with you. For instance, if your apartment is light and airy, and your furniture is mostly dark and woody, it may not match the decor. Consider how you want to decorate your new place — it may be better to sell your old furniture and order new furniture for your apartment.
If you do order new furniture, you’ll reduce your moving costs accordingly. Either sell or donate your old furniture and have the new furniture shipped to your apartment. Typically, if you order new furniture, the shipping cost is included, especially if you order locally.
Ask for Help
Moving from a big home to a small apartment is a dramatic change, one that you may find overwhelming. No worries here — millions of seniors have done the same down through the years — you can too. The secret here is that these same seniors had help along the way.
If your family is local, your children can help you make the move. Otherwise, rely on your circle of friends, including your church and friends from your volunteer organization to pitch in. Some of your friends have been through the process already while others will soon follow your lead. Allow them to pitch in and you’ll have less of burden to shoulder on your own.
Call on your support network to help you pack, figure out which furnishings will go to your new apartment, and if you plan to hold a yard sale, your circle can help here. These same people probably also have a recommendation or two for a moving company. That’s the kind of reference you want — a satisfied consumer who can refer you to a moving company.
Take Your Time
Likely, your move isn’t about to happen soon, giving you time to make the transition. If possible, secure the apartment before you sell your home, to give you enough time to settle in and complete the transition. Downsizing to an apartment is a lot of work, but it is something entirely doable and also what can free you from the cares and concerns of home ownership.