There are lots of different reasons why people downsize from a house to an apartment or condo. Currently, the “baby boomers” are reaching retirement age and are looking for a more maintenance free life style. The economic downturn has forced many people into foreclosure which has led them back to the apartment or condo market against their will. Still others lost a significant other or spouse (through death or divorce) and are also in need of a more cost-effective dwelling option. No matter what the “why” is there are some tips to follow when downsizing from a house to an apartment.
The first thing to do when downsizing from a house to an apartment is make a list of what characteristics you desire in your apartment. Location, proximity from work, proximity from friends and family, proximity from public transportation (if necessary) storage option, parking (parking space or garage) size of apartment, access (elevator or stairs) laundry facilities (in unit, on floor, basement, etc) cost (rent, fees, security deposit, etc) yard space or deck, patio space, building security, etc. are some choices you will have to decide on. You can see there are a ton of choices to make so prioritize all different aspect of your potential new apartment and it will narrow down your search or nudge you to modify it. If your due diligence is performed properly downsizing can be an uplifting fresh start.
Once you decide on the location, characteristics, and amenities of your new apartment, the next thing to do when downsizing is decide what to do about all the stuff in your current home. Go room by room and make a wish list of have to take, want to take, store at a storage facility, donate, sell, discard or a good option of loan (a piece that may not fit in your place but you are fond of can be loaned to a family member or friend until you are ready to take it back).
Make sure you bring things that are not only functional but comfortable and make you feel at home. Little things like artwork, lamps and knick knacks can help you stamp your new apartment with your identity.
Once you make your list, get a floor plan of your new place and make a model to scale off what you want to bring and how it will fit. This is a little time-consuming but helps avoid surprises on move in day. It can also help reveal some open spaces that you can fill with new stuff. Stores specialize in efficient vertical furniture for apartments so you can maximize your space. Use hooks, walls and the space above your head and you’ll be glad you did. Don’t be afraid to get feedback from family and friends.
If you follow these 2 steps of identify your apartment/condo, and decorate your apartment/condo, you can make downsizing from a house to an apartment or condo anywhere from less stressful to downright pleasant.