Compare Movers and Prices
Moving Advice & Tips

How to Downsize Before Moving

Downsize Before Moving

Every day more and more people are downsizing from a house to an apartment. For many, this is done strictly for financial reasons. However, there are others who realize they simply do not need the space, or they are tired of dealing with the upkeep. When you downsize before moving, you eliminate the time invested in yard work, plus you save on utilities. Whatever your reason is for downsizing, there are a few simple tips that will ensure a smooth transaction.

Evaluate Your Belongings

Before you are moving into the new apartment, you will definitely want to take measurements. This not only includes room size, but door frames, halls, stairways, and elevators too. You may find you need to get rid of more than you thinkĀ if certain furniture items will not fit through the door. How much cupboard and closet space do you have? Do you have a storage space to store sporting equipment? Is there a balcony? If yes, you may want to create a tranquil little oasis with a water fountain, chair, and some statuary you have in your current garden.

Do You Need Storage?

If you are making a temporary move, you may want to rent a storage unit for items you are not sure if you will need at your new permanent residence. Alternately, if you are super active outdoors and have camping gear, a kayak, and other sporting equipment, you may want to consider a small inexpensive storage unit to keep these items in. Just make sure you choose one you can access 24/7 for those spur-of-the-moment road trips.


The next step is to go through everything. Ideally, you will a few boxes handy well before moving. One may be for garbage and another for items to donate. If you do not wait until the last minute then you can have a garage sale or list pricier items for sale on Craigslist. It is recommended to go through one room at a time so you don’t get sidetracked.

  • Kitchen – Depending on the cupboard space in your new place, you may need to get rid of some things. You probably do not need the three dozen coffee mugs you have acquired through the years. Extra Tupperware, pans, vases, and appliances you do not need can go too. If you have a wok sitting on top of your fridge collecting dust or a toaster oven on your counter you never use, they really do not need to be moved to your new place to take up space there.
  • Bathroom – You will probably need most stuff in your bathroom. However, five cans of hairspray that all have one squirt left do not need to make the move with you. Also, if you have a shower door in your new apartment, you can get rid of those decorative shower curtains you have.
  • Bedroom – Parting with clothes and shoes is hard, but it must be done from time-to-time – especially before moving. Most people only wear a small percentage of their clothes while everything else takes up space in the closet and dresser, waiting for that perfect opportunity. If you have not worn something in a year or more, it is time for it to go. The only exception is the occasional gown or suit. This step is very important if you will have less closet space, or if you will be forced to downsize to one less dresser. If you have a bunch of old blankets that are in no condition to sell, consider donating them to an animal shelter. They can always cut them to small sizes for crates and kennels.
  • Garage and Outdoors – This is a huge project. Obviously, if you are only downsizing temporarily until you find a new house then your patio furniture and garden tools, lawnmower, snow blower, etc., can go in storage. You will eventually need these items at your new house after moving. If you are downsizing long-term, nearly everything in your garage, shed, and outdoor living space can go. As mentioned, if you have time to have a garage sale, this is recommended. You can make a surprising amount of money, especially on outdoor items.

About the author

Unpakt Team