12.15.2011

:Big Place to Small Space: What Stays & What Goes


We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. ~ Walt Disney
Moving into an apartment that is just a little over half of the size of our house, made us realize that we had too much stuff.
Our guest bedroom is still stacked from the floor to the ceiling with boxes and totes full of “treasures” that we need to sort through. We have already worked on sorting through a living room full, a kitchen full, and our bedroom full of stuff.
We quickly have decided what stays and what goes. Today I am going to share with you what you need to know about downsizing from a house to an apartment, and what criteria you can use to help you decide what you need to hold on to and what you can gladly get rid of.
When downsizing from a house to an apartment, nobody tells you just how little space you are going to have. You think you will have a good idea of what can go where when you move it in the U-haul truck, but more than likely you won’t.
Something that really helped us when deciding which pieces of furniture were going to be able to make the move was the purchase of a tape measure. Before we moved any furniture to our new apartment, we measured every piece that we wanted to take with us. We went to our apartment and kind of laid things out where they were going to go. This also made moving day a breeze too. For the most part, when the guys that helped us move brought the furniture in, we were able to tell them exactly where it fit in the puzzle.
Please realize that not everything you own will be able to make the move if you are downsizing. I know that this seems obvious, but this is something I am still trying to wrap my brain around. There will simply not be room for all of it. Do yourself the favor now if you are planning a downsizing move and start going through all of your belongings. You think that I am kidding, but since our move I have donated anything from small kitchen appliances to shoes and books. Seriously, go through everything.
As we have been sifting through the boxes and boxes that moved into our apartment with us, we have often asked ourselves, “Where did this come from?” Some of the things we are unpacking we haven’t used ever. Some things we haven’t used in over a year

Here is a small list of criteria we are using to determine whether anything and everything stays or goes:
1. When was the last time we used this? If the answer is more than a year ago, and it is not a once a year type of item like snow gear, or Christmas decorations, it goes.
2. What do I use this for? If the answer is for something that we do often, it stays. If it is an item that we use every once in a while, and were holding onto in order to be thrifty, but it can easily be replaced with a purchase of a few dollars, it goes.
3. Where am I going to put this? If we don’t know where we are going to store it, it goes. We have been pretty creative putting things under the bed, on the top closet shelf, in a dresser drawer, but some things just can’t seem to find a home. These are the things that go.
4. Is this important to me? Some things are too special to throw away or send to the Goodwill. These things take precedence over shoes, extra jackets, my extreme Christmas decorating collection, and stacks of crafting materials. Some of these things have been sorted through and I have gotten rid of what I thought I could part with. Things that are not that important to you, things that you do not have room for, things that you do not need, should go

I can't wait to have our guest room cleaned out and all of the things in our apartment organized, but I realize that it is a process. I am trying to take my husband's advice to take it piece by piece. He has given me the best advise about sorting through our belongings, "Whitney, it doesn't have to all get done today. Some of this can wait." He couldn't be more right. Take on the challenge of organizing and deciding what stays and what goes bit by bit. Set goals, use the time you have available, and realize that it is not the end of the world when it is midnight and there is still much more to do. It can wait. 
Next week I will be sharing with you how to organize your furniture in a small space to maximize traffic flow, create more storage, and allow for your creativity to shine. 

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