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6 Tips for a Downsizing Move

Posted on December 5, 2018

Downsizing and moving from a house to an apartment can feel like an exercise in eating humble pie, and is it in many ways. But it can be good for you mentally, emotionally, and financially as long as you’re making the leap willingly. Many people choose to downsize to overcome debt, to save money more easily, to obtain more freedom, or to overcome a bad shopping habit. Whatever your reason, you need a workable downsizing and moving checklist to help you get through those difficult first steps and be on your way to enjoying the benefits of a lighter load.

Tips for Downsizing from a House to an Apartment

Here are a few ways to take the pain out of your downsizing move.

1. Have a Plan Early On

One of the main reasons people need to downsize is to break a bad shopping/collecting habit. But wherever your reason, getting rid of things is not going to be easy. So start early, except that a lot of stuff has got to go and give yourself the time you need to adopt the editing mindset.

Tips for downsizing from a house to an apartment

2. Equip for the Needs of Your New Lifestyle

Spend time imagining how you are going to live in your new, more compact, space. As you do, consider how your current belongings will and will not fit in. Things that are clearly too big will have to go. That much is obvious. What’s not obvious is how much all those little pieces of clutter will reduce your quality of life. There’s nothing worse than having to move a pile of flotsam just to vacuum a small spot of floor.

3. Take Time to Make Tough Decisions

Take the time to interrogate each item you are considering for the cut. Think, ‘Is there a place for this, and will it eliminate space for something more important?’ Large stereo systems can be replaced with smaller computer peripherals, as can big TV screens. Remember, you may love it now, but when it turns your new apartment into a dusty sarcophagus- you won’t love it anymore.

4. Clutter is a No-Go

By now, items in question should fall into two categories, the clutter category, and the useful-non-clutter category. Now, if it’s clutter; i.e. there’s not enough space or usefulness to justify taking it- you need to get rid of it.

Downsizing and moving checklist

5. Think in Terms of Value and Usefulness

You should consider this a time to learn to think in a more Zen kind of way. Paring down your belongings to live in a smaller space is about meditating on purpose, function, and value. In the end, this is all about stress reduction. If it’s something you normally keep in a box or do not display handsomely- think, do you really love it enough to trip on it every day?

6. When in Doubt, Bring in a Fixer

Alright, we know that asking some people to pare down their precious belongings is like asking them to choose a finger to cut off. Fortunately, for those collector minded sentimentalists among us, there are more options. Consider bringing someone who knows you well to choose some items for the chopping block. Make them lunch, invite them over, and ask them to do the unthinkable by getting rid of some things for you. Leave the house for a while to make sure you don’t interfere.


  • Be Ruthless, if it’s not going to be useful and out of the way, it’s out
  • Think about your ability to move around. Clutter = irritation
  • If you’re a collector at heart, get help
  • Consider using a storage service

If you find in the end that you’ve too many precious things to get rid of them all, storage is still an option. Get in touch with Tiger Moving & Storage to learn about your options.