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5 Downsizing Tips for Small Apartment Life

As urban areas become more crowded and expensive, small apartments and studios are an increasingly popular choice for young professionals, singles, and people who like to live a streamlined life.

One bedroom apartment floor plan.
Carolyn White

Whether you live in a large apartment in Chicago or a place you’ve designed specifically for you and your family, if you’re used to more space, it can be difficult to downsize for life in a smaller apartment.

We’ve all had those times when our friends call us saying, “how in the world am I supposed to fit all of my stuff into this tiny little apartment that I’m moving to.” Well, the days of simply telling them to “throw stuff away” are done. Here are five tips you can share with anyone looking to downsize to a smaller place.

1. Start in the Kitchen

You might think you’ll need to start with the big items: couch, television, recliner, table, and chairs. But take a look at your kitchen first. When you downsize, your kitchen will ultimately be much smaller than what you’re used to. Your new place might have a mini-kitchen, so in order to stay organized while making proper use of the space, you need to declutter.

Get rid of the 27 serving utensils you have that you haven’t used for a year. Do you really need ten sets of dishes and utensils? It’s unlikely that you’ll be hosting huge parties, so save yourself some space in your new, smaller place and donate some of your kitchenware; or, sell it online and make a few bucks to help furnish your new home!

RoomSketcher Small Kitchen Design Ideas

2. The Closet (You have way too much stuff)

You don’t have to go full-on minimalist and get rid of everything you own. We’d never advise that you do that. That said, there will likely be a ton of duplicate outfits, things you’ve never even worn, stuff you wear once per year, and even things in boxes that you’ve never physically touched.

If this is what your closet is like, then it’s time to get rid of a few things to make space in your smaller apartment. Decluttering your closet can be a chore, but if you keep in mind that your day-to-day essentials will be staying with you, you might be able to put your mind at ease. As you work your way through the closet, remember to ask yourself questions to keep you on track:

If you stay on track, you’ll have decluttered your closet in no time, and you’ll be ready for the move to a smaller apartment! And if you’re interested in donating, you can always send your stuff off to the local Goodwill.

3. Entertainment Options

One thing your new apartment definitely does NOT need is a huge stack of DVDs and CDs. I know we all hate hearing this, but it’s 2020, and it’s time to go digital. We understand that books can make great decorations, but you might not have room in your new place.

Think about going digital and turning your book collection, music collection, and DVD collection into files for your iPad or computer. This will make your move so much easier, and it’ll free up a ton of new space that you never imagined having in your new, smaller apartment. And with that new space, you can use some awesome tools to create amazing looks for your floor plan.

4. Color Scheme Importance

In your old place, you might have had plenty of space to play around with drastic changes in the color schemes. Maybe you even had a different plan for each room? In your new, small apartment, focus on simple color schemes in order to make the room look strong and bold, yet spacious.

RoomSketcher Small Apartment Space Living Room Design Idea

5. Focus on Spacing and Design

If you do have time to see the unit before moving in, then go ahead and take some measurements to understand the new flow and layout of your new space. Figuring out where the furniture will go before you purchase it and move it into the unit can make for a less hectic and stressful move.

One way to do just that is to use excellent tools to help plan what furniture you’re going to purchase for your new and smaller floor plan. RoomSketcher is a fantastic way to create home design plans. You can use interactive floor plan editing tools and 3D options as well. This will be an awesome way for you to get a feel for your new floor plan before moving in.

RoomSketcher 3D Floor Plan Small Apartment Furniture Layout

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