Downsizing and Moving into a New Home

I, Kate Martin, have a huge organizing problem.

I am about to move from a 2700' rental house into a less than 1000' apartment for an entire year while my house is being built. Yes, I am a Professional Organizer and therefore do not have a lot of clutter. Yes, I am aware that things are just things (what I tell my own clients) and I don't need things to make me happy when I have the memories. But I am moving my family of four into a tiny, tiny, tiny apartment and I am scared.

I'm thinking back to the time when I was in 6th grade and my parents sold their house but had yet to buy a new one. We moved in with my grandparents for a few months and my sister and I not only had to share the same room for the first time, but share the same bed! At first I thought it was going to be terrible - no privacy, no space to myself, and a lot of my things were boxed up and put away - but it turned out to be one of the best times for our family. We learned a lot about each other and grew closer and all those things you'd hope for in a Hallmark TV Special. I only threw my sister off the bed in the middle of the night a handful of times, so I'm told.

So after silently freaking out for a week, I came up with an idea. I will first, get over it. My parents and grandparents all had tiny houses and cars with tons of kids and survived just fine. Second, I will treat myself like a client and form a plan of action.

AHA! A plan of action - now we are talking about something I can do instead of wringing my hands together uselessly. I still have 2 months before I need to move, so I've come up with a moving plan that is going to save me and you, too should you ever find yourself in this situation:

  • Have a garage sale. Yes, I do this 2x a year and always have things to sell, but this time it's going to be colossal. Things will be priced to sell, ample advertising done ahead of time, and anything that doesn't sell is immediately going to be donated that same day.

  • Create a space plan. I measured the rooms in the new apartment, measured the size of my furniture, and created a plan on graph paper (to scale, where 1 box = 1') of where everything is going to fit so I don't have any surprises.

  • Start the lease for the new apartment 2 weeks before I need to move out of my current rental. Yes, I will be paying double rent for 2 weeks, but it will give me time that I need to move my essentials (bed, desks, dressers), and then see if some things I want but don't have to have still don't fit, and find homes for them. It will also give me time to clean the old place without all of the furniture in it or my kids messing it up again (gotta love those kids).

  • Research rates on a storage unit. If all else fails, my back up plan is to rent a unit to store leftover things that we can't move in to the new place but also can't part with now because they'll be too expensive to replace in a year (kids' outdoor toys, fine china, expensive curtains I don't want to hang up). If I create a threshold for myself of the size of the storage unit - that's it and I can't keep anything else. Period.

I'm actually looking forward to simplifying my life even more. I am going to have to do more with the kids outside of the house, since we won't have a playroom or backyard, and it will be good to shake up our routines. Cleaning will be much easier with a lot less space to clean. Hopefully, we will grow closer together as a family and my two boys will enjoy bunking together. Plus, it's only a year. Thank goodness.

#moving #downsizing #planofaction #newhome #spaceplan #smallspaces

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