Over this past year hubby and I have talked about our life and what is important to us, and we decided to make some big changes. We’re moving from a three-bedroom townhouse to a two-bedroom apartment to simplify things in our life, getting back to a time where life has purpose and meaning. Yes, it’s going to be challenging. We only have two weeks to pack. But we’ve looked at the pros and cons to downsizing from a house to an apartment, and we think we can do it without losing all the comforts of home.
The Pros: Being in a smaller apartment means less to clean and no stairs. Both hubby and our youngest have disabilities and stairs pose a real challenge when the bathroom is on another level. The apartment is further away from the boy’s schools; however, a bus comes to pick them up. The building is pet-friendly and family-friendly, so our youngest will still have kids to play with and we wont’ have to leave our dog and cat behind. Plus, there is more to see and do with many shops and stores around, and the rec center is only a five-minute car ride away. This means a healthier lifestyle as we’ll be walking more and spending more time outdoors to avoid cabin fever, instead of being comfortable indoors in a much larger space.
Purging: No matter how we look at things we are going to have to get rid of stuff. I made a list of everything that needs to be donated or sold, such as our washer and dryer because our apartment has laundry facilities. Holding a garage sale to get rid of things we don’t need also helps us with moving expenses. My Motto: If you don’t use it – lose it.
Get Creative With Space: When looking at our space we need storage solutions, I’m thinking Tiny House living. Each spot and space should serve a purpose, this includes making use of empty walls and cubbies. Pots can get hung up, same as towels. Bins and baskets can get used to be more organized, so that everything has a place. I have an old Ikea shelf with cubbies under it. I’m going to use that as a console table for the boy’s TV and video games, and below ditch my son’s dresser and use the cubbies as clothing storage. Reusing what I have will go a long way to creating great storage spaces without keeping bulky pieces of furniture we have no room for.
Needs vs. Wants: It’s funny what you think you want isn’t really what you need. Going through my kitchen, I have four corning ware dishes, two of which never get used. So, those are going. Jackets that don’t get worn. Purses hung up for no reason. Knick-Knacks that sit and collect dust. Only bring what you need and surround yourself with things you absolutely love. That’s what I was told.
Embrace the Small: Both bedrooms in the apartment are quite small and the boys are sharing. But small can still mean functional. An extra dresser will be put in the closet for games & toys. While under the bed boxes can be used for winter clothing and scrapbooks.
Apartment Updates: While I can’t paint in the apartment, I can do things to add warmth and color to the place. Our entire apartment has vinyl flooring making the entire space seem larger than it is. I’m keeping my cream-colored leather sofa as it wears well with the kids and is large, but getting rid of my two wing back chairs. Instead I’ll use an old wicker chair with a throw blanket. Three bar stools will be added to the kitchen cut out which also stack for extra seating off the dining area, and I’m going to create two gallery walls. One in the dining room. One in the main hallway. Each with pops of color. Meanwhile in the kitchen the back wall will be fitted with peg board to hang items freeing up our limited drawer space, and we will be swapping the old cupboard handles for new ones to give a modern look. The outside kitchen wall will be our command center (stay tuned for that blog post) And our patio, though small, will be fitted with bench seating and chairs for when company wants to sit outside.
Tip: If you swap out handles or knobs in your apartment make sure you keep the old ones so you get your damage deposit back. Lining the inside of old cupboards also breathes new life into them making them seem less drabby.
We don’t move until the 1st of February so you have to come back to see the changes. Until then, I’m going to pack and downsize to my heart’s content. Wish me luck!