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Moving Tips

How to Downsize Your Home Before Moving to New York City

New York City isn’t exactly known for its sprawling square footage. So, if you’re relocating to the city, there’s a good chance you’ll need to downsize your home before the move. While it’s not always the easiest task, it’s definitely doable with the right mindset and approach. Think of it as an opportunity to purge the unnecessary and make way for a fresh start in one of the most vibrant cities in the world. And we’re here to help with tips for how to downsize your home to make your move to the Big Apple as smooth as possible!

Why Is Downsizing Before Moving to NYC Common?

New York City, particularly Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs is notorious for smaller living spaces when compared to most other American cities or suburban areas. Apartments in the city are typically compact, and the cost of real estate per square foot is significantly high. Therefore, bringing all your possessions from a larger home isn’t usually feasible or practical. Downsizing before moving can also help reduce the cost and complexity of the move by only bringing items that are necessary or hold significant value. 

Do You Need to Downsize Before Moving to New York City?

If you’re moving from a larger home in the suburbs to a smaller apartment in the city, then downsizing your home may be necessary. However, if you’re already accustomed to living in a smaller space or you’ve secured a spacious home in NYC, you may not need to downsize as much.

Consider asking yourself these questions to help you decide:

  • How much square footage will my new home in NYC have compared to my current home?
  • What is absolutely essential for my lifestyle, and what can I live without?
  • How much storage space will I have in my new home?
  • Are there items I could replace once I move rather than transporting them?
  • Can I digitize certain items (like documents or photos) to save physical space?
  • Am I willing to adopt a minimalist lifestyle if needed?
  • Could I benefit from selling or donating some of my belongings before the move?

How to Downsize Your Home Before Moving to the City

Downsizing can be challenging, especially if you’re moving with kids. The best way to downsize your home is to start early and follow these five simple yet effective steps. 

Step 1: Evaluate Your New Space

Start by getting a clear understanding of the size and layout of your new home in the city. Take measurements if possible, and try to visualize where your current items might fit. This will give you a better idea of what furniture and belongings you can bring with you and which ones won’t have a place in your new home.

Step 2: Sort Your Belongings

Next, sort through all your belongings. Divide them into categories like clothing, kitchenware, books, and so on. Within each category, separate items into those you want to keep, those you want to donate or sell, and those you need to discard. Be realistic about what you use regularly and what you can live without. Honesty with yourself is essential when downsizing your home. 

Step 3: Sell or Donate Items

Once you’ve sorted out the items you don’t plan on bringing to your new home, arrange to sell or donate them. You could host a garage sale, list items online, or donate them to local charities. This step not only helps you downsize but can also offset some of the moving costs.

Step 4: Consider Storage Options

If there are items you can’t part with but won’t fit in your new home, consider storage options. There are many affordable storage facilities in and around NYC. However, remember that the cost of storage should be justified by the value or importance of the items being stored.

Step 5: Set Up Your New Home

Once you’ve moved, take the time to set up your new home thoughtfully. Try to find multiple uses for items, and remember that vertical space is your friend in smaller spaces. Shelves, hooks, and wall-mounted storage can all help you make the most of the room you have. Downsizing your home doesn’t have to stop after you move. If you get to your new house and there isn’t space for certain items, start the steps over again. 

What Not to Do When Downsizing Before Moving

When it comes to how to downsize your home, it’s essential to avoid these mistakes to make the process as smooth as possible. 

1. Don’t Procrastinate

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when downsizing is waiting until the last minute to start the process. Downsizing your home is a time-consuming task that requires careful planning and decision-making. If you rush through it, you might end up getting rid of items you later realize you need or packing unnecessary items that take up valuable space in your new home. Start early, create a plan, and tackle the process bit by bit.

2. Don’t Keep Everything “Just in Case”

While it’s important to keep items that are necessary and hold sentimental value, holding onto everything “just in case” you might need it in the future can quickly lead to clutter in your new, smaller space. Be realistic about what you use regularly and what you can live without. Remember, if an item isn’t adding value to your life now, it’s unlikely to do so in the future.

3. Don’t Forget to Plan for Your New Lifestyle

When downsizing your home, it’s easy to focus solely on the physical process of sorting and packing. However, it’s equally important to consider how your lifestyle will change in your new environment. For example, if you’re moving from a house with a yard to an apartment in the city, you might not need your gardening tools anymore. Consider your new lifestyle and let go of items that won’t fit into it.

Ready to Downsize Your Home and Relocate to NYC?

At Metropolis Moving, we understand that downsizing before moving can feel a bit overwhelming. While we can’t downsize for you, we can help you move all the items you’re relocating to the city! 

Whether you’re moving from New Jersey, Connecticut, or any major metropolitan area such as Boston, Washington, D.C., or Philadelphia, we’ve got you covered with our long-distance moving services. From packing and loading the moving truck to transporting and unloading your items at your new home, our full-service packages make the process stress-free so you can focus on the excitement of moving to New York City. Get a free moving quote today to get started. 

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