There are many reasons to consider moving into New York City. Maybe your children have grown and moved out and you no longer need the big house, big yard, or the hard work that goes into maintaining them. Maybe you’re moving to be closer to work, school, culture, or a loved one who needs more help than you can provide from where you’re at.

Whatever the reason, a move from a single-family home in the suburbs to an apartment, condo, or brownstone in the city is going to present you with the challenge of adapting your home and life to a smaller space. If you approach it the right way, this can be a great opportunity to set-up your new space so that it suits you perfectly.

Rightsizing isn’t about sacrificing. It’s about envisioning what you will need from your new space to live a comfortable life. Read on to discover the questions you should ask yourself before you begin and the steps you can take to get it done.

Putting the “Right” in Rightsizing

There are two main factors to consider when you approach rightsizing your household as you move it from a suburban or rural location to an urban spot. The first is the amount of square footage that you have to work with in your new location. The second is the day-to-day routine that you would like to have and how to set up your new space to accommodate it.

Some choices will be easy:

  • If you have a shed full of landscaping and lawn care equipment but you’re moving to a high-rise apartment, then you know you won’t be needing to bring that stuff along with you.
  • If you have a basement full of exercise equipment—consider whether your new building has a gym facility or if there is one you can get a membership to in your new neighborhood.

Others will be more difficult:

  • Does that huge dining room table fit into your new space and lifestyle or would you be better off putting it in storage or handing it down to a family member who will get more use out of it.
  • Will you need to have space to offer in the future? Maybe an older loved one will be unable to remain in their home or a child that is off at college will have trouble finding a job after school. Does your new space need to give you options for adapting to life’s challenges?

Ultimately, you will arrive at a plan that matches your current needs and potential future needs with the space you have in your new location and the resources that are available to you in that neighborhood. At that point, you’ll know what to hang-on to and what to let go of. But, what do you do with all the stuff that isn’t making the move?

Putting Your Plan into Action

Once you know what you need to let go of, there are two ways to approach the process of figuring out what to do with them. The first is to determine whether the items have enough sentimental value that you want to hang on to them or keep them in the family. The second is to determine what value the items have to others and how you want to transfer that value.

For items that have value to others and little or no sentimental value to you:

  • Sell:
    • Estate Sales, Yard Sales, Garage Sales
    • Craigslist, Facebook Finder, Classified Ads
  • Donate:
    • Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, Churches, Homeless Shelters
    • Local families who could use a helping hand

For items that have sentimental value:

  • Gift: Pieces of furniture, musical instruments, and other large items that won’t fit in your new space can be gifted to family members and friends who you know will enjoy using them.
  • Storage: For items that you want to keep in your possession but don’t have room for, consider professional storage solutions.

To make your relocation as efficient and cost-effective as possible, handle all of your right sizing activities prior to the move. There’s no use in paying professional residential movers to move items that you’re trying to part with. Beyond that, most professional movers can handle moving some of your items into storage while they move your household to your new home.