How to Move From a House to an Apartment

Guest Contributor
Last Updated on May 15, 2024
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[ by Josh Dudleston, Priority Moving ]

Change is inevitable. For example, at some point or another, you may move to a new home. The reasons are numerous: a need to cut expenses, a new job in a new city, a desire for a better lifestyle, a need for a change of scenery, the breakup of a relationship.

Any move can be strenuous, regardless of whether it’s by choice or by necessity. And in the case of a move from a house to an apartment, it can be more difficult because of the challenges of adapting to a smaller living space. But the whole process can be manageable if adequate planning and logical thinking are employed well in advance.

Choose Wisely to Soften the Blow
One of the most things you’ll be giving up in downsizing to an apartment is the relative privacy and seclusion afforded by a house. Careful selection of your apartment can make the transition easier. For example, a second-floor apartment in the middle of a building—wedged between the first and third floors and between other units—surely will cut down on privacy; after all, it’s surrounded by neighbors who are just a wall or floor away. Picking a place on the top floor or at the end of the building will help create a privacy buffer.

Keep Your Family in the Loop
Children often have the hardest time coping with change, like moving from a home to an apartment. They’ll need your parental support and encouragement to make the transition as smooth as possible. Be sure to consult your family and friends for advice and support.

Learn to Let Go
Downsizing inevitably means you won’t have space for all of your stuff in the new apartment. You’ll certainly want to hang onto things that you can’t or don’t want to throw away, sell or give away. Self-storage is an option if you just can’t bear to part with your treasured collection of Beanie Babies.

Still, you may be forced to pare down your belongings. It might be hard to think of not lounging on your comfy sectional sofa, but that sofa and other furniture made for a big home may not fit into a smaller apartment. A yard sale is a great way to get rid of a lot of unwanted furniture and other stuff before you move. Focusing on clearing out the closets, attic, basement and garage; unused stuff often ends up in these spots. Don’t forget the items that you absolutely won’t need as an apartment dweller, such as a lawn mower and gardening equipment.

Hire a Mover?
Should you hire a professional mover or do it yourself? This is an entirely subjective decision.

If you’re single and don’t have too much stuff to move, maybe a borrowed pickup truck or a rented moving truck will do the trick.

But if you’re relocating to a far-away place or you’ve got a tremendous amount of stuff, it might be wise to hire a professional mover. Remember to get rid of all of your unwanted stuff before calling a mover for a quote, as the bid will be based on the mover’s assessment of what you’ve got in your home. There’s no point in paying extra to move stuff that you don’t want in your new apartment.

If you do wind up going with a professional mover, choose carefully. Check with the Better Business Bureau, for instance, to see whether consumers have lodged a lot of complaints against any of the companies you’re considering. Ask family and friends for recommendations, too. If you’re planning an interstate move—say from Portland, OR, to San Jose, CA—verify that the mover you’re using has the required federal permits.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on May 20, 2013 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Guest Contributor

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About the SpareFoot Blog

The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
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