How to Downsize: 13 Tips to Help You Declutter

Downsizing can be both freeing and stressful. It’s never easy to pare down a lifetime of memories, and most of us tend to associate our belongings with events and the people we love.

To help you make the transition easier, we have a guide on how to downsize. Read through our downsizing tips to help make sure you don’t make any mistakes while paring down enough to happily move to a smaller home or apartment.

1. Browse beautiful rooms

Begin by getting inspired.

You can thumb through magazines and books, or peruse the beautiful images of Houzz.com. Pay attention to how little clutter you see. Pay attention to the positive feelings you have about those simplified rooms.

Hot Tip: Tape a photo of a beautiful, simplified room into each room of your home. They can inspire you during your purge.

2. Contemplate simplicity

Get yourself mentally prepared — if not excited — that you have the opportunity to live in a simpler space, a space filled with only the things you love.

Think, too, about how many things you own that you haven’t actually used, touched or even seen in over a year. Focus on the joy you will feel by donating, selling or giving those items away. No matter which option you choose, you win.

3. Find a new home for some of your belongings

Ask family members and close friends if they would be interested in any of your belongings before you start to sort. Ask them to list what type of items they might be interested in, or to make any specific requests (in case someone loves a particular painting, memento or piece of furniture). If you don’t get a reply — especially from those under the age of about 30 — make a mental note to save a few things for them anyway. They might be too young to know the value of sentiment.

4. Invest in rubber tubs for items you’ll be gifting

These are your gift tubs, and we recommend rubber tubs with lids that seal tight. Think of them as a lovely gift, because they are. With each piece of jewelry, photo, letter, memento, homemade quilt or old letter jacket, you are filling this box with treasures that are sure to elicit a smile.

Picture future generations of your family enjoying or telling stories about these items. Label your tubs with the name of who they are intended for and put them in one room of the house.

photo of family photos on the wallphoto of family photos on the wall

If you have lots of family pics, consider one gallery wall of favorites. Ask your children to take or digitize the remaining images.

5. Identify items you absolutely love or cherish

Picture having to quickly evacuate your home. What few items would utterly devastate you if they were lost? (We’re not talking about collectibles with value, we’ll get to those in a minute). These are likely photos, letters, artwork, handmade gifts or things you made, jewelry, a small family heirloom, perhaps an item or two from your travels. What sentimental items would you save from a burning house? Gather or identify these items first. Try using sticky notes to mark these items or pack them all in a box.

Keep this selection deliberately small. It’s meant to be a special and meaningful group of items. There’s another level of belongings you can keep which are non-critical. But a personal treasure pile should fit in your backseat.

6. Declutter room by room: Gift, sell, donate or trash

Now you’re ready for the nitty-gritty part of how to downsize. Declutter room by room and learn the extraordinary feeling of lightness that a purge can bring. There are four categories that matter most to you now: Gift, sell, donate, trash. The more items you can identify for each category, the happier you will be (and the lighter your load at moving time). Tackle your home room by room — you’ll have a larger feeling of accomplishment that way.

photo of a donation boxphoto of a donation box

If you have the space to do so, move items you plan to sell or donate into dedicated spaces, like the garage or a spare room. Fill your rubber gift tubs as you go. In addition, think about how you’d like to sell other items. There are selling apps, consignment stores and garage sales you could use to sell your unwanted items. Or, if you amass enough items, an estate sale or auction could be more productive. It won’t be long before you get a rush from filling your trash cans. You can do it!

Hot Tip: Many cities have thrift stores and organizations which will pick up items if scheduled on the day the truck goes to your neighborhood.

7. Consider your new floorplan

It also helps to have a floorplan of your new home, with the dimensions on it.  Measure your favorite furnishings and figure out which pieces will comfortably fit into new spaces, and which should find a new home. There’s fun in acquiring a few pieces for a smaller home, and selling, auctioning or consigning older furnishings and collectibles might well cover those expenses.

8. Consult with others about their belongings

If you aren’t familiar with how to downsize there are a few mistakes you can make. One is getting rid of your children’s items without telling them. Give adult children a deadline by which to claim their left-behind items. Send them pics from your phone if they’re far away. Offer to ship them a box but don’t consider moving their items to your smaller home. The time has come. You are no longer obligated to store their old school yearbooks or letter jackets, cheerleading uniforms or trophies.

photo of a high school letter jacketphoto of a high school letter jacket

9. Be aware of emotions

If you’re downsizing after a tragedy, don’t go overboard. You might consider putting some things in storage for a year or having a friend help you decide what to keep. Emotions run high after unexpected events, and if you’re depressed, you may get rid of things you’ll want later. Don’t, however, use this as an excuse to keep everything.

10. Analyze your collectibles

The last warning: Don’t be sloppy when it comes to collectibles. Set them aside until you can get them evaluated by an expert or at least a friend or relative with a computer. These might include baseball cards, signed memorabilia, vintage toys or artisan-crafted pieces.

photo of collectiblesphoto of collectibles

11. Consolidate the items you only need one of

Here’s a quick list to help you pare down some things of which we all accumulate extras. These are items you likely only need one of:

  • Set of dishes
  • Set of glassware
  • Set of Tupperware
  • Set of mixing bowls
  • Large serving platter
  • Household tools (hammer, screwdriver, tape measure)
  • Extra blankets (keep one heavy and one light, per guest bed)
  • Large winter and summer purse
  • Coat for each type of weather (extra-warm, lighter-weight, rain jacket, windbreaker)
  • Umbrella (one travel size, one oversized)
  • Cooler (you might keep a small one for car trips or picnics with grandkids)
  • Set of small tools, measuring tape

Hot Tip: Remember that donations will be a tax write-off. Always get a receipt.

12. Purge items you won’t need in an apartment or smaller home

Small homes don’t require as many tools or decorations you may have stored in your garage or shed. To help you identify which items you can get rid of, here is a list of items you won’t need in your new home:

  • Ladders larger than a stepstool
  • Garden tools
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Large power tools
  • Excessive outdoor Christmas decorations

Hot Tip: If an item’s been in a box for more than a year, it’s very likely time to let it go.

13. Ask a friend or professional to help

If you have trouble with decision-making, ask someone impartial to help you. Be sure to choose someone who embraces your goal of downsizing and decluttering. A friend won’t have the same emotional attachment to your items and can help you narrow down your belongings, while also helping make sure you keep what you love. If your friends aren’t available, a professional or aspiring home organizer could be a great investment. They will be efficient while also being kind.

Embrace this new chapter

Downsizing to a new apartment may seem daunting, but with these downsizing tips, you’ll be ready to move in no time. By going into this process with an open mind, you will be able to create a home filled with your most important items to start this new chapter of your life.

Are you downsizing after retirement? Be sure to check out senior apartments in your area.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

8 Unique Ways to Display Fine Art in Your Home | Apartminty

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Having art on the walls of your home can help you feel settled, whether it’s a temporary rental or your forever home. There are many different methods to displaying fine art in your home. The traditional way of a hammer and a nail will get you pretty far, but you can elevate your design by incorporating some of the following ideas. 

Buying fine art is just the beginning of the process. How you display your new art can make or break the impact it can have on your space.

Every person has a different taste in art, and it doesn’t matter if you are interested in impressionists or contemporary abstracts; there is a place for your art in your home. Artwork is meant to be enjoyed daily. It can bring together the theme of a cozy beach house or give a nursery an adorable feature for your baby to look at. 

Here are eight unique and fun ways to display fine art in your home:

Gallery Walls up the Staircase:

If you have a set of stairs in your home, you likely trudge up and down them multiple times per day. It can be a fun reminder of good memories every time you march up to bed or come down for coffee first thing in the morning. Stairs are an excellent place to hang small prints that would look out of place in other rooms. Gather them together to make a feature wall.

Often, a gallery wall on the stairs contains family portraits that continue to grow as your family does. You can choose this method for a more conservative look or make it more interesting by using brightly colored frames and cataloging your vacations and everyday memories. 

Hang Art From the Ceiling:

These days, nearly everyone hangs a frame from a nail in a wall or with sticky strips that don’t damage the walls. Add interest to your space by putting a hook in the ceiling and dangling your artwork from above. This can add depth to your room and draw attention to a unique ceiling feature, such as a reclaimed wood ceiling or a decorative chandelier. 

Be sure to hand these frames close to a wall so they do not become a hazard when walking by, and use a strong string to prevent your art from being damaged. If you can’t drill holes in the ceiling, consider a gallery rod or a piece of picture rail molding to dangle your artwork. 

Use Three Dimensions:

Framed art is often two dimensional, and while it adds interest to the space, you can make your display stand out even more by adding three-dimensional objects to your collection. You can combine these two to create a one of a kind art feature in your home. 

Relate these objects to the painting or print to not distract from the original piece. A photo of a beach or the ocean can be combined with shells or sea glass mosaics to bring more life to the artwork. 

Use a Bookshelf:

display-fine-art-on-a-bookshelf
https://www.pexels.com/photo/turned-off-flat-screen-tv-276724/

If your walls are full or you just don’t have any space to hang a frame on the wall, use your bookshelves to incorporate a few frames. These can be standard freestanding bookshelves, floating shelves, or you can lean the frame on top of your desk or dresser. Set your beautifully painted image of a garden next to your vintage copy of The Secret Garden.

Using frames, books, and objects will create interest and allow you to view your collections simultaneously. This method is also easily changed if you are the type of person that likes to mix up your decor now and then. 

Color Coordinate:

A bright-colored chair in a room or rug can add intrigue to the room. Multiply this by creating a small gallery featuring the same color as this object. It will help bring the room together and make it seem more cohesive. Use abstracts or simple pieces to draw the color into space. 

Be sure not to overdo it and use moderation when using bright colors in a room. They can seem busy or hurtful to look at if there are too many. If the accent color in the room is blue, use different shades of blue to provide your eyes something easy to look at. 

Offset Frames:

There is no law stating that your frames must be in line with each other and never be out of place. You are free to do what speaks to you by clustering small frames together or using one larger piece to keep it simple. 

If you feel a little daring, offset your frames on the wall so they are not centered, drawing attention to a piece of furniture or a feature of your home. Eyes are drawn toward offset patterns, and it can create drama in the room. 

Don’t Use Frames:

If you are unsure about the pieces, you have or are interested in a more casual display, skip the frames altogether and go with bare images. Without frames, a print can be more fragile, so it may be recommended to attach the paper to a stiff piece of cardboard. Otherwise, your prints will be blowing in every breeze and could be harmed. 

Frames can also be expensive, and if you want to hang a large number of prints, it is cost-effective to go without them. Leaving your art without frames creates a bohemian atmosphere and can enhance your overall decor. 

Use a Gallery Light:

You can highlight a single piece or collection of works by installing a gallery light over the artwork. These lights are relatively inexpensive but will increase the drama of the art. The lighting in our homes changes throughout the day, and you might not always be able to see your artwork. 

There is a reason that artwork in museums is always adequately lit so you, the viewer, can experience it the way it was intended to be seen. If you have more than one piece, consider track lighting on the ceiling. 

No Wrong Way:

no-wrong-way-to-display-art
https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-single-gold-framed-painting-on-the-wall-2951525/

In the end, it is your decision on how you want to display the artwork you have collected over time. You can use one or all of these ideas in a single home, but be sure not to overwhelm yourself and your guests with too many things to look at. Have space where the eye can rest, such as a wall with only one piece of artwork or an open space on the floor. 

Before choosing where you want to place your artwork, ensure that it is the proper size for the wall or shelf, you are placing it on. If it is too small or too large, it can draw unwanted attention and distract from its intended purpose. 

Make your home a place where you enjoy spending time and allow yourself to enjoy the small luxuries of getting that piece of artwork you’ve meant to put out on display.

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

An interior designer shares 11 of the best home-decor items to get at Target this month – Insider

Rework your current layout by integrating this minimalist, wooden armchair.

target armchair

This armchair is both trendy and functional.
Target

Newhart told Insider that this tufted, wooden armchair is trendy and affordable. With neutral tones and clean lines, it can seamlessly and functionally integrate into almost any living room. 

“It’s also upholstered, because after a year at home, if there is one thing we know well, it’s comfort,” Newhart said. 

She added that this chair can also help to slightly rework your current furniture layout so your space can feel fresh after all this time at home.

Reduce clutter in your home with this wood-stone tray from Target.

target wood tray

This tray could work in just about any room.
Target

Newhart said trays are amazing for grouping smaller items together and reducing visual clutter, so she recommended this decorative wood-stone option from Target.

“I love this stone tray as a tabletop accent or to corral skin care on your vanity,” the designer said. “The lip is perfect for keeping smaller items inside.” 

Add texture and functionality to your space with this woven pouf.

target woven pouf

This pouf’s color and texture can match nearly any space.
Target

Poufs add the trifecta of texture, function, and nuance to your space, according to Newhart. This option has a gorgeous woven, natural exterior that compliments almost any color scheme. 

“It has a rounded silhouette, which can help break up boxy edges in your space — for example, if you have a rectangle coffee table and squared-off couch,” Newhart told Insider. 

Additionally, there’s a bottom zipper so you can add extra stuffing over time if it begins to flatten with use.

Get your space ready for spring with floral throw pillows.

target floral throw pillow

This throw pillow is available in two colors.
Target

A bright pillow is a perfect, yet subtle way to spruce up your space for spring, and Newhart said this floral option doesn’t disappoint. 

You can snag the burnt-orange one for modern, boho spaces or the classic blue choice for more traditionally styled interiors.

Newhart also suggested buying several of these pillows so that you can repeat the same pattern throughout your space and between rooms to make your home feel more cohesive. 

Upgrade your space’s lighting with a designer-looking floor lamp.

target lamp

This lamp can be a functional, art-deco addition to your space.
Target

If you’re in need of a floor lamp, check out this globe, track-tree option that boasts a designer look for an impressively low price.

Newhart said this lamp is a perfect lighting upgrade for a dimly lit corner and offers art-deco vibes.  

“I love the diffused light from the frosted bulbs,” Newhart told Insider. “Plus it’s dimmable to help you customize your lighting throughout the day.” 

This love seat is the perfect patio addition.

target wicker love-seat

This product also has matching chairs available for a full patio set.
Target

According to Newhart, this wicker, faux-wood love seat is a texture lover’s dream and a beautiful addition to any home, especially as people revamp their spaces to spend more time outside. 

It has a steel frame that looks like wood, which makes it weather-resistant. Plus this love seat has matching chairs if you’re looking for a full outdoor furniture set.

You can work from your couch or bed with this stylish tray.

target bed tray

This tray’s legs also fold for easy and compact storage.
Target

In case you need another reason not to leave your bed, check out this rattan bed tray that is ideal for catching up on emails, winding down with wine and a book, or studying in comfort.

“Plus rattan is having a moment, so this is a perfect way to work it into your space in an affordable and subtle way,” Newhart told Insider. 

This tray’s legs also fold and lock for easy storage.

Upgrade your entryway with this neutral vintage rug.

target rug

This rug is available in two colors and several sizes.
Target

Newhart recommended giving your entryway, kitchen, or hallway a subtle upgrade by incorporating this vintage rug.

This distressed piece brings texture and interest in a gorgeous, neutral palette that compliments natural tones like wood, rattan, wicker, and caning, Newhart explained. 

It also comes in indigo and all kinds of sizes, but Newhart said her pick is the 7-foot-long runner. 

Elevate your art with this simple, yet on-trend gold frame.

target picture frames

This frame is versatile enough for nearly any gallery wall.
Target

If you’re looking for an easy way to elevate an art piece or a DIY creation, this minimal, matted-gold frame is a visually interesting solution. 

“The gold is on-trend and gently draws the eye to the art as the focal point,” Newhart said. 

She added that this frame is affordable enough to build an entire gallery-wall grid out of and a versatile option to add to an already-existing photo spread.

Add visual texture to your space with this beautiful and affordable throw blanket.

target throw blanket

This throw blanket is sold in six colors.
Target

This throw blanket can spruce up your space for about $20.

Newhart said it is amazingly soft, has great visual texture, withstands washes, and resists pilling.

Plus this throw also comes in multiple colors, from bold mustard to neutral cream, so there is a shade for any space.

Accent your bedroom with a soothing tranquility candle.

target candle

This candle’s four-wick design results in a smokeless experience.
Target

According to Newhart, this candle is a bedroom essential. It smells fresh, yet is soothing without being too overpowering, and the four-wick design touts a smokeless burn. 

In addition to its tranquil scent, it boasts a gorgeous jar that transforms this candle from an aromatherapy element into an accent piece. 

Source: insider.com

How To Make a House A Home: Creating Memories

There are so many ways to make a house a home. A house is simply a physical structure.

A home is a place where you create meaningful memories with loved ones. It is a place for watching first steps, celebrating birthdays, and enjoying family dinners.

These activities will help you to create memories at home.

1. Plant a garden: Your family will love choosing flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables to plant in your garden. It will become a fun activity that you can do together. Watch the plants grow from season to season and year to year. We recommend also having each family member choose a plant that is uniquely theirs – they’ll have fun watching it grow and change, and it will be a great way to encourage responsibility.

2. Hang photos and art: Create a gallery wall with your children’s art and family photos. Hang holiday photos, first day of school photos, and photos from choice moments. Your kids will feel special when they see their art up on the wall.

3. Start a collection: Start a family collection. You will all get excited when you find something new to add. Collect salt and pepper shakers, vases, or something else that you all enjoy. Display the collection throughout your home, and each piece will remind you of the time you found it.

4. Make a height chart: Mark your children’s height on the door. You’ll love seeing how much they’ve grown, and they will get excited each time you make a new mark.

5. Make a “library” area: You don’t need a library to make a library area. Make a designated part of the home where your kids can curl up with their favorite books or, if your kids are pre-reading level, an area where you can read to them. You’ll make memories when you read together.

These ideas will help you to create new family traditions and memories. As they say, home is where the heart is! Write on our Facebook wall to let us know how your family creates memories at home.

Source: century21.com

How to Incorporate Collections into Your Home

Your home should be a reflection of you and your family. Incorporate your personality into your home decor by displaying family collections. Your collections tell stories that deserve to be told – and represented throughout your home.

Get creative and find a place for all of your cherished collections. Here are a few sample ideas to get you started. Modify them according to your collection of choice.

1. Stamps: Do you have a bevy of vintage or one-of-a-kind stamps? Frame pages of stamps. Display your framed collections on mantels, in your entryway, or even create a gallery wall.

2. Crystal Figurines: Display your figurines in glass cases or on a shelf near a window. The light from the windows and glass will reflect on the figurines and make them sparkle beautifully.

3. Matchboxes: If you have a collection of fancy, beautifully designed matchboxes, put them out for show. Group them together on an end table or in an armoire with glass panels.

4. Antiques: One of the most popular collections to display in a home is antiques. Whether it’s antique furniture, picture frames, or something as small as a breadbox, place them in their appropriate room for added decor. Display them in different rooms so that you remember the story behind them whenever you see them.

5. Travel Souvenirs: Save travel souvenirs like museum tickets, plane tickets, and even currency. Put them in memory boxes and frame them throughout your home. Hang a map with pins representing every place you’ve traveled as a family.

6. Any other quirky item: Any collectible has the ability to be hung up on a wall. Creating a gallery wall is the easiest, no fuss way to display your items. Grouping similar picture frames, silver trays, or any other like items on a blank wall in your home creates a focal point of beautiful decor.

Displaying your beloved and timeless collections throughout your home is not only a great way to display your interests, but it’s also a great conversation starter.

Source: century21.com

Idea to Steal: A Mini Gallery Wall

We all know gallery walls are a consistent style winner. They’re certainly instagram gold as this recent post illustrates. But they’re also a touch ubiquitous. Search gallery wall on Pinterest and you get a litany of pics, many of them virtually, if not exactly, the same.

So what if we swapped things up a bit? I’m not saying nix the gallery wall entirely. But what if we went with a mini gallery wall instead?

Idea to Steal: A Mini Gallery Wall on apartment 34

Specifically, I fell in love with the 3-piece gallery when I visited the Nomad Hotel in Los Angeles in the fall. Our entire room was decorated in nothing but little groupings of art, all combined in threes – as shown below. I was obsessed.

Idea to Steal: A Mini Gallery Wall on apartment 34

In my current quest to whittle our homes down to their essence, I’m really feeling the idea of limiting your art wall to just three pieces.

It makes sense that the look feels so good. Three is a magic number when it comes to styling as it offers variation but also balance. When styling a coffee table, bookshelf or console, the golden rule is to group things in threes. So it only makes sense that this rule should apply to our walls too.

Idea to Steal: A Mini Gallery Wall on apartment 34

Technically the vignette above does feature four pieces but I think it would look so much better if you took one away.

Idea to Steal: A Mini Gallery Wall on apartment 34

And while you can group like with like, using similar themes, color palettes or frames, I actually think you should introduce as much eclecticism into a mini art grouping as you can. Play with scale, feature different subject matter, different techniques and a variety of frames. Make a guest want to walk up and look more closely.

Idea to Steal: A Mini Gallery Wall on apartment 34

So rather than scramble to find a million art prints, why not select just a few extra special favorites and give them their time in the sun? You can even swap your art in and out – a quick and easy way to update your space without having to buy something new.

What say you? Are you ready to take down the giant gallery wall and give the mini gallery wall a go instead?

For more Ideas to Steal, CLICK HERE.

images via brady tolbert  / apartment 34sfgirlbybay & sfgirlbybay / avenue lifestyle 

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Source: apartment34.com