Avoiding Clutter Overload When Moving from a House to a Condo

Wed, Aug 08, 2018
By: Patrina Sykes
Avoiding Clutter Overload When Moving from a House to a Condo

If you’re moving from a house to a condo, you might be wondering what to do with your belongings. Downsizing from a large space to a smaller one may require you to make some difficult decisions about what to keep and what to sell, recycle, or throw away.

As difficult as downsizing can be, the best time to take stock of your belongings is before you move. That way you can avoid clutter overload and move into your new home without worrying that you won’t have the space you need to be comfortable. Here are some things that can help.

Sort Through Your Belongings

The first thing to do is to sort through your belongings. One trick to consider is placing four boxes in the middle of each room. Label them as follows:

  • Keep
  • Sell
  • Recycle/Donate
  • Trash

As you sort through your things, place each item into one of the four boxes. Items you keep may either come with you to your new home or be placed in storage.

Keep Only the Things You Need and Love

A good rule of thumb when deciding what to take and what to sell, donate, or recycle, is to keep things that you either need or love. Things you need might include:

  • Tax returns
  • Receipts
  • Legal documents (wills, powers of attorney, titles, etc.)
  • Identification

Things you love will probably include:

  • Photographs
  • Items with sentimental value
  • Valuable items like jewelry and heirlooms
  • Gifts from family members

You can also apply the need/love rule to practical things like clothing. It’s a good way to decide what you want to keep and what you wouldn’t mind parting with.

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Evaluate the Storage Options in Your New Home

The next thing to do is make a full assessment of the storage you have available in your condo and decide what to bring with you and what to put into storage. Many condos have limited space available. You may have closets or even a dedicated storage space. Be realistic about the space you’ll be able to use – and what you’ll be able to keep there.

For example, an outdoor closet off your condo’s balcony may be a good place to store outdoor furniture, a grill, and other items. However, it won’t be an ideal spot for documents or items that might be damaged by moisture or heat.

Look for Outside Storage Options

Once you’ve evaluated the storage available in your condo, you may decide that it’s worthwhile to either rent a self-storage unit near your condo or pay a storage service to store documents and other important items.

Self-storage options may be ideal for furniture you can’t fit in your condo and other personal items, including off-season clothing and things of that nature. However, they are not ideal for storing sensitive personal documents. Even a climate-controlled unit may be at risk of infestation by rodents or insects, and the security may not be as tight as you want it to be. If your work from home as well, then storing your documents with a NAID-certified document storage company like Gilmore Services is the solution.

Declutter Regularly After You Move

After you move, the chances are good that you will occasionally acquire new things. You may notice that your condo accumulates clutter over time. The best way to ensure that it doesn’t get out of control is to do a regular sorting and decluttering to help you decide what to keep.

Ongoing organization will keep your small living space feeling open and roomy. The truth is that you don’t need a ton of space if you do a good job of getting rid of clutter and choosing the items to put into storage.


Moving from a house to a condo can feel overwhelming, but the tips we’ve included here can help you make the transition with a minimum of stress and aggravation.

To learn how we can help you plan your move, please click here.