Relocating from a house to an apartment may occur at some point in a person’s life for various reasons. Regardless of whether it is due to a significant financial decision or a now-empty nest, this type of move is arguably one of the most difficult ones there is, especially if there is a big difference in available storage and living space between the two residences.

Attempting a move to a smaller space can bring forth several issues. Often, it leads to a cluttered home and, inadvertently, to frustration. But while it can be overwhelming, some things can make the move a lot easier. One of them is by keeping in mind these six moving rules for a house-to-apartment transition:


Rule #1: Start as early as possible.

Planning a move as early as possible is imperative, especially for a major transition like a house-to-apartment relocation. While in some cases you are tied by circumstances that leave you no choice but to do everything in a rush, you need to use your time wisely if you happen to be fortunate enough to have some.

This means that you should get to planning the move as soon as you confirm it. Don’t underestimate the length of time you need to accomplish this as it tends to take longer than people expect it to. Plus, putting off the downsizing, packing, and other processes involved in the relocation may cause problems and, ultimately, lead to more stress.


Rule #2: Take inventory.

Except for very rare cases of snagging a massive apartment unit, you must expect that you’ll have less space when you move from a house to an apartment. This often leads to cramped living spaces, which can be remedied by downsizing your possessions.

To start with the task, you must first take inventory of all your belongings. This will help you see how much space you need to use and how many items you need to let go of.


Rule #3: Declutter.

While transitioning from a full-blown house to a temporary abode like an apartment can feel somewhat restricting, it may also have some positive outcomes.

Because of the limited space, moving to an apartment may be just the reason you’ve been waiting for to start decluttering and downsizing. These two offer lots of benefits for homeowners, ranging from supporting minimalism to saving on costs for hiring professional movers for the relocation.

To declutter effectively, you must make sure to go through all your stuff before moving day (see Rule #2). Then, you should start going through every room of the house, as well as all closets and dressers, to look for items you could donate, sell, or throw away. You may also need to reconsider keeping big pieces of furniture and appliances as the apartment may not be able to accommodate them.

Of course, if you don’t see yourself living in a small unit in the long run, you might want to consider using self-storage or mobile storage services to hold your extra possessions until you move to your permanent home.


Rule #4: If it’s of no use, get rid of it.

It is only natural that you would feel quite attached to most of your belongings. However, if downsizing is necessary for you to be able to live comfortably in your new apartment, you must learn to prioritize things that you use every day.

Since relocation can also serve as a way to turn over a new leaf, you should think about getting rid of items that are non-essential and have no use in the immediate future. Remember that, in downsizing, sentimentality is not an option.


Rule #5: If you can’t handle it, ask for help.

Aside from asking for help during the day of the move, you might also need to have someone assisting you during the decluttering stage. This is because deciding which items to let go of is difficult to do, what with all the emotions and memories attached to certain items.

To resolve this, you should seek help from someone who can provide objectivity for the task. Choose a family member or a friend. The person you ask for help must be able to provide an even-handed opinion on which items you should let go of and which ones you should keep. Who knows? Maybe after letting them decide, you might find a sense of objective detachment yourself.


Rule #6: Know how much space is available.

Downsizing is just half of the entire process of ensuring that you live a comfortable life in your new apartment. Aside from reducing the number of your possessions, you must also know how much available space you’re moving into to determine whether the items you choose to keep will fit.

Keep in mind that if expert furniture movers are able to pass through your apartment doorway with disassembled furniture, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the piece will fit once reassembled. To avoid this rookie mistake, make sure that you measure every item – big and small ones alike – before they are packed for your move.


Reduce Your Stress, Move with Finesse

Moving is a daunting task by itself. Add to that the extra challenging nature of relocating to a smaller space, and you’ll find yourself pressured into trying to figure out what to do next. Use these rules as a guide, and you’ll find yourself facing the transition between moving from a house to an apartment unit like a pro.



Hafiz Zafar is the owner of Professional Movers. The company offers reliable, cost-effective and stress-free packing, storage and relocation services across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and other parts of the UAE region.