Do I Just Have Too Much Stuff?
Rising rent prices are forcing many to reconsider their home size and whether they need something more or a serious downsizing. However, before making your decision on whether you’re in need of an upgrade, take some time for deep introspection on your state of clutter itself.
Rather than spending hundreds if not thousands on a bigger apartment, decide where you fall on the clutter scale. Because there’s no outrunning a hoard of things you don’t need. Use these tips to help decide whether your apartment is truly too small or if you just have too many things.
Assess Your Family Size
There is only so much downsizing a person can do when they’re not the only one in a household. It’s much more likely that a family filled with growing kids and pets will need to upgrade their space, whereas an individual who is single and has an abundance of things would require a Marie Kondo-esque process to hone in on what it is that is really necessary. Similarly, if your family is growing and a new member is on the way, that studio with one window or no safe outdoor access may mean a move is in the cards.
You’re Now Working from Home
Perhaps the only positive that has come from the pandemic is the ability to work from home. As corporations alter the way they conduct business, more and more employees have been able to work remotely from their computers. This can be near impossible if you have a roommate and live in a small apartment. Similarly, an upgrade can provide the space you need if you’re in a studio apartment and need a dedicated work area that your unit just doesn’t provide. Check out these apartments that come with a home office!
Gaining a New Partner
Before you decide that you and your new partner can make it work in your studio, consider each of your lifestyles and goals. Studios are economical, but they provide little separation or privacy in the end. Need a break? You may have to take a walk rather than have the luxury of reclining on your sofa. Opposite work schedules? It’s possible to make it work with an eye mask, but chances are, your night owl partner will get on your early-morning nerves and vice versa.
If you’ve been resourceful with your space and smart with your organization but still have no luck with organizing your things, it may just be time to opt for a larger space. If you haven’t done your due diligence to make things work within your space, it’s time. Much like dense cities, it may be helpful to build upward in order to create more space – think: bookshelves, floating shelves, hanging organizers, etc. If you can organize your things and hopefully get rid of the ones you don’t need – an upgrade may not be all that necessary in the end.
What Can You Afford?
In some cases, money may help or hurt your case for organizing. If you’re planning to upgrade to a better building with a number of benefits, you may pay more in housing but less overall. For example, canceling that gym membership for your new building’s resident-only facility. If they cover your utilities whereas the other building did not, it may equal out in cost. On the other hand, if you’re swapping buildings for space but receive no additional space, you may find that the extra cost is not logical. Need to double-check your budget? Use this handy rent calculator to see what you can afford.
Are You Overly Sentimental?
Individuals who place a lot of extra value on the things they’re given may need to spend some time reflecting before trading in their unit. Saving birthday cards, receipts “just in case,” or the drawings from when you were in elementary school may all be signs that it’s time to reconsider what matters. Could the space underneath your bed be used to fit all of your shoes strewn about your home if you removed that baby blanket that is in shreds? Being honest will help you understand what you’re working with in the end.
You’re the Entertainer
It’s unlikely that you would be considering an upgrade in the case of the occasional get-together at your place. But, if you’ve found yourself as the new go-to socialite or if you frequent hosting his part of your job description, you may consider how your space fits into that mold. Sure, sitting on someone’s murphy bed during cocktail hour is not nearly as aesthetic as a massive penthouse – consider whether your social circle cares or if you truly care. It’s easy to yearn for a certain look. However, unless you find that the cost of an upgrade would be offset with in other areas, look to spruce up your current space rather than move. You can also look at homes that come with a common outdoor space, you may not see as high of a rent hike than if you rented a home with a private outdoor space.
Can You Find the Things You Need?
One of the tell-tale signs for needing bigger space is that you simply can’t keep track of the things you have. Fancy kitchen gadgets, winter wear, board games, if your home is so crowded you can’t even keep track of the things that matter. That may mean packing things up and upgrading. On the other hand, if you have so many things that there are some still sitting in their original packaging unused – that’s a sign you’re purchasing more than you need and more importantly, taking up more space than they should. There’s a very fine line to keep aware of for your space’s success.
The Bottom Line
Leaving your too-small apartment for a larger space is a personal decision that will depend on several factors. If you’ve found through these questions that you are truly short on space despite having the appropriate amount of things, a larger apartment may be in the future. On the other hand, if these questions highlight your problem of having too much space – take the time and resources to make your space manageable. Whether it be donation, organizing your goodies, or another space-saving method, making your small apartment work for you is crucial.
Kylee was born and raised just outside of Sacramento in a small town full of history and charm. She stays up-to-date on the real estate market and hopes to empower hopeful buyers and sellers to make the best decisions for themselves. Kylee is particularly interested in bridging the gap for younger generations, helping them understand the power of owning and investing in real estate.