Tips for Downsizing in Chicago

Tips for Downsizing in Chicago

Want to move to Chicago?

The upsides are many. There’s more to do for fun, including swimming in Lake Michigan, touring the museums, enjoying streets fairs, hearing free live music, and exploring the many public parks. Even the Lincoln Park Zoo is free all year.

Chicago also has a greater variety of food, from the many ethnic grocery stories, to the endless restaurants, offering everything from award-winning sushi to ice cream tacos.

Life in Chicago can be great, but it has a major downside: It’s expensive.

If your move to the Windy City has you tightening your belt, the best area to cut back on is apartment space. If you can afford to live in 440 square feet instead of 770, then you’ll have more money for all the activities Chicago offers. You’ll also be able to pay the higher taxes and other big city expenses that you don’t pay outside of the Windy City.

Cutting back might prove to be a challenge, however, so here are a few tips for downsizing in Chicago.

Throw out your stuff.

The best way to downsize is to just sell or throw out everything you’re not using. If you have furniture you can’t fit in your new apartment, you can try to sell it, or even donate it to Goodwill. Unless it’s a piece worth thousands of dollars, you’re not losing much by passing it on. To downsize all of your possessions, go through them all and ask how often you really use each one. You might be shocked at all the things you have tucked away, that you haven’t worn in a year, have never used, or have a duplicate of. You might feel like you need a lot of space, but after you get rid of all the stuff cluttering your life, you probably won’t need as much space as you thought.  

Get organized.

When you have a lot of stuff in a small space, things can turn into apartment apocalypse pretty quickly. Instead of wading through stuff like a hoarder, you’ll need to get organized if you’re going to survive in a small space. You’d be surprised at how much space you really have, once you start using it optimally. Organization comes down to containers and vertical space, so head to the dollar store and check out their storage selection. Once you have a bin for everything under your sink and shelves making use of all the vertical space in your closet, you might feel like your apartment has doubled in size.

Get self storage.

When you’ve organized to the max, and cut back on everything except what you really need, then it’s time to consider renting one of the many cheap storage units in Chicago. Sometimes, you have things you really want to keep: a wedding dress, musical instruments, or holiday decorations. If you can’t say goodbye, find a storage unit that still saves you money, and put all your extra goodies in there. What the trash bag and organization can’t save, tuck away safely in a self storage locker for later.

Moving to a city such as Chicago comes with plenty of challenges. Smaller places come with better neighborhoods or lower rent, so if you’re hoping to stick to your budget and still enjoy life, downsizing is the way to go.

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