Whether you’re the typical D.C. dweller or transient collegiate resident, you probably got a little excited when you heard chatter about the cherry blossoms. After all, it meant warmth actually exists outside the only warmth you’ve been used to for so long – the one that barely survived inside your apartment this past winter.
The problem is, you promised yourself last winter that this year you were going to do some serious spring cleaning – not just in terms of your stuff, but even your square footage. Now that cherry blossom season is past the end of its peak, you realize that your procrastination is past the end of its own peak also.
It’s time to get rid of that clutter and maybe even prepare for that big move into a smaller space. Change is scary, but just think about the time – and money – you’ll save by taking the leap into an easier kind of living.
It’s really not that bad. Plus, if you choose the right apartment building, you can ensure you’re within walking distance of a Metro station – since you’re definitely sick of stopping at all those dumb lights on M Street. After all, walkable neighborhoods are a big trend, especially within the nation’s capital.
Not sure where to start? Here are five tips for downsizing into that tiny D.C. apartment you know will be your best bet in the long run.
Keep What You Need and Get Rid of the Rest
It can be hard to say goodbye to some of your belongings, especially if they hold any sentimental value, but let’s face it – you’ve never really liked that tattered recliner your grandmother gave you 20 years ago. And that Forever 21 dress you don’t even wear anymore because it’s so two years ago? Purge. You can also donate a lot to your local Salvation Army and sell the rest on Craigslist – or host a yard sale.
Rent a Storage Unit
So you’ve already signed the lease and you’re about to be a proud new resident of that fancy over-priced apartment building on Constitution Avenue that’s just steps away from D.C.’s coolest museums. As much as you’ve purged the unnecessary items that have been sitting around collecting dust, you need a plan for the rest. Good news is D.C. has a ton of cheap storage units you can rent so you can keep those valuables you can’t part with. Just remember to pay the monthly rental fee so you don’t end up on “Storage Wars.”
Keep Track of the Important Stuff
When deciding what to give away or secure in a storage unit, make sure you maintain – and keep close track of – the important things. You never know when your top-security-clearance job at the think tank is going to send you on international travel, so if you misplace your passport during the move, you could get stuck waiting in line again at the Washington Passport Agency. The DMV is also not a fun place to be a second time around, let alone first.
Make Creative Use of Your New Space
Sure, your new apartment is tiny, and that seems a bit scary at first. However, long-time D.C. denizens know how to MacGyver their way out of any situation, and that includes limited space. Add hooks to your walls, stack shelves on top of cabinets and use rectangular or cube-shaped storage containers.
The moving process can be overwhelming, and you may have second thoughts about your decision. However, transitioning into a new apartment building is a great way to make new friends and have the opportunity to explore more of the city.
Still second-guessing yourself? Just remember how long it took you to shovel your driveway during D.C.’s latest snowstorm. Chances are you definitely won’t miss that experience.