Downsizing is a great way to reduce your rent, your utility bills and the amount of “stuff” you have. It’s not as hard as you think – even with children in tow.

Read on for a few ideas that will help the process run a little more smoothly.

Give them the “big” room

Kids who aren’t used to sharing a room may balk at the idea of losing space or privacy. To ease the transition, give them the space to vent – then help them round the corner into the reality of the situation.

One way to lead by example is to downsize yourself! Let the kids have the larger bedroom or the master suite.

The larger bedroom will likely fit two twins – but we recommend bunk beds! With today’s spacious layouts this could easily leave room for a futon seating area which doubles as a bed for guests, a desk and more.

The bathroom

If you’re downsizing to a place with one bathroom everyone will share, make a schedule to ensure everyone can get where they need to be on time. This may mean nighttime showers for the kids and morning ones for adults or vice versa. For busy families, assigned shower times really help things flow on weekdays

Storage

Many apartment communities offer extra storage space in the form of garages you can rent. If this isn’t an option when you’re downsizing, get creative. There are several inexpensive and way-cool storage solution ideas out there. With colorful plastic bins you can label – whether designating each bin for a specific child or a specific purpose (LEGOS, for example!) – having a cool and organized room is a breeze.

Hit up your local dollar store, too, for inexpensive plastic bins of all sizes. These aren’t just useful for your kids’ closets, you can use them to organize cleaning or health and beauty products beneath your sinks or even to contain your spice collection in the pantry!

Paring down

For most parents, this is the “fun” part because most of us would love to get rid of all that stuff our kids never use!  Don’t resort to the brute force of “because I said so” right away. Lead them there gently by making it a competition. Have them go through all their things – toys, clothing, etc. – and make their own garage sale or Goodwill piles. He or she with the biggest pile gets a special prize!

Downsizing doesn’t have to be painful. A fresh, new home – one that’s cozy and clutter-free – can be a bold step forward into a great new phase of life!

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