Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. If you have them, you have to take care of them! There is great freedom in simplicity of living. It is those who have enough but not too much who are the happiest.
—Peace Pilgrim

A slick storage solution
When moving into a condo, especially if you are downsizing from a house, you got to think of what you will do with all your physical possessions.

I can tell if someone downsized from a house when I visit them in a condo. There is too much furniture, too many photos and paintings on the walls, too many books and papers and even cardboard boxes, never unpacked, stacked up against the walls.

Hoarding is a big problem. It can cause fires, make it hard to move around and make cleaning difficult and time consuming.

Older buildings
Older condo buildings were designed for families. They have large two and three bedroom units, either an in-suite or basement storage unit and have a parking spot. New condos are a lot smaller.

Unit lockers
The City of Toronto does not require condos to provide any storage space so many new condo developments stopped offering free units.

Some developments sell storage lockers to new owners and some condos own locker spaces that they rent out. Keep in mind that owners pay monthly common element fees for their locker spaces so it is not free storage.

There are some condominiums that do not have locker spaces.

How to shed belongings
Figure out what is important, what you want to keep. Purge ruthlessly.

Separate the possessions you need to have from the stuff you have never used in years and stuff you will never need again. Then in order of preference give or sell your items to:

Grown children may have a use for all your gardening and outdoor tools, the basement work shop, the washer and dryer, the extra pots, pans, dishes and wall hangings. But then, maybe not.

Garage sales

Hold weekend garage sales until it is all gone. Remember what did not sell this Saturday must be marked down for next week's sale.

Charities, gifts
You can donate to the Salvation Army or find a family of new immigrants who need help getting established. You can make a big difference in someone's life.

Rent a self-storage unit
Still haven't got rid of enough? For temporary storage, you can rent a storage unit. In Toronto self-storage facilities charges about $150 per month for a 5’ by 10’ storage unit, though prices fluctuates with availability.

Between 20 and 30 per cent of their business comes from permanent storage. Over time people spend thousands paying to store stuff they never use.

New way of life
To cope with the lack of space, make rules against taking new stuff into your condo. Imagine that you are a Mongolian herder that lives in a tent. Every two weeks you have to pack everything up and move. How much would you want to own then?

Nothing new should come into the condo unless something goes out. Turn down gifts from family and friends. Assure them that a dinner out or tickets to a play is more appreciated than a wall clock or a large plant.

Stay away from Costco and other big-bulk stores and buy what you need, just what you need and as you need it at your neigbourhood stores.

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