We have had several clients recently who are downsizing from their family home to a smaller place as they are empty nesters or want something smaller for their retirement. During this process (that is what it is!) try not to be sentimental, as it is a move fraught with some tough decision making. You can save your all your memories but not all your stuff. However, it can be very liberating as you have probably been living with stuff that you haven’t used for years. You’ll be asking : ” What should come with us? What should we keep?” Start early, and sort your belongings a little at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed and take only the items that fit your lifestyle at the moment. e.g If you don’t entertain any more, don’t bring all those serving platters and dinner sets to your new home.
Next start thinking about the following: What do I really, really love? What could I live without? Be sure you have only what you love and need. (Prioritise) Then cut the priority list in Half. (Its a bit like you are packing a bag to take away on holiday – you don’t need it all.) Other good questions to ask are: When was the last time I used this? If you’ve not used it in the last year it is definitely on the disposables list.
You could get some interior design advice to help with this big move. Designers have a good eye for how space works, and will have great ideas on how to reuse your existing pieces. They will also have innovative storage solutions and ways to keep it simple, but interesting. However you can go through each room in your current home and decide what you want to take. Contrary to what many of you will think, you should take less pieces but bigger sized ones. Smaller pieces will make the new place seem cluttered. You will feel like you are living in a milk carton. Bigger pieces are always grander.
Choose the big pieces that you want to take wisely. Are they practical/beautiful? Could they be put to a different use? Draw on a floor plan of your new home where you think the big pieces could go. Measure them to make sure they fit and make plan of action of what goes where. This is particularly useful on moving day when everyone will be asking you a trillion questions. Then, you can fill in the spaces with a few smaller things.
You’ll need to downsize the want list too! Think outside the square and be open to new ideas and suggestions. (Interior Designers love helping here!) What you had in your last place may not work, or be too big for your new home. You can’t have everything and you will use your smaller space differently than where you are now. You will not need two dishwashers. You will not have room for a walk in pantry. ( A lot of kitchen storage has gone to drawers these days.) You will have to make rooms do double duty so everyone has their own play space e.g the spare bedroom can double up as a study, or music room. You can see from the pictures that although the space is clean and fresh, great storage ideas have been used eg drawers under the bed, and the way that texture with the use of different woods has helped create interest without it being overwhelming. Clear, crisp paint finishes and the absence of clutter have helped to make it an easy space to live in.
Below the kitchen space is divided from the main room with the use of a bar made of wood. Again, nothing big and bold to block up the flow of the space. Being able to see through helps to create the feeling of space. The texture of the wood adds interest and note none of it is matched up as this in itself adds interest and makes the room look like it has evolved.
Once you’ve decided what pieces you are taking, then start one room at a time, sorting one cupboard at a time. Make a Rubbish-pile, Charity/Donation-pile, Family-pile, and an I-want-to-keep-pile. So it doesn’t seem so overwhelming, set the timer for an hour and go for it. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve! If you don’t know where to start and you are in downsizing, please contact us. We’d love to help!
Have a look at our previous posts for inspiration and also look at the following links: