From family home to apartment: tips for downsizing
Whether you are empty nesters and the family home has become too big or looking to move out of the burbs into a smaller space in the city, downsizing can be a drag!
What do you do with the oversized furniture, the large collection of family albums and all the gear in the shed?
Downsizing can cause a lot of stress as you face the challenge of fitting all your belongings into a smaller footprint. But if you plan ahead, you can reduce that anxiety and create a stylish home you’ll love without missing a thing!
Photo credit: Indeed Decor
Here are our tips to getting organised and making the process of downsizing a little easier:
1. Get planning
As soon as you’ve made the decision to move to a smaller home, start planning. Downsizing can cause a lot of emotion and conflicts, particularly when there is family involved. Write a list of all the things you love and then the things you can live without. Let everyone know what your intentions are, so that they’re all on your page before you start clearing out.
2. Decide on your lifestyle needs
Determining your lifestyle needs prior to moving or even finding your next home will really help you decide what’s important for this next chapter of your life. Do you need an office or simply a nook with a desk? Do you need to space for important furniture pieces? What lifestyle do you want to embrace?
3. Change your mind-set
If you’re downsizing due to financial reasons or because you can no longer physically manage your family home, it can be easy to fall into a negative mind-set. While you’ll be losing square footage, there are a lot of things to love about going smaller; lower costs, easier upkeep and less pressure to host large gatherings. Perhaps you’ll be closer to great cafés, entertainment and shopping strips.
4. Label bins with ‘keep’, ‘sell’, ‘charity’
Set up three plastic tubs or bins with the labels ‘keep, ‘sell’ and ‘charity’ so you can start to sorting your possessions. Give your family a chance to grab sentimental pieces before you do so. The average downsizer only keeps one-third of their belongings so ensure you’ve got enough space to sort your goods.
Once you’ve sorted your ‘keep’ items, start editing it even more to reduce clutter and ensure you’re only taking the important items. Just like when you style a room, take a break before coming back and removing a few things to get it right.
6. Don’t throw it, auction it
When you’re moving, a little extra cash in the kitty can be very helpful. Before you think about getting rid of antiques, furniture or homewares consider auctioning some items. Who knows what you might get for that old china set or silverware that’s just collecting dust.
7. Play with your floor plan
It’s hard to see what furniture pieces will and won’t fit without getting out your floor plan. Measure up the pieces you would like to take with you and draw them on to the plan. And double check your home’s access, particularly if you’re moving into an apartment. This will save you from lugging around a heavy cabinet only to find it doesn’t fit in the elevator!
Inspiration from Pinterest
8. Get inspired
Jump on Pinterest, flick through interior magazines or head into furniture stores to gather as much inspiration as possible. If you are furniture shopping, have your plan handy with your existing items so that you can work out what new pieces you need. This will help give you styling and organisation ideas for your new pad.
Hawkesbury Buffet with sleek sliding doors, perfect for storage.
9. Find smart storage solutions
The biggest issue with downsizing is how to keep the clutter out. Find smart storage solutions that fit into your smaller space. Incorporate items like our Malmo coffee table which has draws perfect for housing remotes, magazines or those board games. Buffets are also a great item to have in your home to place serving ware like platters, vases or sentimental possessions you don’t want on show like photo albums.
10. Change your habits
Downsizing to a smaller home or apartment simply means you don’t have the storage possibilities you would of a larger space. This can actually be very beneficial as you realise you can’t collect and hold onto everything. Those boxes of Christmas decorations may need to be reduced to a small collection, your wardrobe may need to be paired back and the kitchen junk drawer possibly needs to make way for cutlery. The reality is, you may need to adapt a one-in, one-out policy and change some of your old collecting habits!
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