Deciding to downsize your home can seem like a great idea which is why more people are doing it. You don’t need as much space, you lower your cost on utilities, and you become more eco-friendly all at the same time!
Once you start putting the plan into action, though, you may face some challenges. Mainly, you have less space for all the stuff you’ve collected throughout the years. Moving into a smaller home can be a stressful pain point, but only if you allow it to be.
Follow these tips to make the most of your smaller home and get through the move stress-free.
- Take advantage of multi-functional pieces
Your space will be limited, but that doesn’t mean the functionality of your home should be. Instead of sacrificing some of your wants, find ways to incorporate room for them with multi-functional pieces. You’ll have to get creative in some instances, but in most places the opportunity to use something for more than one function isn’t too hard to find. Here are a few examples:
- Impromptu guest room. Need a place for a guest but don’t have an extra room? Choose a pull-out couch or day bed that you can place in your living room and make up for the occasional guest.
- Creating an office space. If an office space isn’t necessary for your lifestyle but you’d like to have a working place every now and then, pick a large dining table where you can work or convert your laundry room to have a desk area.
- Additional seating. Only have space for one couch but know you’ll sometimes want to entertain more guests? Choose a large ottoman instead of a coffee table that people can sit on.
This will be a two-stage process. First, get rid of anything you don’t need to take with you when you move homes. All the random junk you forgot existed doesn’t need to occupy space in your downsized home. You won’t have room for it anyways.
Then, once you move into your home and start unpacking, declutter again. Anything that you thought you needed but actually didn’t can go. Make efforts to keep your home clean regularly rather than stuffing it full. Clutter has been proven to amplify stress, especially in smaller spaces. Keep your home happy and healthy by keeping it clean.
- Splurge on the focal point of each room
In your efforts to adapt your lifestyle to a smaller home, you may start to feel like a minimalist. This attitude is essential to keeping your home spacious and livable, but it doesn’t mean you can’t splurge on any important items. For the best strategy here, go big on the focal piece of each room.
Start with your living room. Even if it’s smaller than you’re used to, you should still have a great couch for hanging out with friends and family. Don’t limit yourself! Go for that large u-shaped couch of your dreams. It may even be more practical in a smaller space as it helps optimize your seating opportunities but still leaves room for floor space in the middle and even behind.
Next, think about your kitchen. What’s most important to you? Some people would vote the refrigerator, but other people are deeply attached to the idea of having and island. Making room for a large island in a more confined space isn’t always easy, but it does make sense to add more countertop space. Look for islands designed for small spaces, or ones that you can roll out of your kitchen when needed.
Finish off your bedroom with the bed of your dreams. Don’t shrink your bed-size just because your room is smaller. Go big so you have plenty of space to get the restorative sleep you need after a big move. If you can’t go big on size, at least splurge for one of a better quality.
- Find opportunities for storage
You know that spare bedroom that you used in your old home for all the stuff you just didn’t know what to do with? You probably won’t have that option anymore once you downsize.
You’ll have to get creative with your storage spaces to maximize your opportunities. Start by looking down. Any spaces you have that allow for storage underneath should be used! This means benches, ottomans, coffee tables, and even your bed frame.
Next, look up! Are there any places you store items on top of such as book shelves or cabinets? If not, could you hang a floating shelf on your wall to give you just a little more space for those extra knick knacks that made it with you through the move? The more creative you can be, the more storage opportunities you will find.
- Get personal
In a larger home you may have felt the pressure to fill all the empty space with pieces of decor, but these probably won’t make it with you in the move. Instead of feeling the need to fill all your empty spaces with random items, make your minimalist decor more personal.
Add small, personal touches to your decor, whether it’s a photo of your favorite place, a souvenir from a meaningful trip, or an old family heirloom. Use these items to add a touch of love to your home. You may have less total decor in the end, but the smaller amount you have will carry much more meaning.
A home downsize presents a great opportunity to reevaluate what fills your home. In the end, you’ll find that it’s not the amount of space that matters but what’s inside.
Remember you always have the potential to remodel your home to make it more functional for you. When the time comes that you realize you need to add a new breath of life in your small home, call in the pros who can help you make the most of your home.
Author: Laurie Larson
Author’s bio: Laurie Larson is a freelance writer from NC. She writes on home, health, and lifestyle topics.
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