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Tips for Space Planning When Downsizing

Updated on June 20, 2013

Measure Twice Move Once

If you are thinking "Let's take it and see if it fits" is the way to plan your space you'll end up with too much stuff and a lot that just doesn't fit anywhere. This is a plan that guarantees things will be moved more than once. Downsizing is a process and space planning is the first step to help you figure out how to design your new home to incorporate existing furniture and accessories while addressing the need for any new pieces. Being flexible about the existing space brings forward many possibilities never considered before.

There are two things to remember that are important in designing a comfortable and safe home. First, selecting only the pieces that fit properly and mean the most to you and then more importantly what to leave behind. The second part of this plan could be the most important of the two because it's critical not to crowd the smaller space just because you own something and can't let go of it.

Here's the fun part. The oak chest that has been in the dining room for 25 years doesn't necessarily have to go in the new dining room. Check the measurements of all the rooms, hallways of the new home and see the new possibilities of where it can go. Be creative. It just might be the new television cabinet or console with lots of storage for dvds and cds.

10 Ideas When Planning A Downsizing Move

Here are a few ideas for efficiently utilizing space when downsizing or changing the space in your current home.

1. Request a floor plan of your new home. This will act as a guide to make sure everything fits comfortably including closets and storage space.

2. Even though the floor plan comes with measurements, measure the space yourself for accuracy. Often times the template is flipped. Double check the available storage space.

3. Reject pieces that won't fit your new space. Sell those pieces and buy something the right size.

4. Use tables, ottomans, and other pieces that offer storage.

5. Take all the vertical furniture such as bookcases or curio cabinets for storage. They take up less space.

6. Install closet systems to maximize closet storage space. It will often increase storage by 30%.

7. Don't forget to measure the walls for your art, pictures and decorative items.

8. Unless you are taking a lot of stemware and china with you consider leaving the big china cabinet behind. It takes up a lot of floor space.

9. Consider installing a nice shelving system for collectibles you have decided to take. Shelves will house the collectibles in an organized way without taking floor space.

10. Changing from a king size to a queen size bed will open up a room.

Living In a Smaller Space is About Comfort

Take some time to think about how you want to live in your new home. More than likely it has been many years since you have moved and you have been surrounded by things you have grown to love. Adjust to the idea of moving forward to a different kind of life that offers you conveniences and comforts you are missing now. Focus on that and blend items you love into the new space you are planning. Simplifying life for yourself is a gift.


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