Living Large With Less Space
October 29, 2018
Like many of you, I find myself daydreaming about downsizing. Why?
Because I no longer agree with the conventional line of thinking that “bigger is necessarily better.” I actually think that moving to a smaller space...sometimes a home, condo, townhome or even a retirement community is a chance to fashion a space that is completely our own. A fresh start. And when done right, downsizing can be a wonderful step forward!
A move of any kind...whether moving to a larger home or a smaller space is a lifestyle change. And one of the most common mistakes made is trying to make do with the decor, furnishings, and artwork from a completely different style of a former home (and life) and plop them directly into the comparable room of the new space.
For a number of reasons, this generally doesn’t work well. Stacie recently helped her clients who were moving into a retirement community with this very challenge. They had been struggling with how to make their existing furnishings from their much larger home feel special in a much smaller footprint. Instead, Stacie helped them create a fresh start with new furnishings that better fit the layout and needs of their new home.
Our couple has plenty of space to add some of their personal treasures but also have the experience of doing something special for themselves as they create a fresh start. Here is how they made their downsizing experience a fun and exciting process:
Use downsizing as an opportunity to rethink your decorating style.
Hey, if your gonna change, why not change the style that you have already had for years. Your taste has likely evolved and changed just like your lifestyle. A move to a new place gives you the ideal opportunity to reevaluate your decor and take you in a brand new direction.
Keep the pieces that you love and get rid of the rest.
I know. I've mentioned this idea a million times before... but letting go is so hard. I get it. You have perfectly good furniture that has years of wear and tear left in it. But the hard reality is that if it doesn’t fit the new style of a home or work with the scale of the space, all you will be left with is the feeling that “ the furnishings used to look good in the home we used to have.” Hardly the inspiring feeling you want to achieve when you are moving into a new space.
Purging is a hard choice to make, but it can be exhilarating as well. Keep all of your “must have” treasures...the things that truly delight you... but release the rest.
Instead of hanging onto to the things that represent a past well lived, consider giving them to family or friends, donate to a wonderful non-profit organization or find a consignment shop that can sell your gently used furnishings. Give yourself the freedom to start a new life fresh without the burden of the past. Your new home should be as wonderful as your old one!
Rethink how furnishings can be placed or used in your new home.
Sometimes, we can’t imagine how a room or a home can be styled and decorated differently than how it has always been. We all get into a decorating rut. Each of the rooms in a new living space has its own life and a new purpose. And having the right mix of furniture and a new arrangement can make any room feel fresh, cohesive and comfortable!
The first step is always to plan the best layout and needs for your unique space. If you feel like you just can’t see all of the possibilities, it may be time to reach out for assistance. A smaller space might also require finding pieces that can be used for multi-purposes or that have extra storage capabilities.
Really, I think the most important secret to success when downsizing is to release the impulse and pressure that you might feel to duplicate your past home or way of living. Let yourself dream a little dream. It’s an opportunity to write a new and beautiful story. And as always, we'd love to help you write yours!
Have a wonderful last few days of October and Happy Halloween,