Whether you’re moving from a family home or moving to the busy city from the suburbs where small apartments are the only thing you can afford, downsizing can be a hassle, especially if you have slim to no interior design experience.
Any move can be stressful, however sorting through years of memories and knowing that you cannot take everything with you can be a particularly emotional experience. You will have to consider what to do with all of the storage that previously resided in the garage or backyard shed, what to do with all of your oversized, dark furniture and how to compress your family keepsakes, such as centimental items from your childhood or your children’s childhood and your copious amounts of family albums.
Our apartments here at the Anchorage, Hope Island are very generously sized and can house a lot more furniture than your typical Gold Coast apartment, however if you are moving from a 5 bedroom home, there may be a few larger furniture pieces and keepsakes that you will have to go without.
We thought we would save you some time and give you a few tips on how to make the process of downsizing as pain free as possible…
When you have made the decision to downsize to a smaller home, make sure you are aware and organised when it comes to selecting what belongings you wish to take with you.
If you have been housing furniture and keepsakes that belonged to your children or other family members, make them aware of what you intend to keep and other things that simply will not fit into your new home. Give them the opportunity to keep the furniture or homewares items that you can no longer or allow them to give you the permission to give away or sell any items that they too have no need for.
Keep in mind when sorting out your home, it can be a very emotional experience for everyone involved so give yourself and your other family members plenty of time to cope with this massive change in your life.
Think about the lifestyle you are trying to create…
Ask yourself these simple questions:
“Why have I decided to downsize?”
“What does my ideal lifestyle involve?”
Whether you’re chasing a life by the sea, trying to create a more social environment for yourself or to start enjoying more of your life outdoors rather than in, these are important questions to be sure of when the time comes to move.
Again, this is an emotional process so be patient with yourself when you’re working out what you need to take with you and what items will have to go.
You probably don’t need to hang onto the artwork that your daughter did for you thirty-forty years ago or the photo album that belonged to your great great grandmother with pictures of family members that you never got the opportunity to meet, as hard as the decision would be, you just don’t need it.
A helpful tip for deciding on what to keep and what not to is to ask yourself:“When was the last time I used/looked at this item?” If it’s been more than a year, it’s time to let it go.
Start Planning Furniture Selection and Placement from your Floor Plan
You don’t want to have to go through the pain of transferring your heavy and bulky furniture up 3 flights of stairs, into an elevator and through a narrow hallway just to determine that you actually don’t have space for it.
It may seem like a menial thing to do, but planning each space with the help of your floor plan and measurements of your larger furniture pieces will be very beneficial for you when it comes to moving day.
Remember you don’t have to be an artist for this exercise. You just need to know how to read a measuring tape and how to use a ruler. Simply map out where you are planning to keep your larger items and then make the decision on whether the space will be too cluttered and if you should invest in some smaller, slimline furniture that will better suit your new home.
There’s no reason why moving to a new home can’t be an exciting new adventure. You may want to use this as an opportunity to completely update and transform your interior style. (It’s also a great excuse to go shopping!)
Spend some time on platforms such as Pinterest, Houzz or Instagram that will give you an overwhelming rush of inspiration and excitement. Flip through every interior magazine you can get your hands on and work on a budget and plan to achieve a new look and transform your interior style.
Doing this can also give you some amazing and stylish storage ideas that will give you a bit of peace of mind knowing that not everything has to go.
*Above photos sourced from Pinterest
It’s easy to associate downsizing with negative feelings and emotions, however you will find that all of your memories remain in your mind and don’t actually need to be associated with physical objects. Letting go of some aspects of your previous life will make way for new and exciting adventures and will be the beginning of a new chapter in your life.
Embrace the change.
Create the life you want.
Written by: Sam Goldsmith