Downsizing is usually an exciting new chapter for most but can also lead to stress and anxiety for anyone who loves their belongings but isn’t quite sure how to make the transition. Empty nesters or anyone moving from a large home into an apartment all face the challenge of creating a new environment with a more limited space for all their belongings.
As with any move, it’s a good idea to start with a checklist for making your new life in a cosier space.
My top tips for downsizing are:
Work out whether you want to use your current pieces and make them work in your new place.
You may want to get rid of everything and start fresh, in which case, you’ll need to work out a plan for selling or gifting all your current belongings. You need to look at the style of your current furniture and assess whether this will work in your new apartment. If the two don’t work, you may want to select a few key pieces that you’re attached to and make those work in the new home. If you want to stick entirely with your current look, you need to take into account the new space and work out which pieces are going to fit and which aren’t. Even if you’re going to keep your current look, I would suggest freshening up the look with some new décor, maybe some cushions, throws, décor pieces, and artwork.
Once you’ve decided on your way forward with your style, you need to work out your needs. Is that oversized sofa going to fit in your new compact living room? Do you feel like you should keep something just because you spent a lot of money on it? Be very conscious of what you decide to take with you and make sure it works beautifully and functionally in the new space. The last thing you want in your new home is clutter and overwhelm, which leads to my third tip, and is really always my favourite tip in any styling situation.
Decluttering – my favourite thing! Obviously, with any move, when downsizing, decluttering is essential. You’ll need to go from room to room and look with a very objective eye about what items you really need to keep and what can go. Starting fresh in your new home with no clutter will be very liberating.
My fourth tip is to consider quality and function. As you now have a smaller space, each piece needs to be very functional. We need to think quality and function over quantity. We don’t want the new apartment to be full of pieces that we don’t need and won’t use. Choose one great piece of furniture that makes a statement, and items that can multipurpose. For example, pieces that offer additional storage such as ottomans.
My final tip, as with any decorating situation, if you’re starting to feel out of your depth and getting overwhelmed, hire a professional. This can come in two forms in the case of downsizing. One is to hire a professional decluttering company. If you’re leaving the family home of many years, this may be an entirely overwhelming task, and a professional may be just what you need to get the job done. You can also hire an interior decorator which will help you decide on the style of your new home. Whether you want a completely start fresh in your new space or to integrate some old pieces with new, a decorator will be able to pull the look together for you and create the new haven of your dreams.
Either way, happy downsizing!