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Downsize without sacrificing style or comfort

March 4, 2024
Downsize without sacrificing style or comfort

Moving to a smaller home can feel daunting, but with some thoughtful planning, you can downsize your space without compromising your lifestyle. Here are some tips for making the transition gracefully while maintaining your sense of style and comfort.

Take stock of your belongings

The first step is to thoroughly go through your current living space and assess what you actually need and use. Be ruthless about eliminating clutter – if you haven’t worn it in years, it’s probably time to donate it.

Make piles for:

  • Keep – items I love and use regularly
  • Donate/sell – decent items I no longer need
  • Trash – broken or unsalvageable items

Go through all areas:

  • Closets
  • Kitchen cabinets & appliances
  • Furniture
  • Decor items
  • Linens
  • Media/books/papers

Purging before you move makes packing easier and you won’t waste money moving things you don’t need.

Choose multifunctional furniture

Look for furniture that can serve more than one purpose in your new smaller home. Some ideas:

  • Ottomans with storage space inside
  • Sofas or chairs with pull-out beds for guests
  • Dining tables that double as work surfaces
  • Murphy beds that fold into the wall to free up space

Dual-purpose furniture lets you get more use out of every piece.

Seek creative storage solutions

Storage always becomes more limited in a smaller residence, so look for creative ways to keep clutter contained.

  • Install wall-mounted cabinets or shelving in open wall space
  • Use furniture with built-in storage like bench seats with hidden compartments
  • Utilize vertical space with tall bookshelves or shelving units
  • Use lidded baskets or storage ottomans to hide items
  • Rent a storage unit for infrequently used items like holiday decor

Strategic storage keeps your home feeling neat and organized.

Edit your wardrobe

Take your new space into account when evaluating your clothes. Ask yourself:

  • What clothes do I actually wear regularly? Seasonally?
  • What essentials do I need for work, leisure, exercise?
  • What pieces could I easily mix and match into multiple outfits?

Choose versatile, lasting over trendy. Stick to classic styles in neutral colors. Only keep essentials that fit your lifestyle.

Create ambiance with lighting

Proper lighting is key to making a small space feel warm and inviting.

  • Use dimmers, smart bulbs, and table lamps for flexible lighting options
  • Add accent lighting around artwork or shelving for a soft glow
  • Reflective surfaces like mirrors or metallics help brighten
  • Layer lighting – overhead plus table/floor lamps
  • Swap bulbs for warmer LED lighting

Lighting can transform the feel of a room and make it more relaxing.

Define separate spaces

Without full walls dividing rooms, delineate separate living areas with furniture arrangements and rugs.

  • Bookcases, screens, or curtains create divisions between spaces like living and sleeping areas
  • Rugs define sitting, working, or dining zones
  • Face seating inward to create intimate conversational areas
  • Minimize wide open walkways which make rooms feel empty

Thoughtfully arranged furnishings can give a studio feel like a one-bedroom.

With some adjustments, downsizing can be an opportunity to simplify your life, not a sacrifice. The key is focusing on quality over quantity – identifying what you truly value most and finding creative ways to incorporate those essentials, including style and comfort, into your new smaller home.

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