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Downsizing and Design


The kids have moved out and suddenly the family home that served you for so many years seems rather empty.  You have decided to downsize.

For many, this is something that can be intimidating.  Moving can be a hassle: the search for the right home to suit this new journey in your life, the work involved in selling, what to keep, what to purge out to fit the new smaller home,  and getting that family home ready to sell.

In my opinion; the best way to break down downsizing, is this:

  1. Choose where you are going; this may depend on the stage in your life, a smaller house, a condo, an adult community, a family member’s home. Working with a good real-estate agent is a good place to start.  They know the best places to look at, and can give you additional advice on the home you will sell and its value.
  2. Make the decision! When? ASAP or in a few years.  Many decide to downsize in a few years (3-5) and decide that they will prep their home in the meantime so it is in top shape when sell time comes.  This is when working with a designer is a good idea.  Simply Design can help you make the right renovation choices to make your home enjoyable for you to live in, but help keep the reno budget in check and the colour choices neutral so it appeals to the masses.
  3. The plan for the new home… What do you keep, what do you let go of? What will fit from your current home to the new one, what will you replace?  Will the new home need updates?  This step brings you back to the need for a designer.  Once you have chosen a new home to move to, Simply Design can help you help with purging, space planning and to get quotes on potential updates for the new home whether it be full renovations or just some décor changes to make it your own.

When moving from a full family home to a smaller compact space, organization is everything!  Just because your new home is smaller, it doesn’t have to feel smaller.  Things to consider investing in when downsizing are:

  1. Closet organizers. This is number one.  Most people don’t realize how much valuable space there is in a closet, and the investment in closet organization should be the number one choice you make.  You can increase what you can put away with well planned out organization solutions.
  2. Kitchen and vanity organizers and convenience accessories. Chances are your new home has a smaller kitchen. That means you need to make the most of the cabinets.  And let’s face it, as we get older, getting down on our hands and knees is not suitable.  By adding organizers such as pullouts, Lazy Susans, dividers, extra shelves, etc. to the cabinets, you can increase the storage capacity and make everything easier to use.
  3. Under your bed is not just a home for dust bunnies. If looking to buy new furniture for your new smaller home, consider a bed with drawers underneath.  Under the bed is often wasted space.  Oh sure, you may shove a bin or two under there, but drawers will maximize that valuable real-estate.
  4. Multipurpose furnishings… Is your home the hub of family gatherings, the place the kids come to stay over the holidays? A dining space can double as a hobby space, a home office can double as a guest room, a living room with a pullout couch can also be a guest room.  With some organization and a good plan, any space can serve multiple functions.  For example; you plan to use the second bedroom as your office, but you can have space in the closet for some exercise equipment and use a couple of nice yoga mats in lieu of an area rug. Now it can be the space for your morning fitness routine.  Plus, adding a murphy bed can keep the space open and airy, but quickly convert it to a bedroom when the grandkids come to stay.
  5. Keep it simple. Organize seasonal things into bins, purge out extra china sets and have everyday glasses that are formal enough for your dinner parties.
  6. Clean lines for furnishings. Use the height of your space and put collectibles on shelving or in display cabinets. Let go of things you don’t need, a very difficult thing, but so empowering once you do it.

Downsizing is the mark of a new chapter in your life.  Like everything in life, it can be however you look at it.  Look at it as a positive choice and it will be an enjoyable journey.  For more personalized downsizing advice, reach out to us at Simply Design.