Keeping sane when you're downsizing.

If you’re reading this, you probably have thought about downsizing, but the very thought of dealing with all your stuff is enough to make you open another bottle of wine and watch another episode of Hoarders, besides, you love your house, right?

Life and circumstances can change within an instant though.  We might have to change employer, or we might consider moving downtown so we don’t have to commute, or the time has come where the children have moved out of the house and you now have a 2,400 square foot home and it is just the two of you?  Face it, the time will come where we will probably move out of our home and into an 800 square-foot condo.

One of the main things to remember when we are at that turning point is: “You won’t get all your furniture in there!” This can become a very stressful time.  You’ll reduce stress and reap the benefits of living with less, if you follow some basic design steps.

Be realistic – If the sofa is too large, sell it on Craigslist or Kijiji and purchase a sofa that will work. Not all your items will make the cut, but once you get past this hurdle you’re halfway there!
Embrace the new space – Look for its unique benefits.  If the bedroom is tiny, paint the walls in a rich hue, or add wallpaper for extra oomph.  If the condo has high ceilings, take advantage of it. Tall, built-in bookcases are a great way to highlight the high ceilings and a great storage solution!
Dual-purpose – Use a dining chair as a desk chair that can be pulled back to the dining area when needed. Your once small bedroom dresser can be a dining-room buffet.  Lay a handy tray on an ottoman to convert it to a coffee table.
Try Technology – Store your photos and books electronically on tablets, USB sticks and e-readers.
Do it smaller with style – Keep collections together instead of all over the place. Remember that glass items and mirrors will provide reflection and therefore create space. Keep your flooring consistent from one room to the next and use rugs to define spaces.

Don’t give up all your special belongings.  Save the ones you really love best in a closet and put them out as the seasons change or if you’re in the mood for a colour change.

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