The Minimalist Movement is on the rise. Tiny homes are emerging as a trend and according to research by The Tiny Life, 38% of tiny-home owners are over the age of 50. Those nearing retirement who are recent (or soon-to-be) empty nesters are now focusing on fewer things and more experiences, leaving more cash flow to enjoy the finer things. While minimizing their spaces they are maximizing their lives and they want their tinier home to accommodate their big life.
There are many reason people choose to make the move to a smaller space, change in family, financial situations and sometimes age. In all those cases, you are moving your family and changing your lifestyle, which is never easy — and with smaller space, there can be some challenges if you aren’t prepared. Here are a few ideas on how to prepare for the move and make the best of your new space.
BEFORE YOU MOVE
Start early and plan: Most of us don’t decide on downsizing at the last minute. Finding a new place will take time, and of course selling the old one just as long. Start thinking about how small you want to go, will you be moving from a five-bedroom to two? Who will be moving with you? Do you have family members that are not planning to move with you, what will you do with their stuff? Start making plans to hold an estate sale or donate the items you don’t want or need to take with you. If you already know or have found a place to live, find a floor plan as soon as you can, so you can start figuring out what furniture will fit into the space and what needs to go. Smaller spaces will require smaller furniture, if you sell your old stuff you will save money on the movers and you can now splurge on higher end furniture that will fit your new lifestyle and space.
Make lists: Go room by room and check what you have and what you really need and want to keep. Some things will be keepsakes and some just need to be trashed. You can make an inventory list by rooms or master lists such as furniture/clothing/memorabilia and keepsake. Have two columns: Keep and Gone. Make sure your Gone list is bigger than the Keep! There is luxury in freedom from stuff.
Ditch the duplicates and sort, sort and sort!: According to top fashion advisors, clothing items you haven’t worn in two seasons must go. Don’t sweat over the extra T-shirt or the dress you haven’t worn in three years, lose it! Check your kitchen — lots of gadgets! Are you really using them? Will you need them in your new lifestyle? How many mixing bowls do you really need? You can even test yourself; every time you use a cup mark it. Did you really use all of your 12 glasses? What about the extra set in the closet you haven’t used in year. Time to let it go! Yes sing along as you declutter your space.
AFTER YOU MOVE
Multifunction: Furniture and appliances that are multifunctional are key! Look into upgrading appliances in order to create a powerhouse of cooking with fewer items. There are plenty of multifunction ovens such as the Miele Combi-Steam oven. Not only is it a convection oven, it has speed cooking and steam! You get three appliances in one, taking up one spot in a small kitchen. Small appliances such as the InstantPot can replace a steamer, rice cooker and slow cooker, while adding the power of pressure-cooking. If you are remodeling think about the counter space in your kitchen and how you can add more.A great solution is the a multi tasking sink! This lovely contraption, finally made its way from the Europe and rapidly becoming popular in the US. Your sink will come with accessories that will close and convert it to additional counter top that can be used for chopping, drying dishes and even serving.
Think of furniture such as a sleeper sofa for the occasional guest, or a coffee table with storage, for all your family room needs. Some even come pre-wired so you can play your music and charge your phone, all from your coffee table!
While looking for your new home, look for rooms that can have multifunctions. If you need office space or a spot for yoga, can this room be big enough to add a daybed and can it be used as a guest room? Skip the formal dining room, most people don’t use them, and consider converting it into an office, or a den — add glass doors to create a quiet space to read.
If you are ready to start decluttering (even if you are not moving or downsizing yet) make sure to join a local Buy Nothing group on Facebook and re-gift you treasures to your neighbors.
The secret master indulgence: Many are adding a coffee bar to the master bedroom. You can create a built-in space or just use some unique and enclosed space. Convert an old armoire to a full-service coffee spot – you’ll be able to close the doors and have a beautiful piece of furniture without seeing the functionality inside. Don’t forget to add a little fridge inside so that you can store the creamer or the fancy face cream or your meds, adding more purpose to your small space solution, and relieving stress on a small kitchen.
Custom Cabinetry: Using custom cabinetry might seem like a huge expense, but this is a luxury you can’t afford to miss on in a small space. The space is small which make it easier to splurge on higher end cabinet for your kitchen, bathroom and even your closets. Less cabinet, less cost, which makes the expense more manageable. The importance of custom cabinets is that you can utilize every nook and cranny of your specific home, instead of wasting precious space on fillers and such. Custom cabinets will also allows you to create storage in the unique architecture of your home, where stock cabinet just won’t do the job.
The Urban mudroom – Most chances you will not have room for a mudroom, but we all need a spot to drop out stuff. Adding a cabinet with deep drawers will be perfect for dropping your bags and keeping them out of sight, add some electricity inside to charge your phone and you are all set and organized without spreading your stuff all around the house.
It’s all about downsizing possessions to upscale your lifestyle!
Article By: Anna Gibson
Visit her website here: https://akgdesignstudio.com/