Downsizing is a hot topic today. It’s something many boomers and seniors are doing as their sweet kids leave the nest, sometimes for homes far away, while others are choosing to become “mobile,” traveling hither and yon to help with multigenerational family needs in more than one area. That may also require downsizing. To help both camps, I have a very interesting guest post for you on just that topic:
Downsizing is an exciting process that brings a renewed sense of freedom for empty nesters. But with fewer possessions and a smaller space comes a challenge: how do you maintain a comfortable, homey atmosphere? When you can no longer rely on a home filled to the brim with decades of memories, it takes some effort to foster an inviting space. Here are a few simple ways you can ensure your new place is less house but more home.
Get Creative with Your Furniture
Downsizing is a practical process, but it’s important to inject creativity into your smaller space as well. Though you’ll likely need to replace many of your larger pieces of furniture, don’t rush toward the first chair or sofa that fits your dimensional requirements. Take the time to find creative furniture and décor that you really love.
Of course, creative and practical are not mutually exclusive. Keep a lookout for fun pieces designed to maximize space and creativity. Stackable modular shelves, for example, can be easily arranged into any number of configurations. Stack them all together in the living room or plant a few shelves across several rooms for added hominess.
Don’t Skimp on the Rugs
Don’t underestimate the power and magic of rugs. When you move to a smaller space, they can make a huge impact on the overall warmth of your home. From round area rugs in the dining room to runners in the hallway, there is no better way to liven up hardwood floors and bland carpets.
Another benefit of rugs: sound dampening. The last thing you want is a townhome or condo that functions like an echo chamber. Rugs will insulate and dampen the many sounds of daily living (plus they’ll protect your bare feet from chilly floors on cold winter mornings!).
When It Comes to Art: Think Big
Yes, you’re downsizing. But that doesn’t mean you should downsize your art. Hanging large pieces in small spaces is actually a great way to make a big impact—and if you choose wisely, art can go a long way toward filling an empty space with homey warmth. The best option? Artwork that you personally connect with. Whether it’s a piece that’s been in the family for generations or a classic painting you’ve long admired and loved, find space on your walls and enjoy the added warmth.
Throw a Housewarming Party
They call it “housewarming” for a reason! One of the best ways to ensure your new house is warm and homey is to start things off with a housewarming party. Invite family, neighbors (old and new), friends from church, and others to your new space. While the gathering might be a bit cozy, it’s a wonderful way to imbue your space with happy memories right from the start.
Keep (a Few) of Your Books
Modern technology allows us to confine our entire book collection to a single digital device—an invaluable tool for downsizers. But what you don’t want is a new home that’s completely devoid of the smells, sights, and textures of physical books.
Key To Downsizing
The key is to land somewhere in the middle. Go digital, but keep a small collection of your favorites. As you’re trimming your collection down to size, ask yourself: would I read this book again? Did I love this book enough to pass it on to a friend? If the answer to either question is no, add it to the “go” pile and don’t look back.
Weren’t those great tips? Important things to consider for those who are planning on aging in place. How about you? Are you downsizing? Staying put? Or maybe even upsizing as you deal with multigenerational issues? We’d love to hear.