This is a sponsored post by Anna Gibson, owner of AKG Design Studio and an award-winning, certified kitchen and bathroom designer. AKG Design Studio is a boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales. Contact Anna at 571-989-2541 or [email protected], and follow her work on Houzz; Pinterest; Facebook and Twitter.
Summer tends to be the time when people buy, sell and really move, a lot. Some will move to bigger homes with lots more space to spread the family and stuff around, and some will select to downsize.
People downsize for many reasons, family, financial and age. In all those cases, we are moving our family and changing our lifestyle, which is never easy — and with smaller space, the challenge is even greater. Here are a few ideas on how to deal with your space before and after the move.
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. While you are searching, this is a good time to start planning. 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? Make 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.
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!
Ditch the duplicates and sort, sort and sort!: According to top fashion advisors, clothing items you haven’t worm 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?
AFTER YOU MOVE
Multi-function: Furniture and appliances that have multi functions are the key! Look into upgrading appliances in order to create a power house of cooking with fewer items. There are plenty of multi-function 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 a crock pot, while adding the power of pressure cooking.
Think of furniture such as a sleeper sofa for the occasional guest, or a coffee table with storage, for all your family room needs.
While looking for your new home, look for a room that can have multi functions. If you need office space or a spot for yoga, can this room be big enough to add a day bed 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.
If you are ready to start decluttering (even if you are not moving or downsizing) make sure to join Buy Nothing Reston and re-gift you treasure to your neighbors.
Have you downsized lately? Have any other ideas to share? Please post below, we would love to hear from you.