Settle in. This publish is a DEEP DIVE. A type of lengthy detailed dissection/reflection posts that feels just like the running a blog days of yore. So for those who love these & wanna seize a cup of espresso and go on a little bit journey with us – right this moment’s the day. We’re about to dive into:
- Ideas and insights we gleaned about downsizing over the previous few years
- What gadgets from our bigger dwelling got here with us & labored
- WHY we predict that’s
- What we discovered in hindsight about packing for a transfer
This complete publish concept got here to us once we have been in our downstairs sitting space lately and we realized that a variety of the furnishings hadn’t moved with us from our earlier home in Richmond. The loveseat, the chairs, and the espresso desk have been all bought after we moved right here to suit exactly into this new smaller sitting space that we slowly found out over time.
Conversely, issues like the rug, the tray, the vase, the planter, all the artwork, and a close by bookcase have been from our final dwelling. So it made us marvel: how a lot of our previous furnishings & decor nonetheless exists in yr three of our downsized home? What can we nonetheless love a lot – a variety of which we’ve had for over a decade? And why did some issues have a greater shot at staying endlessly in our smaller dwelling whereas others didn’t serve us in addition to we hoped?
We want we might have put solely what would match completely in our new home into that 16′ pod that we moved all of our worldly possessions in – however downsizing doesn’t include a crystal ball. We definitely had measurements of rooms and did some pre-planning however nothing actually compares to touchdown in a brand new area and attempting a couple of layouts to see what feels greatest in particular person.
There’s additionally nothing inherently fallacious with getting new issues that match the scale or form or wants of a brand new home – particularly for those who’re sizing means down and have to squeeze in as a lot perform as you possibly can (we went from 3150 sq. toes & 14 rooms to 1400 sq. toes and 6 rooms (just one of which is a rest room). That’s precisely why we offered half of our final home’s furnishings with the home – as a result of we knew all of it wouldn’t match, so we made our greatest guesses about what may transfer with us and work once we landed (even when some gadgets landed and labored for a bit after which have been craigslisted or donated for “the precise long-term answer”).
That is our final home’s bonus room, virtually all of which was bought by the brand new house owners (apart from the pedestal desk, which we tried as an eat-in kitchen desk for some time at our new home). You may see a full tour of what gadgets we offered to the brand new house owners, together with side-by-side images of rooms earlier than and after we packed them up.
Downsizing looks like a mixture of surrounding your self with issues that make you *THE MOST* completely satisfied and work *AS WELL AS THEY CAN* for you (and gleefully eliminating all the remainder!) – however the result’s undoubtedly going to look totally different for everybody.
We made our personal “that is coming with us” choices based mostly on:
- Measurements (some issues simply plain wouldn’t match)
- Earlier expertise (did we use it in our final home? if not- bye!)
- Educated guesses (once more, there’s no crystal ball)
- Practical concerns (would this rug entice 6 kilos of sand in a seashore home?)
- Good old style intestine emotions (“I really feel like I gained’t miss this” or “I’ll remorse not having this”).
- Emotional attachment to sentimental gadgets (we treasure significant issues, even in a smaller dwelling)
There isn’t a straightforward A + B = C equation I can share, however that’s how we evaluated issues going into the large blue pod exterior. And searching again on what lasted by means of this massive transition a couple of years later has been fairly illuminating (let’s simply say a variety of classes are “very seen” in hindsight – so we’ll share these with you after sharing what stayed.
I’ll kick this off with yet another tidbit of recommendation that works for actually any house owner, whether or not you’re transferring right into a mansion or a one-room studio: be open to letting your new dwelling evolve. Similar to all the homes we chronicled earlier than it, our downsized dwelling undoubtedly took form over time. Trial and error, and seeing the way you truly use an area, undoubtedly results in the easiest final result in our expertise. I imply, that is what our sitting space appeared like once we first landed. It was completely bananas.
That image makes us giggle so arduous in hindsight, however man, we have been simply attempting issues and utilizing what we had whereas we discovered how we’d truly use this area and inched in the direction of one thing that may work higher… which I’m happy to say finally occurred.
So sure, gadgets got here in, they usually did the hokey pokey, they usually moved throughout. Like the bookcases that you just see within the bananas picture above this one, which went upstairs the place they match like they have been made for that wall (*insert the angels singing sound and reward palms right here*).
Some issues discovered a greater spot for the lengthy haul. And a few moved listlessly from room to room till we confronted the music that they weren’t serving us in addition to another gadgets in a greater dimension or form might (so that they received donated or Fb Marketplaced).
Just like the white and grey 6-drawer dressers you additionally see in that bananas picture that we’re revisiting above. We realized the one dressers we saved are all narrower 3-drawer ones. Go determine that they match higher and benefit from the area in a smaller home (and might double as a nightstand, like the dressers in our daughter’s room under).
What we’ve undoubtedly discovered to be true is that new areas – particularly smaller ones – might require particular varieties or sizes of furnishings that won’t have labored in your previous dwelling. The loveseat in our sitting room is a good instance.
We by no means wanted one earlier than (our final home simply match two generously sized sofas), so we left the most important one behind understanding it wouldn’t slot in our new downstairs hangout space – and the opposite one got here with us and lives on upstairs within the household room. Talking of which…
The Upstairs Household Room
Had we been sitting upstairs as a substitute on the day we had the “our kitchen positive has a variety of new furnishings” feeling, we might have had absolutely the reverse response, as a result of our household room is FILLED with stuff from our final dwelling. Actually virtually each single furnishings merchandise in right here is from our final home.
However upon additional reflection, we realized perhaps that shouldn’t have stunned us as a lot because it did. Our upstairs household room is the most important residing area on this home – so, naturally, it could possibly match extra gadgets from our bigger dwelling. No marvel it was lots much less of a problem than our small sitting space downstairs, which wanted some personalized issues over time to “come collectively” (psst: that’s regular, don’t let anybody inform you that upon transferring into a brand new place it’s a must to have all of it found out within the first month and even the primary yr).
The humorous half is that this room principally absorbed the perform of THREE separate rooms in our previous home, and serves us SO WELL due to how multifunctional it has grow to be. Let’s take a look at these three rooms from our previous home…
Our Earlier Residence’s Workplace:
Maybe probably the most familiar-looking zone that was absorbed into our massive room upstairs is our previous workplace space. We not have a devoted room like we did in our final home (seen under) however we nonetheless recreated the set-up of our Parsons desk flanked by two Ikea Fjalkinge cabinets. It’s a particular improve to have three home windows alongside that wall now (our desk view = 100).
That Parsons desk is definitely one of many gadgets that we’ve had the very longest of any piece of furnishings now we have ever owned. It was a marriage reward to us in 2007 and it has undoubtedly stood the check of time. I imply, it’s 15 years previous and counting! Nonetheless appears new, which undoubtedly helps an merchandise have longevity, together with a basic design that doesn’t ever really feel dated. Completely is smart to me why we nonetheless have it.
Once we slid it in entrance of that center window, we realized we might take away the 2 again legs so the again of the desktop sits on the window ledge (thereby recessing about 5 extra inches towards the wall, making it simpler to move behind it in your means out to the deck). In fact, we saved these again legs (who is aware of how issues will evolve down the road), however that tweak alone made this desk much more versatile & purposeful than we thought.
If you happen to scroll again as much as that picture of our earlier workplace, you’ll discover the metallic cowhide rug in there now sits in our downstairs sitting room. As for why this made the transfer and received to remain, it’s gloriously impartial, isn’t enormous, and works so properly to floor the sitting space with no rectangular border for the entrance door to get caught on. Actually, I feel a rug like this might slip into any variety of locations – for instance, it might additionally work in our son’s room, and even upstairs by the artwork desk. It’s the LBD of rugs.
Our Earlier Residence’s Household Room
At first look, our present upstairs TV space feels fairly totally different from our final household room (seen under). However a number of the similar anchor items are there, like our Crate & Barrel Lounge II couch that we’ve had for five years now. And upon nearer inspection of the image under, we realized that even little issues just like the lamps and pink pillows are direct transfers from our previous residing area.
We additionally pulled in a variety of stuff from different areas of our final dwelling to spherical out this new household room. The leather-based stools got here from our seashore home, the woven mirror got here from our previous workplace (scroll as much as see it over the Parsons desk), and the aspect desk below the mirror is definitely two of our daughter’s previous bedside tables wedged back-to-back to make it appear like one further deep aspect desk for our previous lamp & some books.
The rug upstairs is definitely from our son’s previous bed room (seen under). It’s a HomeGoods discover we’ve had because it was his nursery, over 8 years now (right here’s one thing comparable). It’s no thriller why this rug endures for us, as a result of it’s impartial so it could possibly slip into virtually any room with any coloured furnishings. We additionally actually just like the delicate but fascinating design, it’s snug and delicate, and it was the precise dimension for our new household room.
Our Earlier Residence’s Artwork Room
The final of the three zones that we squeezed into our new household room is our youngsters’ arts & crafts area, which is a reincarnation of the homework / artwork room we made in our previous dwelling’s visitor room (seen under).
We had much less wall area to work with on this new home, which we knew based mostly on our measurements – so we donated 1 of the three drawer bases and swapped out the 2 6ft counters for one 8ft counter (so technically it’s a brand new high, however we simply reordered the identical fake marble laminate once more as a result of it has labored SO WELL for a mess-friendly area like this).
We moved the previous chairs with us, however finally changed them with slimmer armless ones that match higher subsequent to one another and will also be pushed in all the best way with out scratching the highest of the arms (which occurred to the previous ones over time).
Little issues just like the lamp (right here’s an identical one), the pink letterboard, the gold image frames, the basket (comparable), and our printer (comparable) have been all issues that survived the transfer and have been simple to discover a spot for. Typically, the smaller gadgets that we actually cherished and saved above all different less-loved decor-ish objects simply slipped into our smaller dwelling. Simply gotta do away with the filler stuff you don’t actually love as a lot or use (one instance is don’t downsize with 12 vases, take into consideration the 3-4 you all the time use and donate the remainder).
Our Exterior Areas
Our decks and porches are different locations the place we used some massive furnishings from our final home as a result of, identical to our massive upstairs household room, they’re fairly spacious and might deal with gadgets that initially lived in an even bigger dwelling.
For instance, our present entrance porch (above) nonetheless sports activities the woven egg chair that we received in 2014 and had on our previous again porch (seen under). Forgive the previous picture above, couldn’t resist a Burger cameo. We miss that candy boy on daily basis. Enjoyable reality: the pile of grime that you just see past the hanging daybed is from the pool construct! Reminiscences.
The outside couch and classic black metallic chairs seen above additionally made the transfer to Florida and now each dwell on our upstairs deck. That area is in a little bit of a “transition” since we stole the eating desk to check out in our twice-as-big pool space (for those who missed my IG tales about pushing that fence again about 20′, we’re planning an enormous publish about it as soon as we’re additional alongside and the fence is painted).
However right here’s proof that these superior classic chairs and the outside couch from Richmond are all alive and properly right here. I feel we’ve had that blue drum stool for like 15 years too. These can actually slip into virtually any room or outside area!
Our Bed room
The most important merchandise that made it to our new bed room is that this blue inlay dresser that had been within the entrance bed room at our seashore home (certainly one of my favourite secondhand finds of all time!). We offered the seashore home furnished however swapped out a couple of issues we cherished beforehand – and this undoubtedly made the checklist.
It now occupies a nook of our bed room that we’d as soon as slated to grow to be a second rest room. These plans are on indefinite maintain as a result of though we anticipated to desire a second rest room instantly upon arrival right here – we’ve all been simply advantageous sharing one for the previous 2.5 years. Heck, with the children again in class it feels even simpler than ever (because the first yr right here = at-home studying so all 4 of us have been on this home just about nonstop).
Our bathroom-on-hold resolution feels type of just like the spirit of downsizing itself. Embarking on an enormous dusty reno so as to add a rest room feels insane to undertake till you truly need one, proper? If our rest room plans ever transfer ahead (we assume they could when the children are older perhaps?) we’ve talked about changing my beloved inlay dresser into a rest room vainness with plumbing and all the things inside and a sink on high. That’s how a lot I find it irresistible. In fact, who is aware of, it’d find yourself in one other spot earlier than then.
That is the place it lived within the seashore home’s entrance bed room after I purchased it secondhand and labored arduous to restore it. It feels so beachy and complicated – it’s one thing I treasure.
That’s what downsizing is about. We don’t have ten dressers. We’ve got 3 in your complete home. However they’re our 3 favorites of allllll time (the opposite two are wooden inlay on the entrance – so all of them really feel so particular and distinctive). As beforehand talked about, in addition they all have 3 drawers and aren’t of the broader 6-drawer selection, which makes the opposite two capable of double as nightstands AND clothes storage in our daughter’s room. Hooray for something that’s lovely and might work double obligation. Extra on that in a sec.
Oh and that massive glass vase on the inlay dresser two images up? Right here it’s residing in our earlier eating room. It has been with us over 15 years and counting! Generally I feel it’s a miracle we haven’t damaged it in all these years – it’s usually stuffed with water and fairly heavy! (I hope I didn’t simply jinx myself).
Different Richmond holdovers in our room are smaller gadgets – just like the lamps (listed here are some comparable ones), the gold frames, the pouf, and the woven stomach basket within the nook (a HomeGoods discover from ages in the past – however right here’s one thing comparable).
You might keep in mind these baskets from our previous lobby (seen under), the place they have been largely simply ornamental. Sure, they normally had nothing in them apart from random issues the children would put in there. Now we use the big one as a laundry basket in our bed room and the smaller one as a trash bin subsequent to the children’ artwork desk (scroll again as much as see it).
And talking of our lobby, it’s possible you’ll acknowledge that mirror in 3… 2…1…
The big capiz mirror from our previous lobby is now the over-the-vanity mirror in our rest room. So not solely did we dangle on to it, it will get a lot on a regular basis use in our one and solely rest room (and undoubtedly sees much more toothpaste splatters than it used to too). It’s nonetheless holding up completely, and as soon as once more the important thing to this merchandise sticking round is that:
- A) We had the right spot for it
- B) We find it irresistible
It beat another extra primary mirrors out as a result of it’s *particular* – we love the delicate sample and the cool form of the highest. Total, so glad we purchased this (about 10 years in the past from Serena & Lily), and I hope now we have it endlessly & ever, amen.
The lavatory additionally sports activities gold frames and art work that used to hold in our final home, plus a brass cell is one thing we hung in the center bed room at our seashore home and I’ve cherished it ever since. If you happen to’re questioning: do I take a cell? Is that too random if I’m attempting to downsize? I’d say… it’s tiny. If you happen to find it irresistible, take it and see the way it goes. We additionally took a second cell with us (a seagull cell we had within the duplex and that hangs on this home too!). We’ve got since purchased 2 different mobiles for a complete of 4 in our six-room home. No regrets. Take what you like – particularly if it’s small. The cell isn’t going to make or break the pod or the transferring truck 😉
The Children’ Rooms
Along with bringing issues like our youngsters’ favourite books, toys, and stuffed animals, their rooms even have bigger issues from our final home like the large gold mirror in our daughter’s room under (it used to hold above the hearth in our lounge – scroll as much as see it). It’s particularly nice above this desk as a result of that complete space doubles as a conceit spot for her to prepare, but additionally multitasks as a desk for homework, laptop computer use, and so forth.
The inlay dresser you see mirrored within the mirror above can also be a holdover from our final home. We’ve had it awhile and it’s served numerous features over time, together with about seven years spent being the one enticing factor about our walk-in closet earlier than we made it over.
Not solely did we deliver that dresser from Richmond to Florida, we truly ordered one other one shortly after transferring as a result of we love the thought of constructing them work double obligation as bedside tables AND clothes storage. Throughout this transient incarnation of our bed room, they served as matching nightstands and labored as our solely clothes storage within the room.
As soon as we lastly added closets to our room (that is an previous pic however you get the thought)…
… we moved them each to flank our daughter’s mattress – the place they work as clothes storage for her in addition to and bedside tables. We eliminated the black metallic toes so that they’re a pleasant peak for her mattress, however we’ve received the legs saved in our utility closet simply in case. They’re hanging out in there with the again legs of the upstairs desk 😉
Our son’s room received a variety of built-in small area options – like a floating desk and bookshelf that we made ourselves (each of which you’ll be able to see right here), which feels form of becoming since we constructed a variety of stuff into his final bed room too. His rug is definitely from our youngsters’ previous artwork room, which you’ll be able to scroll again as much as see, and a variety of his pillows, baskets, frames, & planters/vegetation are from our final home too.
In fact, the vast majority of the small purposeful gadgets now we have are the identical ones that we had in Richmond (like our silverware, plates, pots, pans, toaster, instruments, and so forth) and the images and rundown above just about cowl the furnishings/decor in the principle areas. There are a bunch of different gadgets in random locations like hallways – just like the marble desk under and pink rug that got here from our previous closet, however I don’t wish to bore you with the trivia of each vase or image body. As an alternative, let’s try to interrupt down what this train made us notice concerning the downsizing course of itself.
What We Realized About Packing For A Transfer / Downsizing
1. Know The Massive Areas That Want Massive Items
On reflection, we wasted some area in our pod on a couple of massive gadgets that we didn’t find yourself having massive areas for in our new home (like these two aforementioned 6-drawer dressers). They have been helpful to us within the quick time period proper after transferring, however we’ve since offered/donated them. Trying again, I want we had made extra room the pod for further outside furnishings (perhaps even some from the seashore home yard, proven under) as a result of now we have an abundance of porches & patios we’ve needed to furnish right here.
2. Dangle Onto The Little Issues You Love
When you have restricted transferring area, like we did with our pod, you could be tempted to foresake the little issues like artwork, lamps, ornamental objects, and so forth in favor of including extra massive objects that would theoretically be costlier to interchange. However we’re glad we stuffed each final nook of the pod with the “small stuff” that had which means or sentimental worth (together with the residing vegetation we actually wedged between our youngsters’ automotive seats for the drive down). Favourite framed images, lamps, and potted vegetation have been simple for us to work into our new dwelling, they usually have been a pleasant quick method to make the brand new home really feel like “us” immediately.
In the long run, if it’s small and it’ll match, simply deliver it together with you and donate or promote it on the new place as a substitute of wishing you didn’t let go of that candy artwork or cell or lamp you really liked. Be aware: this doesn’t imply you must deliver a single small merchandise you are feeling meh about – this simply applies to stuff you LOVE and gadgets with sentimental worth. Being discerning *earlier than* you allow the previous place makes touchdown and unpacking a lot simpler – so do away with the surplus “filler stuff” earlier than you pack for positive!
3. Keep Versatile & Embrace The Evolution
As you possibly can inform, we haven’t been inflexible about issues moving into a sure room (or serving a sure perform) simply because they have been utilized in a particular means in our earlier home. For instance, the white shelf under was an ornamental shelf in our seashore home lounge, and now it’s purposeful kitchen storage for us right here. Had we been stricter about the place issues went or what functions we thought they needed to serve, I feel far much less stuff would’ve survived the transfer and we’d’ve needed to buy much more.
4. It Pays To Suppose Cohesively
I feel most individuals have a tendency to do that naturally, however preserving an identical fashion or “vibe” in thoughts for your home makes that flexibility factor a lot simpler. You’ll have extra choices for the place to place furnishings and decor if a sure piece or room isn’t an aesthetic curveball in comparison with the remainder of your home. That’s how we’ve been capable of transfer dressers, rugs, mirrors, art work, and so forth. round this home till we’ve discovered the precise spot. Principally all the things now we have “goes” with all the things else in our home.
A technique we helped that occur was again once we packed the pod, we made positive the gadgets we needed to maintain felt like they labored collectively. We decided to go away all of our enormous, thick, deep-colored rugs behind, not solely as a result of they wouldn’t match bodily in a lot of our rooms, however they didn’t match into what we envisioned for our mild & ethereal place by the seashore (or appear notably sand pleasant). Similar with darkish wooden furnishings/decor – many issues we cherished probably the most have been:
- mild wooden
- delicate pink
- mild blue
- pastel artwork
- a buttload of vegetation
Search for a sample & lean into bringing issues that work properly collectively! Be aware: don’t deliver a single factor that works with all the things else however is one thing you’re lukewarm about or by no means use. Belief me. Downsizing = being ruthless and leaving all that “filler stuff” behind (if it’s not your favourite you’ll find yourself storing it on a regular basis & then it’s simply utterly unused cupboard litter).
5. Be Affected person!
Downsizing is certainly a journey and never a vacation spot. It has taken years for our present home to come back collectively, identical to each different home we’ve ever owned. And for a LONG time, it appeared kinda nutty as we found out what labored the place and what wasn’t working in any respect – identical to each different home we’ve ever owned. Are you sensing a theme? Don’t beat your self up about taking your time to seek out the optimum association or the precise items to make your home work greatest for your loved ones. It’s usually the one method to get the easiest consequence.
I’m grateful that total, we don’t actually have any main regrets about issues we introduced or selected to not deliver – doubtless as a result of we actually tried to depend on taking *solely* the factor issues that we love most and use lots (and fairly ruthlessly chopping out the remainder). It actually may be that straightforward. It takes a variety of bodily time to type by means of all of it – however that line of considering is what we saved asking ourselves time and again. And we’re glad we gave ourselves the time to determine issues out once we landed in our smaller place and didn’t stress when, for example, our bed room appeared like this for a couple of months. Ha!
Oh, and one MVP of the transfer has turned out to be probably the most random factor: our white Ikea planters (you possibly can see one within the image above and one other within the shot under). They’ve been such good staples over time and we’ve had a lot of them since our first home. Sure, that makes them 15 years previous! Once more, it’s a miracle we haven’t damaged them but! (*knocks on wooden instantly*)
I’ll depart you with one final thought. I feel individuals who face the thought of downsizing are laid low with the thought of “what if I downsize this factor after which I really need it later” – particularly because it pertains to one thing like a kitchen gadget. For instance: “I by no means use the crockpot now… however what if later I get into it and have to purchase one once more?” Actually, we had an previous cobweb-covered crockpot that we by no means used so we donated it earlier than this transfer and it has been 2.5 years and we DO NOT MISS IT. If you happen to do, you possibly can all the time purchase one thing like that. However think about how way more area you’ll have in your cupboards for those who simply have stuff you use in them.
Our precise expertise is that we actually can’t even keep in mind, not to mention checklist, a variety of issues that we downsized and donated. If we didn’t use them presently in life on the time of our downsizing, that was the reply. Donate/promote pile. Heck, that works for for those who aren’t transferring too, and simply need some wiggle room in an overstuffed drawer or cupboard.
I wager 10 out of 10 individuals who have majorly downsized will inform you an identical factor. We don’t even keep in mind what used to replenish our storage (don’t have one now!) or our large walk-up attic. Okay, I do know there have been a variety of baskets up there – which was a positive signal that I wasn’t utilizing them – however I by no means miss having an enormous area to fill with stuff I’ll overlook about for years on finish!
I hope this massive mind dump of a publish is useful or no less than simply enjoyable to learn and reminisce with us. We undoubtedly cherished trying again on all the things that has made this massive journey with us, and are so grateful for the place we’re on this second – in a smaller home with loads of seashore & pool time (oh the perks of no yard to mow, no storage to prepare, and solely 5 rooms and 1 rest room to wash!).
If you happen to’d wish to learn extra about our complete downsizing journey…
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