Downsizing: moving from a bigger home to a smaller one

Are you planning to move from a bigger home to a smaller one? Or are you moving out of a house and into an apartment? Perhaps you’re not happy about it to begin with – or you’re wondering how you’re going to fit all your stuff into your new home. Don’t worry – moving into a smaller place also has its benefits. We have a few examples and some tips on how to get the most out of your move.

 

A blessing or a curse?

Maybe the thought of moving into a smaller place will be tough at first. You won’t have as much more room for your things, and probably won’t be able to take all your furniture with you. But it might help to consider the positive aspects: you won’t pay as much rent, you won’t need to clean as much and you can focus on what matters to you.

 

An American trend

Downsizing[1] is a massive trend right now in the US. Homes known as ‘tiny houses’, ranging from just 15 m2 to 55 m2 in size, are gaining in popularity. Tiny houses are affordable, eco-friendly and represent a different way of living. Although the trend has made its way over to this side of the Atlantic, it’s tricky to find a place to put your tiny house – usually built on wheels – here in Switzerland.

 

Have a clear-out

You don’t have to opt for a tiny house, but moving to a smaller home has its benefits. For instance, you can finally part company with things you don’t need. Have a big clear-out and think about what you need and what you can get rid of in every room. Sell or give away things you can’t or don’t want to take with you. As you’ll see, that stuff certainly piles up.

Get rid of everything you no longer need (image: www.bauschweiz.ch)

 

Create a checklist

You should ideally take exact measurements of your new home and make a checklist of which furniture you can put where. Maybe it makes sense to look around for new, multifunctional furniture. For instance, folding tables and stools are quick to set up when you need them and put away again when you need the space for something else. Furniture on wheels is also handy and can be used wherever it’s needed.

 

Make the most of your space

When it comes to your home, it’s not the size that matters, it’s what you do with it. It’s all about making the most of your space. No space for a separate office? Then set up a workstation in your living room. You can use the space beside an empty wall, for example. Or use the space behind the sofa to set up a desk, a swivel stool, a desk lamp and a little storage unit on wheels to stow away underneath. Voilà – you’ve got a new workstation in an instant.

A workstation is quick and easy to set up, and doesn’t take up much room (image: freepik)

 

With floor-to-ceiling shelving units, you can store plenty of stuff without losing out on lots of living space. Nesting tables – two to three separate tables that can be ‘nested’ inside each other – are a smart solution for your living room. You can use them separately or put them together to create a bigger side table.

Take advantage of the nooks and crannies in your home. For instance, a tall, narrow bookcase can create quite a lot of storage space.

A bar table and stools in the kitchen could make a great dining area.

If you swap the typical bedside table for a little wall-mounted shelf, you might even have room for your big bed.

 

Tricks with mirrors and colours

Hanging a few mirrors in your new home will make it seem bigger. They also reflect light and add a touch of elegance to your new home. Buy light-coloured furniture or paint your old furniture in light colours. You can cover your living room sofa in light-coloured fabric. Light-coloured furniture brightens up smaller spaces. Floor-length curtains make ceilings look higher.

Wall mirrors make a space look bigger. (Image: freepik)

 

As you can see, with a few easy tricks, you can turn your new, smaller home into a cosy gem.

[1] Downsizing means a technical reduction in size with the same, or similar, effect. This reduces energy consumption. In recent years, the term has been used most commonly in reference to vehicle engines, as well as in real estate (source: Wikipedia)