Settle in. This submit is a DEEP DIVE. A kind of lengthy detailed dissection/reflection posts that feels just like the running a blog days of yore. So if you happen to love these & wanna seize a cup of espresso and go on a bit journey with us – immediately’s the day. We’re about to dive into:
- Ideas and insights we gleaned about downsizing over the previous couple of years
- What objects from our bigger residence got here with us & labored
- WHY we expect that’s
- What we realized in hindsight about packing for a transfer
This entire submit thought got here to us after we have been in our downstairs sitting space just 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 discovered over time.
Conversely, issues like the rug, the tray, the vase, the planter, the entire artwork, and a close by bookcase have been from our final residence. 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 perpetually in our smaller residence 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 house and attempting a couple of layouts to see what feels greatest in particular person.
There’s additionally nothing inherently improper with getting new issues that match the scale or form or wants of a brand new home – particularly if you happen to’re sizing means down and have to squeeze in as a lot perform as you possibly can (we went from 3150 sq. ft & 14 rooms to 1400 sq. ft 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 after we landed (even when some objects landed and labored for a bit after which have been craigslisted or donated for “the precise long-term resolution”).
That is our final home’s bonus room, nearly all of which was bought by the brand new house owners (aside 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 objects we offered to the brand new house owners, together with side-by-side pictures of rooms earlier than and after we packed them up.
Downsizing appears like a mixture of surrounding your self with issues that make you *THE MOST* joyful and work *AS WELL AS THEY CAN* for you (and gleefully eliminating all the remaining!) – however the result’s positively going to look totally different for everybody.
We made our personal “that is coming with us” choices primarily based 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)
- Purposeful 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 objects (we treasure significant issues, even in a smaller residence)
There isn’t a simple 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 way of this large 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 home-owner, whether or not you’re transferring right into a mansion or a one-room studio: be open to letting your new residence evolve. Similar to the entire homes we chronicled earlier than it, our downsized residence positively took form over time. Trial and error, and seeing the way you really use an area, positively results in the easiest end result in our expertise. I imply, that is what our sitting space appeared like after 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 realized how we’d really use this house and inched in the direction of one thing which may work higher… which I’m happy to say ultimately occurred.
So sure, objects got here in, and so they did the hokey pokey, and so they moved throughout. Like the bookcases that you simply 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 fingers 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 objects in a greater dimension or form might (in order that they bought 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 stored are all narrower 3-drawer ones. Go determine that they match higher and benefit from the house in a smaller home (and might double as a nightstand, like the dressers in our daughter’s room beneath).
What we’ve positively 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 residence. 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 largest 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 certain 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 residence. Actually nearly each single furnishings merchandise in right here is from our final home.
However upon additional reflection, we realized possibly that shouldn’t have shocked us as a lot because it did. Our upstairs household room is the most important residing house on this home – so, naturally, it might probably match extra objects from our bigger residence. No marvel it was so much much less of a problem than our small sitting space downstairs, which wanted some custom-made issues over time to “come collectively” (psst: that’s regular, don’t let anybody let you know that upon transferring into a brand new place it’s a must to have all of it discovered 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 turn out to be. Let’s have a look at these three rooms from our previous home…
Our Earlier Dwelling’s Workplace:
Maybe essentially the most familiar-looking zone that was absorbed into our large room upstairs is our previous workplace space. We now not have a devoted room like we did in our final home (seen beneath) 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 objects that we’ve had the very longest of any piece of furnishings we now have ever owned. It was a marriage reward to us in 2007 and it has positively stood the check of time. I imply, it’s 15 years previous and counting! Nonetheless seems to be new, which positively helps an merchandise have longevity, together with a basic design that doesn’t ever really feel dated. Completely is sensible to me why we nonetheless have it.
After 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). After all, we stored these again legs (who is aware of how issues will evolve down the road), however that tweak alone made this desk much more versatile & useful than we thought.
When you 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 bought to remain, it’s gloriously impartial, isn’t enormous, and works so effectively to floor the sitting space and not using a rectangular border for the entrance door to get caught on. Truthfully, I believe 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 Dwelling’s Household Room
At first look, our present upstairs TV space feels fairly totally different from our final household room (seen beneath). However among 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 beneath, we realized that even little issues just like the lamps and pink pillows are direct transfers from our previous residing house.
We additionally pulled in a variety of stuff from different areas of our final residence 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 facet desk beneath the mirror is definitely two of our daughter’s previous bedside tables wedged back-to-back to make it appear to be one further deep facet desk for our previous lamp & some books.
The rug upstairs is definitely from our son’s previous bed room (seen beneath). It’s a HomeGoods discover we’ve had because it was his nursery, over 8 years now (right here’s one thing related). It’s no thriller why this rug endures for us, as a result of it’s impartial so it might probably slip into virtually any room with any coloured furnishings. We additionally actually just like the refined but attention-grabbing design, it’s snug and tender, and it was the best dimension for our new household room.
Our Earlier Dwelling’s Artwork Room
The final of the three zones that we squeezed into our new household room is our children’ arts & crafts house, which is a reincarnation of the homework / artwork room we made in our previous residence’s visitor room (seen beneath).
We had much less wall house to work with on this new home, which we knew primarily based 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 prime, however we simply reordered the identical fake marble laminate once more as a result of it has labored SO WELL for a mess-friendly house like this).
We moved the previous chairs with us, however ultimately changed them with slimmer armless ones that match higher subsequent to one another and will also be pushed in all the way in which 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 (related), and our printer (related) have been all issues that survived the transfer and have been straightforward to discover a spot for. Typically, the smaller objects that we actually liked and stored above all different less-loved decor-ish objects simply slipped into our smaller residence. Simply gotta eliminate 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 remaining).
Our Outdoors Areas
Our decks and porches are different locations the place we used some giant furnishings from our final home as a result of, similar to our giant upstairs household room, they’re fairly spacious and might deal with objects that initially lived in an even bigger residence.
For instance, our present entrance porch (above) nonetheless sports activities the woven egg chair that we bought in 2014 and had on our previous again porch (seen beneath). Forgive the previous picture above, couldn’t resist a Burger cameo. We miss that candy boy every single day. Enjoyable truth: the pile of grime that you simply see past the hanging daybed is from the pool construct! Recollections.
The out of doors couch and classic black steel chairs seen above additionally made the transfer to Florida and now each dwell on our upstairs deck. That house is in a little bit of a “transition” since we stole the eating desk to check out in our twice-as-big pool space (if you happen to missed my IG tales about pushing that fence again about 20′, we’re planning an enormous submit 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 out of doors couch from Richmond are all alive and effectively right here. I believe we’ve had that blue drum stool for like 15 years too. These can actually slip into nearly any room or out of doors house!
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 liked beforehand – and this positively made the listing.
It now occupies a nook of our bed room that we’d as soon as slated to turn out to be a second toilet. These plans are on indefinite maintain as a result of though we anticipated to desire a second toilet instantly upon arrival right here – we’ve all been simply superb sharing one for the previous 2.5 years. Heck, with the children again in class it feels even simpler than ever (for the reason that first yr right here = at-home studying so all 4 of us have been on this home just about nonstop).
Our bathroom-on-hold determination feels kind 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 really need one, proper? If our toilet plans ever transfer ahead (we assume they could when the children are older possibly?) we’ve talked about changing my beloved inlay dresser into a rest room self-importance with plumbing and every little thing inside and a sink on prime. That’s how a lot I adore it. After all, 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. Now we have 3 in the 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 stunning and might work double responsibility. Extra on that in a sec.
Oh and that giant glass vase on the inlay dresser two pictures up? Right here it’s residing in our earlier eating room. It has been with us over 15 years and counting! Typically I believe it’s a miracle we haven’t damaged it in all these years – it’s usually filled with water and fairly heavy! (I hope I didn’t simply jinx myself).
Different Richmond holdovers in our room are smaller objects – just like the lamps (listed here are some related 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 related).
You could keep in mind these baskets from our previous lobby (seen beneath), the place they have been largely simply ornamental. Sure, they often had nothing in them aside 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, chances are you’ll acknowledge that mirror in 3… 2…1…
The massive capiz mirror from our previous lobby is now the over-the-vanity mirror in our toilet. So not solely did we hold on to it, it will get a lot on a regular basis use in our one and solely toilet (and positively 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 adore it
It beat another extra primary mirrors out as a result of it’s *particular* – we love the refined 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 we now have it perpetually & 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 liked it ever since. When you’re questioning: do I take a cell? Is that too random if I’m attempting to downsize? I’d say… it’s tiny. When you adore it, 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!). Now we have 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 children’ 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 beneath (it used to hold above the fireside in our lounge – scroll as much as see it). It’s particularly nice above this desk as a result of that entire space doubles as a conceit spot for her to prepare, but additionally multitasks as a desk for homework, laptop computer use, and many others.
The inlay dresser you see mirrored within the mirror above can be a holdover from our final home. We’ve had it awhile and it’s served numerous capabilities through the years, 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 carry that dresser from Richmond to Florida, we really ordered one other one shortly after transferring as a result of we love the thought of creating them work double responsibility 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 steel ft in order that they’re a pleasant top for her mattress, however we’ve bought 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 bought a variety of built-in small house options – like a floating desk and bookshelf that we made ourselves (each of which you’ll see right here), which feels type of becoming since we constructed a variety of stuff into his final bed room too. His rug is definitely from our children’ previous artwork room, which you’ll scroll again as much as see, and a variety of his pillows, baskets, frames, & planters/vegetation are from our final home too.
After all, nearly all of the small useful objects we now have are the identical ones that we had in Richmond (like our silverware, plates, pots, pans, toaster, instruments, and many others) and the pictures and rundown above just about cowl the furnishings/decor in the principle areas. There are a bunch of different objects in random locations like hallways – just like the marble desk beneath and pink rug that got here from our previous closet, however I don’t wish to bore you with the trivialities of each vase or image body. As a substitute, let’s try to interrupt down what this train made us notice in regards to the downsizing course of itself.
What We Discovered About Packing For A Transfer / Downsizing
1. Know The Huge Areas That Want Huge Items
On reflection, we wasted some house in our pod on a couple of large objects that we didn’t find yourself having large 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. Wanting again, I want we had made extra room the pod for further out of doors furnishings (possibly even some from the seashore home yard, proven beneath) as a result of we now have an abundance of porches & patios we’ve needed to furnish right here.
2. Hold Onto The Little Issues You Love
When you’ve got restricted transferring house, like we did with our pod, you may be tempted to foresake the little issues like artwork, lamps, ornamental objects, and many others in favor of including extra large objects that would theoretically be dearer to switch. However we’re glad we stuffed each final nook of the pod with the “small stuff” that had that means or sentimental worth (together with the residing vegetation we actually wedged between our children’ automotive seats for the drive down). Favourite framed pictures, lamps, and potted vegetation have been straightforward for us to work into our new residence, and so they have been a pleasant quick solution to make the brand new home really feel like “us” immediately.
In the long run, if it’s small and it’ll match, simply carry 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 it’s best to carry a single small merchandise you’re feeling meh about – this simply applies to stuff you LOVE and objects with sentimental worth. Being discerning *earlier than* you permit the previous place makes touchdown and unpacking a lot simpler – so eliminate the surplus “filler stuff” earlier than you pack for certain!
3. Keep Versatile & Embrace The Evolution
As you possibly can inform, we haven’t been inflexible about issues stepping 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 beneath was an ornamental shelf in our seashore home lounge, and now it’s useful 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 believe far much less stuff would’ve survived the transfer and we might’ve needed to buy much more.
4. It Pays To Assume Cohesively
I believe most individuals have a tendency to do that naturally, however holding an identical type 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 many others. round this home till we’ve discovered the best spot. Mainly every little thing we now have “goes” with every little thing else in our home.
A method we helped that occur was again after we packed the pod, we made certain the objects we needed to maintain felt like they labored collectively. We decided to depart 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). Identical with darkish wooden furnishings/decor – many issues we liked essentially the most have been:
- mild wooden
- tender pink
- mild blue
- pastel artwork
- a buttload of vegetation
Search for a sample & lean into bringing issues that work effectively collectively! Be aware: don’t carry a single factor that works with every little thing 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 unquestionably a journey and never a vacation spot. It has taken years for our present home to come back collectively, similar to each different home we’ve ever owned. And for a LONG time, it appeared kinda nutty as we discovered what labored the place and what wasn’t working in any respect – similar to each different home we’ve ever owned. Are you sensing a theme? Don’t beat your self up about taking your time to search out the optimum association or the best items to make your home work greatest for your loved ones. It’s usually the one solution to get the easiest outcome.
I’m grateful that general, we don’t actually have any main regrets about issues we introduced or selected to not carry – possible as a result of we actually tried to depend on taking *solely* the factor issues that we love most and use so much (and fairly ruthlessly slicing out the remaining). It actually may be that easy. It takes a variety of bodily time to type by way of all of it – however that line of pondering is what we stored asking ourselves time and again. And we’re glad we gave ourselves the time to determine issues out after we landed in our smaller place and didn’t stress when, as an 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 essentially the most random factor: our white Ikea planters (you possibly can see one within the image above and one other within the shot beneath). They’ve been such good staples through the years 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 believe individuals who face the thought of downsizing are affected by 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?” Truthfully, 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. When you do, you possibly can all the time purchase one thing like that. However think about how rather more house you’ll have in your cupboards if you happen to simply have stuff you use in them.
Our precise expertise is that we actually can’t even keep in mind, not to mention listing, 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 if you happen to 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 refill our storage (don’t have one now!) or our big walk-up attic. Okay, I do know there have been a variety of baskets up there – which was a certain signal that I wasn’t utilizing them – however I by no means miss having an enormous house to fill with stuff I’ll overlook about for years on finish!
I hope this large mind dump of a submit is useful or at the least simply enjoyable to learn and reminisce with us. We positively liked wanting again on every little thing that has made this large 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 arrange, and solely 5 rooms and 1 toilet to wash!).
When you’d wish to learn extra about our complete downsizing journey…
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