Need to Downgrade? Organization is the Key
Homeowners historically looked for ways to purchase bigger homes, but the pendulum is swinging in the other direction recently. Many homeowners are downgrading into smaller homes to lower mortgage payments, real estate taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. Others are downgrading to reduce their carbon footprint, live more simply, and be less of a drain on the earth’s resources which, in turn, lowers maintenance costs and the cost of home furnishings. Whatever the reason and benefits, more people are opting to downsize, and organization is crucial to successful downsizing.
Furniture that serves more than one purpose is important. Rather than a separate desk, the dining table or kitchen table could function as a desk. Storage of desk accessories and files in portable bins that can be brought to the table as needed and then returned to a storage spot helps to make this work.
Furniture that offers storage is also great. For instance, coffee tables with drawers or shelves underneath are very useful. Carefully placed armoires can store extra kitchen accessories and gadgets, can be a catchall place for keys and important items in the entryway, or can substitute for a bedroom closet.
When entertaining in a smaller home, congestion in and around a small kitchen can be an issue. Avoid that congestion by creating a beverage serving area or small buffet for appetizers that draws guests away from the preparation area in the kitchen. Nesting tables could be brought out and used for this purpose and then stored away efficiently when no longer needed.
Furniture that grows with children is usually a good choice. For instance, a changing table that becomes a preschooler’s dresser saves space and also money since the homeowner makes the financial investment just once. Cribs that later convert to toddler beds are also good investments.
For open spaces, designers suggest creating zones according to function to make the room feel larger. They also suggest leaving space between furniture and walls to add to the feeling of space in a room rather than placing furniture directly against the walls. Tall storage cabinets or bookcases that go to the ceiling use the same amount of footprint space as shorter furniture yet provide more storage. Furniture in the same color as the walls also helps to visually open up the room.
A small amount of organization, planning, and creativity are beneficial to successful downsizing for those who either need to or choose to downsize.