People downsize their homes for a variety of reasons. Smaller homes mean saving money and spending less time on upkeep. You may also be at a point in your life where you simply need less space.
As you look to downsize your home, you will need to rethink all of your “stuff.” Less square footage means that you’ll either need to get rid of your possessions – or get really creative about your new space.
Downsizing takes some adjusting, and you may not be ready to go full Marie Kondo and get rid of things. So what are some alternatives to downsizing your home without purging your possessions?
Examine The Layout
Making a smaller home work for you often comes down to layout. You don’t want to feel cramped if you plan to keep your existing possessions. Think about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need and the flow of how you use your space.
For example, the closets and whether or not your downsized home has a basement will impact how much you can store. Look at the number of kitchen cabinets compared to your current home.
Many rooms can be multi-purpose. You may have a bedroom that can double as an office. Open floorplans can have the furniture arranged so that they still give a sense of purpose in different areas.
No matter the layout, keeping clutter to a minimum will greatly impact how your new home feels. Not only will your downsized home feel more spacious, but clutter can make you feel overwhelmed and impact your mental health.
Even if you keep all of your possessions, you’ll want to think about keeping clutter out of sight. Otherwise, your new home may quickly feel “stuffed.”
Digitize Your Documents
Life comes with a lot of paperwork. From bank statements to receipts, every household has documents. An easy way to reduce the amount of space you need for the paperwork in your life is to digitize everything.
This effort will take some time but will be worth it when you free up space. Going forward, it will be easy to quickly scan incoming documents and then toss or shred the original.
There is a lot of information available about how long to keep certain documents. So if your files go back years, you may not need to digitize anything. Instead, you can toss or shred older records that aren’t worth keeping.
You’ll need a desktop scanner to start this process, many of which have a very small footprint. You’ll also want to think about how you want to organize your digitized files in case you need to access them again.
Optimize Your Storage Space
Sometimes the best way to make use of a small space is to get creative with organizing your belongings! If your new space has fewer closets, you may need to get comfortable displaying things in the open or come up with other storage solutions.
Here are a few tips for making the most of a small space.
Bins and Baskets
Storing your items in bins and baskets makes it easier to keep items in the open. It also can contain items and allow you to make more use out of smaller storage spaces. Labels can help you identify what is in each bin or basket.
Everyone has the “junk drawer,” but overflowing drawers take up way too much space. Instead, make it easier to find items in your drawers with organizers. You’ll also gain space when things are not haphazardly shoved into drawers.
You can make use of under-bed storage, like totes. Store anything from extra bedding to out-of-season clothes. Beds that have built-in drawers are another way to gain more storage and space.
A lot of furniture now contains creative, built-in storage. Ottomans and benches can have hidden cubbies. Coffee tables can have hidden drawers or have multi-use fold-out tables.
You can hang wall racks behind doors to store shoes, cleaning supplies, and more. This can add additional storage to many rooms.
Adding wall shelves will give you more display options. You can also add shelving above a toilet to gain space in a bathroom. Wall hooks in your entryway, laundry room, bathrooms, and more can make up for the lack of closets.
Your garage may offer additional space for your belongings. You can put store items safely in totes or on shelving in your garage. Hanging wall storage like a pegboard can contain garden tools. You can use hooks to hang bikes from the ceiling to gain space.
Stackable Toy Storage
There are a lot of options for containing kid toys. Vertical toy storage or stackable totes give you a way to keep toys off the floor and out of the way. Many toy storage options are modular, meaning you can add or remove as needed.
No matter how much effort you put into fitting your stuff into a smaller home, you may find that you can’t get everything to fit. And if you don’t want to part with your belongings, a self-storage unit may be the answer.
Self-storage tends to be very affordable. You can decide whether you want to store items on a short-term or long-term basis. You can keep your items in a secure storage facility while you decide what to keep, or as permanent storage.
Keep Your Stuff When You Downsize Your Home
Part of downsizing means living a more simplified life. However, when you downsize your home and want to keep your stuff, it requires some planning. As you think about how you want to organize your new space, think about your creative options, as well as what you may no longer need to store in your home.