Moving into a Smaller Space
Minimalistic living is quite a trend lately, so it’s no surprise that the moving industry has seen an uptick in moves to smaller spaces. Many people who opted for the minimalistic lifestyle have said it not only removes clutter in their home, but it also clears their minds and takes their focus off nonmatrial things. If you’re curious to learn more, check out one of the most popular minimalist blogs.
Logistically, moving into a smaller space can be very difficult. There should be plenty of planning ahead of time to ensure that the move goes smoothly and stress-free. As a guide, we’ve created a timeline that demonstrates the importance of planning and how to best prepare you and your family for the move.
When you begin looking for homes…
The second you start looking for or researching smaller homes, you should begin the process of eliminating clutter and excess items.
Get rid of duplicates
Do you, for some odd reason have three copies of Beyonce’s Lemonade? Get rid of two of them. Also have a dozen copies of Harry Potter books? Pare it down a bit. This step is easiest because you can clearly see that you really only need one of each of these. Create a box or bin for these duplicates, then store it away to later donate them or sell at a yard sale. Either way, you’ve just completed the first step to your small space move!
Take a look inside your closet
Here comes the hard part… Somehow every piece of clothing means something or has a use. Even if you haven’t touched it in nine months, you can probably find a way to rationalize keeping it.
Be realistic. If you pick up an item knowing full well you have not worn it in a year, but begin to say, “you know that you will someday…” keep it moving right out of there! The paring down process needs to be done to be comfortable and happy in your new home.
Pick only your favorite décor
A smaller space means less wall space. Not to mention, filling all walls in a smaller space will actually make it seem tighter than it really is. You will want to go for items that mean a lot to you and that make you feel good in order to make most of the space that you have. When you pick up an item, ask yourself, “Does this piece make me feel good?” If you say no or you have no response to it, set it aside. Make a box of those items and add them to your future yard sale/donation inventory.
Once you find your new home…
The next step is prepping your new space as much as possible. Focusing on creating as much space and storage will save you time and make moving day less stressful. But first, don’t forget to celebrate finding your new spot!
Start looking at magazines and websites to figure out what style you’d like. Either way, you will be tasked with creating a space that feels larger than it is, but you will still want to decide if you want a modern, sleek look or a cozy, homey feel. This decision will determine the type of storage options that you move forward with.
Loving the modern idea? Check out this website for some ideas. They have houses from around the world and you can look inside each one to see the different design styles. Or maybe you see yourself in a compact, cozy home? Pinterest has an endless amount of inspiration for you to save and access later.
No matter what style you choose, look at how they make the most of their space. Keep in mind that you can also add storage solutions of your own!
Stay on schedule!
Don’t get distracted or sidetracked on your downsizing. You will need to continually keep yourself in check and on task. Try setting reminders on your calendar to keep yourself motivated and know that all of the preparing will pay off when the move date rolls around. As you go back each time to do another round of cleaning out, understand that it will get harder as you go. Having that mindset ahead of time will actually make it easier.
When moving day has come and gone…
Once you’ve completed your move and gotten settled into your new small space, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind as you move forward.
Remember that you are in a smaller space now
Obvious statement, right? Well not really. Picture yourself walking into a Target store to grab a few groceries, but then you end up wandering around the store and finding a variety of beautiful decorations. It’s not bad that you found items you like, but will they all fit? Do they all make sense in your new space? When you go out shopping, you will need to always ask yourself, “Where will this go?” After all, you don’t want all of your hard work in preparing for your small space move to go to waste.
Understand that you and your family’s habits will need to change
Whether you’ve done the move on your own, you need to prepare yourselves for a lifestyle change. Moving into a small space naturally brings everyone closer together. Be more aware of your personal habits such as leaving magazines laying around, shoes strewn across the floors or dishes on the counter. All of these will make your new space seem even smaller and has the potential to create tension.
Be patient. Small space living will take time to get used to.
Always remember why you did this in the first place
Moving into a small space is hard work and you’ve done most of the heavy lifting, now it’s just maintaining your new environment so you can enjoy it. Whether you decided to live smaller because it takes up less energy, brings your family closer together or pushes you to re-focus on the nonmaterial, always keep that as your motivation. At first it may be hard to adjust, but take it from self-proclaimed minimalist, Joshua Becker, you will appreciate living smaller in the long run.