Downsizing with regard to living space is a trend that has long been associated with empty nesters and senior citizens. As children move out and start families of their own, many homeowners decide to downsize to less expensive, more manageable properties.
But downsizing is not just for seniors anymore. According to a 2017 survey from the popular real estate website Trulia, among homeowners currently living in homes larger than 2,000 square feet, more would choose a smaller home than a larger one if they decided to move (60.6 percent to 39.4 percent).
Homeowners who decided to downsize or those who purchased a small property to begin with may need a few pointers to make the most of their limited space.
– Reconsider your furniture. Furniture can make rooms feel cozy, cramped or spacious. For homeowners with limited space in their homes, furniture that also can be used as storage can save space without sacrificing comfort. For the bedroom, choose a storage bed if the quarters are cramped and it’s difficult to find space for two dressers. Such beds also can be used to store bed linens if closet space is limited. Purchase storage ottomans and/or end tables with storage beneath to make living areas feel less cramped.
– Discard some items. Homeowners who are downsizing from large homes may need to part with some of their furniture to make their transition to smaller homes go more smoothly. For example, homeowners may need to get by with just one bedroom nightstand and may even need to replace their existing nightstands with something more compact. Discarding living room end tables and downsizing to a smaller coffee table also can help homeowners make smaller common areas more welcoming and less cluttered.
– Put paint to work. Paint is another way to make the most of a limited space. Painting certain pieces of furniture the same color as the wall can make the furniture blend in and feel less imposing. The result is a room that feels calm and open, even if there is less space to move around than homeowners might have grown accustomed to in their larger homes.
– Keep surfaces free of clutter. Surfaces such as dining tables, coffee tables and kitchen counters tend to accumulate clutter. While such clutter might not feel overwhelming in a large home, in small spaces crowded surfaces can make it feel as though the walls are closing in. Make an effort to keep surfaces free of clutter, resolving to discard or put items away each night before going to bed.
Many people wish they could live in homes without as much square footage as their existing homes. For those who have downsized, there are many ways to make the most of less living space.