What We Nonetheless Have 2.5 Years After Downsizing
Settle in. This publish is a DEEP DIVE. A kind of lengthy detailed dissection/reflection posts that feels just like the running a blog days of yore. So in the event you love these & wanna seize a cup of espresso and go on a bit of journey with us – right now’s the day. We’re about to dive into:
- Ideas and insights we gleaned about downsizing over the previous couple of years
- What gadgets from our bigger dwelling got here with us & labored
- WHY we predict that’s
- What we discovered in hindsight about packing for a transfer
This complete publish concept got here to us after we have been in our downstairs sitting space just lately and we realized that lots of the furnishings hadn’t moved with us from our earlier home in Richmond. The loveseat, the chairs, and the coffee table have been all bought after we moved right here to suit exactly into this new smaller sitting space that we slowly found out over time.
Conversely, issues like the rug, the tray, the vase, the planter, the entire artwork, and a nearby bookcase have been from our final dwelling. So it made us marvel: how a lot of our previous furnishings & decor nonetheless exists in yr three of our downsized home? What will we nonetheless love a lot – lots of which we’ve had for over a decade? And why did some issues have a greater shot at staying ceaselessly in our smaller dwelling whereas others didn’t serve us in addition to we hoped?
We want we may 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 area and making an attempt just a few layouts to see what feels greatest in particular person.
There’s additionally nothing inherently flawed with getting new issues that match the scale or form or wants of a brand new home – particularly in the event you’re sizing approach down and must squeeze in as a lot operate as you may (we went from 3150 sq. toes & 14 rooms to 1400 sq. toes and 6 rooms (only one of which is a rest room). That’s precisely why we offered half of our last house’s furniture with the house – 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 gadgets landed and labored for a bit after which have been craigslisted or donated for “the precise long-term answer”).
That is our final home’s bonus room, virtually all of which was bought by the brand new house owners (apart 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 gadgets we offered to the brand new house owners, together with side-by-side photos of rooms earlier than and after we packed them up.
Downsizing seems like a mixture of surrounding your self with issues that make you *THE MOST* glad and work *AS WELL AS THEY CAN* for you (and gleefully eliminating all the remaining!) – however the result’s positively going to look completely different for everybody.
We made our personal “that is coming with us” alternatives based mostly 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 issues (would this rug lure 6 kilos of sand in a seaside home?)
- Good old school intestine emotions (“I really feel like I gained’t miss this” or “I’ll remorse not having this”).
- Emotional attachment to sentimental gadgets (we treasure significant issues, even in a smaller dwelling)
There isn’t a straightforward 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 via this huge transition just a few years later has been fairly illuminating (let’s simply say lots 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 house owner, whether or not you’re shifting right into a mansion or a one-room studio: be open to letting your new dwelling evolve. Similar to the entire homes we chronicled earlier than it, our downsized dwelling positively took form over time. Path and error, and seeing the way you truly use an area, positively results in the perfect final result in our expertise. I imply, that is what our sitting area looked like after we first landed. It was completely bananas.
That image makes us snicker so exhausting in hindsight, however man, we have been simply making an attempt issues and utilizing what we had whereas we discovered how we’d truly use this area and inched in direction of one thing that may work higher… which I’m happy to say finally occurred.
So sure, gadgets 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 photograph 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 palms 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 gadgets in a greater dimension or form may (so that they acquired donated or Fb Marketplaced).
Just like the white and grey 6-drawer dressers you additionally see in that bananas photograph that we’re revisiting above. We realized the one dressers we saved are all narrower 3-drawer ones. Go determine that they match higher and benefit from the area 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 – could require particular sorts or sizes of furnishings that won’t have labored in your previous dwelling. The loveseat in our sitting room is a superb 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 figuring out 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 an alternative on the day we had the “our kitchen certain has lots of new furnishings” feeling, we’d have had absolutely the reverse response, as a result of our household room is FILLED with stuff from our final dwelling. Actually virtually each single furnishings merchandise in right here is from our final home.
However upon additional reflection, we realized possibly that shouldn’t have stunned us as a lot because it did. Our upstairs family room is the biggest dwelling area on this home – so, naturally, it will probably match extra gadgets from our bigger dwelling. No marvel it was loads much less of a problem than our small sitting space downstairs, which wanted some personalized issues over time to “come collectively” (psst: that’s regular, don’t let anybody let you know that upon shifting into a brand new place you need to have all of it found out within the first month and even the primary yr).
The humorous half is that this room mainly absorbed the operate 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 huge room upstairs is our previous workplace space. We 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 shelves. 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 gadgets that we’ve had the very longest of any piece of furnishings we now have ever owned. It was a marriage present to us in 2007 and it has positively stood the check of time. I imply, it’s 15 years previous and counting! Nonetheless appears to be like 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 may 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 go behind it in your approach out to the deck). In fact, we saved these again legs (who is aware of how issues will evolve down the road), however that tweak alone made this desk much more versatile & purposeful than we thought.
If you happen to scroll again as much as that photograph 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 acquired to remain, it’s gloriously impartial, isn’t enormous, and works so effectively to floor the sitting space with out 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 may 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 completely different from our final household room (seen beneath). However a number of the identical anchor items are there, like our Crate & Barrel Lounge II sofa 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 dwelling area.
We additionally pulled in lots of stuff from different areas of our final dwelling to spherical out this new household room. The leather-based stools got here from our beach house, the woven mirror got here from our previous workplace (scroll as much as see it over the Parsons desk), and the aspect desk below the mirror is definitely two of our daughter’s previous bedside tables wedged back-to-back to make it seem like one additional deep aspect desk for our previous lamp & some books.
The rug upstairs is definitely from our son’s old bedroom (seen beneath). It’s a HomeGoods discover we’ve had because it was his nursery, over 8 years now (right here’s something similar). It’s no thriller why this rug endures for us, as a result of it’s impartial so it will probably slip into virtually any room with any coloured furnishings. We additionally actually just like the delicate but fascinating design, it’s comfy and gentle, 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 youngsters’ arts & crafts area, which is a reincarnation of the homework / art room we made in our previous dwelling’s visitor room (seen beneath).
We had much less wall area to work with on this new home, which we knew based mostly 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 same faux marble laminate once more as a result of it has labored SO WELL for a mess-friendly area like this).
We moved the previous chairs with us, however finally changed them with slimmer armless ones that match higher subsequent to one another and can be pushed in all the best way with out scratching the highest of the arms (which occurred to the previous ones over time).
Little issues just like the lamp (here’s a similar one), the pink letterboard, the gold picture frames, the basket (similar), and our printer (similar) have been all issues that survived the transfer and have been straightforward to discover a spot for. Typically, the smaller gadgets that we actually liked and saved above all different less-loved decor-ish objects simply slipped into our smaller dwelling. Simply gotta do away with 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 at all times use and donate the remaining).
Our Exterior Areas
Our decks and porches are different locations the place we used some massive furnishings from our final home as a result of, similar to our massive upstairs household room, they’re fairly spacious and might deal with gadgets that initially lived in a much bigger dwelling.
For instance, our present entrance porch (above) nonetheless sports activities the woven egg chair that we acquired in 2014 and had on our previous again porch (seen beneath). Forgive the previous photograph above, couldn’t resist a Burger cameo. We miss that candy boy every single day. Enjoyable truth: the pile of filth that you simply see past the hanging daybed is from the pool build! Recollections.
The outdoor sofa and classic black steel chairs seen above additionally made the transfer to Florida and now each dwell on our upstairs deck. That area is in a little bit of a “transition” since we stole the eating desk to check out in our twice-as-big pool space (in the event you missed my IG tales about pushing that fence again about 20′, we’re planning a giant publish 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 virtually any room or out of doors area!
Our Bed room
The biggest 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 seaside home (one in every of my favourite secondhand finds of all time!). We offered the seaside home furnished however swapped out just a few issues we liked beforehand – and this positively made the record.
It now occupies a nook of our bed room that we’d as soon as slated to turn out to be a second lavatory. These plans are on indefinite maintain as a result of though we anticipated to need a second lavatory instantly upon arrival right here – we’ve all been simply nice sharing one for the previous 2.5 years. Heck, with the youngsters again at school 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 choice feels type of just like the spirit of downsizing itself. Embarking on a giant dusty reno so as to add a rest room feels insane to undertake till you truly need one, proper? If our lavatory plans ever transfer ahead (we assume they could when the youngsters are older possibly?) we’ve talked about changing my beloved inlay dresser into a rest room vainness with plumbing and all the pieces inside and a sink on prime. That’s how a lot I adore it. In fact, who is aware of, it would find yourself in one other spot earlier than then.
That is the place it lived within the seaside home’s entrance bed room after I purchased it secondhand and worked hard to repair it. It feels so beachy and complex – it’s one thing I treasure.
That’s what downsizing is about. We don’t have ten dressers. We’ve 3 in all the 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 in a position to double as nightstands AND clothes storage in our daughter’s room. Hooray for something that’s lovely and might work double responsibility. Extra on that in a sec.
Oh and that large glass vase on the inlay dresser two pictures up? Right here it’s dwelling 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 stuffed with water and fairly heavy! (I hope I didn’t simply jinx myself).
Different Richmond holdovers in our room are smaller gadgets – just like the lamps (here are some similar 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 something similar).
You might bear in mind these baskets from our previous lobby (seen beneath), the place they have been largely simply ornamental. Sure, they normally had nothing in them apart from random issues the youngsters 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 youngsters’ 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…
Our Rest room
The massive capiz mirror from our previous lobby is now the over-the-vanity mirror in our bathroom. So not solely did we grasp on to it, it will get a lot on a regular basis use in our one and solely lavatory (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 proper spot for it
- B) We adore it
It beat another extra fundamental mirrors out as a result of it’s *particular* – we love the delicate 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 ceaselessly & ever, amen.
The toilet additionally sports activities gold frames and artwork that used to hold in our final home, plus a brass cellular is one thing we hung in the middle bedroom at our beach house and I’ve liked it ever since. If you happen to’re questioning: do I take a cellular? Is that too random if I’m making an attempt to downsize? I’d say… it’s tiny. If you happen to adore it, take it and see the way it goes. We additionally took a second cellular with us (a seagull cellular we had within the duplex and that hangs on this home too!). We’ve since purchased 2 other mobiles for a complete of 4 in our six-room home. No regrets. Take what you’re keen on – particularly if it’s small. The cellular isn’t going to make or break the pod or the shifting truck 😉
The Children’ Rooms
Along with bringing issues like our youngsters’ 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 hearth in our front room – scroll as much as see it). It’s particularly nice above this desk as a result of that complete space doubles as an arrogance spot for her to prepare, but additionally multitasks as a desk for homework, laptop computer use, and so forth.
The inlay dresser you see mirrored within the mirror above can also be a holdover from our final home. We’ve had it awhile and it’s served numerous features over time, 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 deliver that dresser from Richmond to Florida, we truly ordered one other one shortly after shifting as a result of we love the thought of creating them work double responsibility as bedside tables AND clothes storage. Throughout this brief incarnation of our bedroom, they served as matching nightstands and labored as our solely clothes storage within the room.
As soon as we finally 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 toes so that they’re a pleasant top for her mattress, however we’ve acquired 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 acquired lots of built-in small space solutions – like a floating desk and bookshelf that we made ourselves (each of which you’ll see here), which feels form of becoming since we constructed lots of stuff into his last bedroom too. His rug is definitely from our youngsters’ previous art room, which you’ll scroll again as much as see, and lots of his pillows, baskets, frames, & planters/crops are from our final home too.
In fact, nearly all of the small purposeful gadgets we now have are the identical ones that we had in Richmond (like our silverware, plates, pots, pans, toaster, instruments, and so forth) and the pictures and rundown above just about cowl the furnishings/decor in the principle areas. There are a bunch of different gadgets in random locations like hallways – just like the marble table beneath and pink rug that got here from our old closet, however I don’t need to bore you with the trivia of each vase or image body. As an alternative, let’s try to interrupt down what this train made us notice concerning the downsizing course of itself.
What We Realized About Packing For A Transfer / Downsizing
1. Know The Massive Areas That Want Massive Items
On reflection, we wasted some area in our pod on just a few huge gadgets that we didn’t find yourself having huge areas for in our new home (like these two aforementioned 6-drawer dressers). They have been helpful to us within the brief time period proper after shifting, however we’ve since offered/donated them. Wanting again, I want we had made extra room the pod for additional out of doors furnishings (possibly even some from the beach house backyard, 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
In case you have restricted shifting area, like we did with our pod, you could be tempted to foresake the little issues like artwork, lamps, ornamental objects, and so forth in favor of including extra huge objects that might theoretically be dearer to switch. However we’re glad we stuffed each final nook of the pod with the “small stuff” that had which means or sentimental worth (together with the dwelling crops we actually wedged between our youngsters’ automobile seats for the drive down). Favourite framed pictures, lamps, and potted crops have been straightforward for us to work into our new dwelling, and so they have been a pleasant quick option to make the brand new home really feel like “us” straight away.
Ultimately, if it’s small and it’ll match, simply deliver it together with you and donate or promote it on the new place as an alternative of wishing you didn’t let go of that candy artwork or cellular or lamp you liked. Notice: this doesn’t imply it is best to deliver a single small merchandise you’re feeling meh about – this simply applies to stuff you LOVE and gadgets with sentimental worth. Being discerning *earlier than* you allow the previous place makes touchdown and unpacking a lot simpler – so do away with the surplus “filler stuff” earlier than you pack for certain!
3. Keep Versatile & Embrace The Evolution
As you may inform, we haven’t been inflexible about issues stepping into a sure room (or serving a sure operate) simply because they have been utilized in a particular approach in our earlier home. For instance, the white shelf beneath was an ornamental shelf in our seaside home front room, and now it’s purposeful 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 Suppose Cohesively
I believe most individuals have a tendency to do that naturally, however conserving the same fashion 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 in a position to transfer dressers, rugs, mirrors, art work, and so forth. round this home till we’ve discovered the best spot. Mainly all the pieces we now have “goes” with all the pieces else in our home.
A method we helped that occur was again after we packed the pod, we made certain the gadgets 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 lots of our rooms, however they didn’t match into what we envisioned for our mild & ethereal place by the seaside (or appear notably sand pleasant). Similar with darkish wooden furnishings/decor – many issues we liked essentially the most have been:
- mild wooden
- gentle pink
- mild blue
- pastel artwork
- a buttload of crops
Search for a sample & lean into bringing issues that work effectively collectively! Notice: don’t deliver a single factor that works with all the pieces 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 found out 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 option to get the perfect end result.
I’m grateful that general, we don’t actually have any main regrets about issues we introduced or selected to not deliver – possible as a result of we actually tried to depend on taking *solely* the factor issues that we love most and use loads (and fairly ruthlessly reducing out the remaining). It actually will be that straightforward. It takes lots of bodily time to kind via all of it – however that line of pondering is what we saved 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 just a few months. Ha!
Oh, and one MVP of the transfer has turned out to be essentially the most random factor: our white Ikea planters (you may see one within the image above and one other within the shot beneath). They’ve been such good staples over time and we’ve had lots 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 go away you with one final thought. I believe individuals who face the thought of downsizing are plagued by the thought of “what if I downsize this factor after which I actually 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. If you happen to do, you may at all times purchase one thing like that. However think about how rather more area you’ll have in your cupboards in the event you simply have stuff you use in them.
Our precise expertise is that we actually can’t even bear in mind, not to mention record, lots 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 in the event you aren’t shifting too, and simply need some wiggle room in an overstuffed drawer or cupboard. I guess 10 out of 10 individuals who have majorly downsized will inform you an identical factor. We don’t even bear 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 lots of baskets up there – which was a certain signal that I wasn’t utilizing them – however I by no means miss having an enormous area to fill with stuff I’ll neglect about for years on finish!
I hope this huge mind dump of a publish is useful or a minimum of simply enjoyable to learn and reminisce with us. We positively liked wanting again on all the pieces that has made this huge journey with us, and are so grateful for the place we’re on this second – in a smaller home with loads of seaside & pool time (oh the perks of no yard to mow, no storage to arrange, and solely 5 rooms and 1 lavatory to wash!).
If you happen to’d wish to learn extra about our total downsizing journey…
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