#7 Plan out your space

Last month, we discussed breaking down the necessary tasks for your downsize or move, and now it’s time for the next tip in our Top 10 list: “#7 Plan out your space”. Identifying in advance the amount of room you will have and understanding what will actually fit into your new home will be very helpful as you begin to make those difficult decisions about what belongings to move with you.

There are several ways to get a feel for your new space and how many of your belongings will fit in in it.

The easiest way to get a general idea of the right amount to downsize is to do a simple math problem. Using the square foot measurements of both your present home and your new home, calculate the percentage of your downsize. If you are presently living in 2,000 square feet and plan to move to 1,000 square feet home, you will be downsizing by 50%. This percentage should be your guideline as you make decisions about everything in your home. You should keep this number as your goal as you work through not only your furniture but also your collections, books and even clothing.

A floor plan is another great tool to use in determining exactly what will fit. This takes a little more time but is well worth it, especially when it’s move-in time. There are some products available for purchase to help you with this process, but it’s simple to do yourself as well. Using ¼” graph paper and the dimensions of your new place, create a floor plan to scale (1/4” box equals 1’). Don’t forget to include all the windows and doorways. Next, measure your furniture pieces and cut out a paper template for each piece. By placing these paper pieces on the graph paper floor plan you can determine what pieces of furniture will fit and where the best location for each piece will be. This is an easy way to move furniture around, with no muscles needed! Make sure to allow enough walking space between each piece of furniture (typically 36”). Once you have decided on the right furniture placement, stick the cut-out furniture pieces to the graph paper room and save it for your move-in day. It will be helpful to refer to this floor plan when telling the movers exactly where each furniture piece belongs as they bring it into your new home. You’ll also be grateful you created this tool as you see each piece of furniture fit in exactly as planned. No surprises!

If working with the paper version isn’t for you, perhaps you’d enjoy recreating the new space in your present home. This method does require some muscles, so make sure you have a few friends and furniture glides available to help. Using painters tape and a tape measure create a taped room outline on the floor that mimics the new room’s shape and size and remember to note the locations of doors and windows. Now slide the furniture you want to include in your area into the created tape outline. Walk through the space to see that there is enough room and that nothing is in the way of doorways or traffic flow. Another great thing to note is how the room feels: whether the room has that overcrowded feeling or whether it feels like a space you could enjoy.

Taking time in advance to figure out what furniture and belongings will fit into your new home will ease your decision making leading up to the move and lessen your stress on moving day. You will be able to start enjoying your new home right away.

Coming next month…# 6 Decide what is important
© 2019 Beth Giles

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