It has been a while since I have updated this blog and there has been a good reason for that. We have moved into Project Weavers Cottage. We do plan on putting it back up for sale in the spring, but as we were renting, our lease came to an end and it made no sense to pay for two houses. But what I can say is that although it made perfect sense on paper, the reality was somewhat different and we found ourselves having to downsize immensely. We moved from a four bedroomed house into a three. From a house that had two living rooms and a big dining kitchen into one open plan living and kitchen area. It has certainly been a learning curve when it comes to minimising your life and making decisions about what you need and perhaps what you don’t. Having said that, this is only temporary. Once it does sell we will be moving on to our next project. Which means we have a lot of our furniture and other belongings in storage right now.
So what makes a difference?
One thing that can make a big difference is furniture. I think that having a house furnished is going to increase the chances of it selling when the time comes. There is just something about it looking homely and lived in that makes it much more appealing than an empty space, in my opinion. It goes without saying that I now need to be sharing with you much more interior focused articles as it has been really lovely to furnish the house and make it a home. We have bought different types of furniture to suit the space. The main reason being that living previously in bigger homes, our furniture sort of matched that. Big sofas and lots of things was just not going to suit this cottage. I feel like we have really made use of the space and I am looking forward to sharing with you how the house looks fully finished. If you follow us on Instagram you may have already seen some pictures on there.
Is there a process?
But it got me thinking about the process. The whole downsizing process that is. It took a lot of thought and preparation to move from a bigger house into a smaller one, and while nothing has changed in terms of the amount of people living under one roof, decisions had to be made to ensure we were comfortable and had what we needed. Which is why I thought I would quickly share with you our top tips for downsizing.
Take a minimalist approach
There is a lot being said about minimalism at the moment and many people are embracing this lifestyle change. I guess by nature I am a bit of a hoarder, I had a lot of stuff that perhaps I didn’t need, but I just couldn’t part with. So I decided to use the approach of whether or not I wanted it, needed it, or loved it. If it didn’t fit into any of those categories it was gone. The next thing that needed to be decided upon was what was needed right now or whether some things could go into storage. That was the hardest decision, especially with things like my recipe book collection, but this house didn’t have the space for lots of books. Taking this approach allowed me to clear the things I didn’t need and store properly the things I did. Which brings me nicely on to my next point.
Store things correctly and be organised
If you do need to store things, now would be the ideal time to store them correctly. I found that specific boxes, such as box I created as a memory box for my son, was ideal to place all of the little things I had been collecting over the last few years. Putting it in the one box and storing it means I have a dedicated place for these things. Making it easily spotted if I do want to look for it in the future. Vacuum bags have also been a life saver, especially for clothes. Right now it is winter, I don’t need all of the summer stuff that would have been hung up in a wardrobe. With reduced hanging space I needed to be more organised with my clothing. These are now easily stored under our bed.
Buy furniture with storage if the space is limited
In the cottage there isn’t a huge amount of space for storage. My husband and I have a wardrobe each. There are drawers as well. But we still needed extra space for things such as suitcases, clothes, bedding etc. As the ceilings are elevated on the top floor there is no attic space for this. We needed a new bed, so we thought about an ottoman style that would give us storage under the bed. There is so much space under there.
Be creative with outdoor storage
As we have no attic space, there is that thought about the things you might need at certain times of the year. Christmas springs to mind having just recently enjoyed the festive season. So if you have the space, an outdoor shed or summer house is the ideal place for these sorts of things. Downsizing doesn’t necessarily mean you get rid of everything in your life. You are just more conscious about the things you do keep. Using outdoor storage is a great way to keep it out of the house, but still giving your access to it.
It took a while to figure out the type and size of furniture for this house. It isn’t because we couldn’t furnish it, it was because we were used to not having to take size into consideration. But if you are downsizing the likelihood is that you may be moving to a place with smaller rooms. You don’t need to compensate on style or comfort. Just measure up furniture and mark out where it will sit in the room so that you can determine you are buying the right sized furniture. Even a few inches can make a difference to how big or small a room feels. Too much furniture, or furniture that is too big can make a room feel even smaller.
I hope that our tips on downsizing might help you out in the future, if you happen to be going through the process just as we have.