10 Smart Tips to Downsize in Style
As you ready for your new fun-sized lifestyle in a smaller space or apartment, here are some tried-and-true ways to create a stylish, streamlined look. Voilà! More room to enjoy what matters most.
1. Shift your mindset.
There’s a lot to look forward to in a smaller space. If you’ve shifted from home to apartment, you can enjoy the freedom of maintenance-free, lock and leave living. With less items tucked away in remote basements or closets, you’ve got more of what you need at your fingertips. Embrace the lightness.
2. Measure twice, move once.
It sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how much you can fit into a room if its configured correctly. Measure all your furniture and the square footage of each room in your new place carefully. Make sure to account for placement of doors, windows and appliances, too. Factor in flow as you envision your new space.
3. Reimagine your style.
The idea of completely rethinking your aesthetic—especially if you’ve been in the same space for a long time—can be quite tantalizing. What is your vision for your new space? How will you live your life there? Experiment with different looks and visualize what you want by using sites like Houzz and Pinterest for inspiration.
4. Divide and conquer.
You’ve probably heard it’s a good idea to divide your things into three categories (Keep, Sell, Donate). To help you decide what stays and what goes, make sure you’re asking the right questions. Your possessions should have three functions: functional, aesthetic or sentimental. What would break your heart to lose? Are you keeping it just because it was expensive? Be ruthless about purging to lighten your load. Some easy passes include duplicates, appliances you rarely use and clothes you haven’t worn in a year.
5. Hire a pro.
Consider hiring a professional organizer who can give you an objective opinion on what to keep, as well as help organize your belongings in your new home.
6. Maximize storage that wows.
The right storage solution can make your new place not only feel more spacious, but also look great. Choose functional yet attractive pieces such as wicker baskets, coffee tables with hidden storage and custom shelving units made to hug every corner and angle.
7. Think quality and multipurpose.
For example, keep a great statement piece instead of multiple pieces just to fill a room. If you’re buying new for your apartment, choose items that multitask, such as elegant sideboards with great open and closed storage or sofas that have fold-out beds for overnight guests. Consider how to get dual-use out of rooms, too (e.g. guest room that doubles as a study).
8. Go for big art.
Your instinct may be to store your larger art, but large art pieces can make your space feel more open and less cluttered.
9. Make use of photos.
You don’t need to get rid of family photos—just reimagine new ways to display them. Consider layering frames on narrow bookcases or floating shelves. This can create a cleaner, sleeker look.
10. Layer your layout.
Many people assume pushing all your furniture against the wall will make the room bigger. Not so. Instead, pull furniture an inch away from the wall for an expansive effect. Make use of limited kitchen space by adding shelves above the door to maximize storage of pots, pans and other items.