Downsizing

There are lots of reasons to downsize. Sometimes you’re looking for the perfect spot in the perfect neighbourhood. Sometimes your space is simply bigger than you find yourself needing — especially when you’re spending time out and about in your community. We’ve written a few articles on the reasons to downsize, retirement, and why Gananoque is the best place to live.

But where do you start? It’s a daunting task to begin, but extremely rewarding when you’re finished. Here are our tips for downsizing:

Start Early
Give yourself lots of time to plan your move. Many people will recommend starting to downsize at least three months beforehand, but more time doesn’t hurt — especially if you know you’re indecisive or if there are hard choices that will have to be made.
Declutter First
It’s easier to tackle the little projects than the big ones. Start by cleaning out that catch-all drawer, or sorting through your DVD collection, and it’ll be less difficult to make the bigger decisions. You don’t need that DVD cabinet if you’ve only kept a few DVDs — but you won’t know that unless you’ve already sorted the little things you keep inside it.

Take Measurements
Breaking out your measuring tape is a simple and quick way to avoid headaches and heartaches on the day of the move. Check your floor plan for the size of your new rooms, the length of your new walls, and the space you’ll have to put furniture in, then measure your furniture and start to mentally arrange pieces in the new space. If you’re a visual person, you can draw your pieces onto the floor plan or even tape out the size of your new room and arrange your furniture beforehand to see how things fit and where you want them to be.

Keep What You Love And Use
If you adore that armchair you bought ten years ago, or you love that one wall cabinet, you’ll find a place for it in your new home. Don’t feel like you need to throw out your favourite things just because you’re downsizing. When you’re not sure whether or not to keep a piece of furniture, think about how you use the piece and whether or not it’s function can be done by something else. Maybe you only really have enough books for the one bookshelf, and the rest of your shelf is decor — then do you really need two shelves? Probably not. Especially after you’ve gone through your books.

Think About Quality And Cohesion
Think about how your furniture and decor goes together. Stone & South is working with designers Reid & Siemonsen to help you customize your new home to suit your tastes and needs, and you can think about your furniture in terms of style as well. Quality furniture that will last should be kept, and can be made over with a new colour of stain or a new upholstery fabric to help it fit in to its new spot in your home.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Most things don’t need to be thrown in the trash. Many cities offer furniture recycling and Habitat for Humanity accepts furniture and cabinet donations. Clothing and household items can be donated to charities and local organizations. Books can be left at a book exchange. And many, many items of clutter can be recycled. Your stuff is good stuff — don’t let it go to waste just because you don’t need it anymore!
 
Hopefully we’ve helped you start thinking about your next move! For more resources check out this article at Style at Home and this one at HGTV.com.

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South-facing view from Stone & South's building site, 129 South St.

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