When you finally make that difficult decision to downsize your home, relocate to a retirement facility or you simply determine that you no longer want to be a slave to housekeeping, the first thought is, “What am I going to do with all of my stuff?” Sorting through your possessions, family heirlooms, collectibles, children’s toys, and clothing is time consuming. To make the task less complicated, break down the entire process into smaller steps or room-by-room editing. Keeping what you truly love or need and removing excess will help simplify your life.
Creating A Stress Free Living Environment
Doctors report that 75% of patient visits are stress related. And, we intuitively know that we need to create a living environment that is peaceful and stress free. A home that is clutter free, clean, and organized infuses the environment with vibrant energy and at the same time supports your ability to cope with stress in the outside world. A room filled with cozy furniture, inspiring artwork, and beautiful accessories helps you to feel calm and serene within your surroundings. And the up side of downsizing is by living with less, it automatically reduces 40% of the housework in the average home.
Keep Your Living Area Streamlined
With a spacious environment, now you can select furniture with a timeless design that is both comfortable and sturdy. Choose a three-cushion sofa in a neutral color and two side chairs that can be arranged in a U-shape to create a conversational and intimate motif. For smaller scaled rooms, armless side chairs will help the room feel bigger. Swivel chairs allow family and guests join in the conversation or watch TV without moving furniture. You can always add chairs from the kitchen or dining area to this basic layout for additional guests. This straightforward floor plan keeps your living area streamlined.
A living room or family room becomes instantly balanced and symmetrical if the height of the sofa and chairs are all within one or two inches in height. When buying furniture that will be placed in an open floor plan, scrutinize the design and beauty of the back of any chair that will be “floating” in the room. Avoid choosing sectional or modular seating in tight spaces as it limits how furniture can be arranged. Ottomans are a resourceful option for extra seating without adding bulk to a room.
A round coffee table or ensemble stacking tables can help add breathing space within a furniture arrangement. Glass surfaces add a see-through style that opens up the area. A fresh coat of paint on the wall in cooler colors, such as icy blues, pale greens, and soft lavendar will help small rooms feel bigger. Painting some of your furniture, such as a divan in the same color as your walls will also make the furniture “disappear” into the background.
Decorating The Bedroom
Since you spend a third of your life in your bedroom just by sleeping, never skimp on the comfort of your master bedroom. The quality and luxury of your mattress is a high priority. Pillows can make or break a good night’s sleep, and most only hold their shape for a few years. To add life to any droopy pillow, toss them in the dryer with three tennis balls once a week. The battering of the tennis balls helps fluff the pillows back to their original shape.
Bedroom end tables for each side of the bed do not have to be identical if they are of similar height, weight and finish. Attaching matching swing-arm lamps to the wall for reading or accent light are space savers. If square footage is still an issue, avoid a bed frame with a footboard or any frame that has curved headboard and footboards (sleigh bed frames) as this type of decorative bed frame can take up an additional 10-15 inches of space.
Adding More Storage
Storage options are always an issue in smaller spaces. You can find furniture that also doubles as storage hide-a-ways by choosing a trunk as a coffee table or decorative boxes as corner accessories to store off-season items. A living room sofa bed can double as a guest room sleeping area. The coffee table trunk can double as a place for linens and pillows, and can be easily moved off to the side when guests are present.
Finally, add pops of color in every room to reflect your own unique style and personality. By carefully choosing artwork that is both meaningful and inspirational, you will eliminate “visual” clutter.
Downsizing is liberating and gives you more time to enjoy living life to its fullest! For more tips on downsizing and balancing the energy in your home, see my book, Feng Shui Simply.
Cheryl Grace is a feng shui author, professional consultant, motivational speaker, and teacher, who specializes in helping people design their lives from the inside out.