What you need to know:
Make sure your new small home is cozy rather than crowded hence, get rid of things you do not need before you actually downsize
Moving from a big to a smaller house is not easy but for some reasons people find themselves doing so. It often involves parting with some of your belongings which is not an easy thing to do.
Faith Namagga, a décor expert from Prime House Interiors, says if there is no possibility of adjusting the new accommodation then you need to make some serious decisions about which things you will leave and which ones you cannot do without.
This kind of downsizing may come with a cost in terms of covering repairs, adjusting some features, introducing space saving articles, repairs among others. To make sure you make the right choices here are some tips to follow.
Declutter your big house
Namagga advises that before you move into a smaller space, estimate the amount of space in relation to the items that occupy your bigger house. Make sure your new small home is cozy rather than crowded hence, get rid of things you do not need before you actually downsize. You can donate, sell or toss the items. If you are undecided on what you need to dispose off, put it in a box and store it somewhere. If you have not used any of those items in several months, get rid of them.
“Sometimes it is hard to get rid of some of your items but you can ask a friend to help you sort out the valuable items. This is the right time to get rid of all those broken items you have been hoarding with hopes of getting them repaired,” Namagga says.
Repurpose your furniture
Normally furniture ranging from that in the sitting room, bedrooms, storage rooms, kitchens among other places occupies a lot of space in the house. Fred Mawude a carpenter at De Clerk
Carpentry, says repurposing your furniture and getting rid of the less needed one can help you create space in your small house. If repurposing does not work, you can also think of replacing bigger furniture with small one without heavy legs, armrests that can offer multipurpose storage.
However, this comes at a cost as you need to visit a carpentry shop for the suitable pieces.
“To best utilise your space, you might have to spend a little money on multifunctional furniture and get simple pieces such as a folding table or bed. A small chair makes great use of an underutilised corner,” Mawude adds.
Florence Komugisha who left the comfort of a self-contained four roomed house for a two-roomed one in order to manage her rent, found herself facing a challenge of accommodating her family of five in the new space. She found out that since a small house, does not give one the luxury of assigning specific rooms to specific purposes, she had to use what she had for multiple roles.
“If you have limited space, making use of one room for a various purposes is a wise decision. If you need to turn one room into two, try doing so with a room divider, cabinets or a storage shelf. You can place it in between two beds to create privacy in a bedroom for two people, or you can even use a divider of any sort to create a dining space from the living room,” Komugisha says.
She says that walls are also valuable as hooks and drawers can be attached to them for storage hence decluttering your small room.
Opt for vertical furniture
There are lots of household accessories and furniture that are vertical and multifunctional according to Mawude. A lift-top coffee table can be used as a desk or dining table for small meals, it easily stores magazines and the remote control in its storage compartment.
He adds that sliding doors on small bathrooms instead of the traditional swinging ones can create space . For beds, double or triple decker saves space especially in the children’s room.
Use open space
Normally there is some empty space in your house such as under the window panes and recessed areas where you can squeeze a narrow drawer or a shelf to place items. Books can be arranged under the window pane for their storage. Meanwhile a small table can also be fitted in this space. Namagga says that the ceiling hung around the perimeter of the room is also a great way to squeeze in extra storage space while keeping items out of view. Shelves can be arranged in such an area and a lot of items can be stored there instead of disposing of them off when one moves to a smaller house. “One can safely keep items that are less frequently used in the ceiling space as it is always unused,” says Namagga.