Written By: Linda Frosolone, Frosolone Interiors Ltd, Chicago, IL
Whether you’re downsizing from your 4500 sq foot house to a 1500 sq foot condominium, or you are moving into new space that can no longer accommodate your 2000-piece collection of Elvis memorabilia, now is the time to plan what is going with you in the move.
As tempting as it is to pack it all up and deal with it at the other end, planning on what you’ll be using in your new home is essential – and fun! Your favorite chair can look entirely different in its new location. It might be perfect – or it could become the much too large “white elephant” in the brand-new family room.
Advance floor planning of your new space will give you a direction on what will fit, avoid the expense of moving and then storing unnecessary items, and provide an opportunity to craft new and creative use of your existing furniture. There are many easy, space planning software programs with templates and furniture symbols available on line. This is an ideal way to visualize how your furniture plan is best suited.
In planning your move, three fundamental questions you need to consider are:
- What is the function of each room in your new home?
- What furniture and furnishings are required?
- Will existing furniture fit well within the room or will a furniture piece create a crowded effect or other unintended consequence?
Example: The guest bedroom of your current home will now become a home office in the new condominium. Think about the twin bed set being transformed into a studio couch for additional seating by adding an upholstered bolster. Or, perhaps the clothing armoire from that room can now function as an office supply cabinet. With the addition or removal of shelving it could hold a TV or become a computer station.
Example: The 3-piece sectional sofa will fit in the living room of the new condominium but consider this – the 9’ piece cannot make the turn in the too narrow hallway and will have to be hoisted from the rooftop of your 5-story condominium. Now is the time to see if the additional cost of this “special delivery” outweighs the purchase of a new sofa.
Example: The new residence has no formal dining room but you have a 12-foot dining table, 12 chairs, china service for 12, complete with a matching china cabinet. The table and 12 chairs will probably have to go but the cabinet could serve in another location as book shelving, storage or a display for collections. Again, the size of the furniture will determine how and where it can be used.
This very basic information is obviously common sense, but having moved from a “house” to a “cottage” in my life, I have been faced with similar decisions on what to move. And, if I haven’t experienced it, I’ve certainly seen it with friends and clients.
The reason for stating the obvious is that it is often so difficult to part with our treasures from the past. Planning for what will work in a new environment and eliminating what won’t work is a great starting point. Take what you absolutely require, pack and store away what may be needed in the future, and then recycle, donate or toss the excess. This basic rule will not only simplify your move but it will save you a lot of time and a lot of money in the long run!