PANTA FAMILY


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Scaling Down: Moving Into A New, Smaller Home

Start with the items you will be giving away. Move through each room of your house, and pull out these select items.

Before you host a neighborhood garage sale, start with your own children and other close friends and relatives. Could any of them use your unwanted furniture or other accessories?

One recent empty nester stored several boxes of old dishes and table linens in anticipation of her daughter graduating college and furnishing her first apartment. Not only was it a great way of getting her daughter into her first place without the expense of dishes, it also helped her daughter feel more at home because she was using items she recalled from her childhood.

Also provide your children with boxes of personal items that have special meaning to them, but won't be a part of your new home. Items like curios, schoolbooks and papers, and mementos from growing up can all be added into these boxes.

Next, begin to assess your existing furniture once you've purchased your new home. Not only will you be decreasing the amount of space you have, but the style and size of the rooms will change as well. A country look in the suburbs may work well; yet not have a place in a new high-rise condo.

When you finally decide on a new place, look carefully at the dimensions. There are many software programs to help you with placement of furniture. Or simply record the dimensions of each room on graph paper, and work with the dimensions of each piece of furniture. Decide which pieces to keep and which to give away.

Also remember that some pieces of furniture are flexible, and can be used in a variety of ways. That comfy chair from your family room may be the perfect addition to the nook in your new bedroom. Or the sofa table in your living room may be a great accent piece in your new hallway.

And every move deserves to have a few new pieces purchased exclusively for the new home. When nothing else seems to fit, head out to the stores and find something new. If you've been dreaming of a new entertainment center complete with plasma TV, splurge and have fun with it. It will make your move more exciting, and give you something new to enjoy as an empty nester.

Finally, live with your choices for a few months, and see how things work out. After every move, there's always a piece or two of furniture that just never seems to fit. Move it to different locations, or if it just doesn't fit in, move it out of your home.

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