I’ve yet to meet someone who truly likes moving… the thought of moving is fun, and the prospects of a new place, a new home, or a new city is exciting. But packing and trying to see what comes and what stays? I have yet to meet someone. I myself have moved a few times, from Winnipeg to Toronto, to Calgary, to Costa Rica. I’ve learned to dread packing! I’ve learned to downsize and see what is important to me and I’ve learned a few helpful tips along the way. Here are a couple of those tips so you’ll know exactly what to bring, what to leave behind and how to arrange your furniture in your new home. Say goodbye to the headache of moving and get excited again!

How To Incorporate Your Existing Furniture In A Space That Is The Same Size.

Moving into a home that is about the same size as your previous one is one of the easiest moves to do because your furniture is already the right size! You also most likely already have all the furniture you need to fill the space. Where it can get complicated is in the layout. If you liked the layout of your furniture in your previous place it might be hard to see other layout possibilities. This might be because the room is a slightly different shape, or the doors and windows are located in a different location or you now have a fireplace that will be the feature of your living room. The best thing to do in this case is to get rid of all ideas of how your furniture used to be placed and start from the beginning.

I have two favorite ways to go about changing the layout of a room.

1 – Sit in the room and imagine how it will feel with your furniture in there. What comes to mind? Do you see your couch by the window? The reading chair in a corner? Imagine everything, then bring in your furniture and place it where you imagined. Trust your thoughts and don’t second guess yourself. You might have to adjust a bit depending on how good you were at imagining the real scale of your furniture.

2 – In the empty room bring in the biggest piece of furniture you have (i.e. Bed, T.V. unit, Couch). See where that piece of furniture works in the room based on its use and where it would make more sense for you to have it. Then bring in the second largest piece of furniture and see where you would place it in relation with the largest piece. Continue this way, bringing in and placing increasingly smaller pieces of furniture, until you have put in everything. Again, you’ll most likely have to adjust the layout a bit after you’ve placed everything, but at least it gives you a starting point and makes it less intimidating!

NOTE: Sometimes you have no choice in where something will go because it has to be plugged into the wall, or needs to be by the window for airflow and natural light, or it needs to be away from a window so it doesn’t get damaged by the sunlight, etc.

How To Incorporate Your Existing Furniture In A Space That Is Smaller.

The challenge with moving to a smaller place is to see what will fit and how! You already know that you’ll have to downsize and leave some things behind, but what you really have to look at is if any of your furniture will really work. If most of your furniture is big and bulky it might just end up looking too cramped in there. A big sectional and a bulky queen bed will be much harder to incorporate in a smaller place than a sofa and double bed with lighter frame. It’s not just a matter of not having as much furniture, it’s checking to see that the scale will work.

So what’s the best way to downsize?

  • Get rid of the stuff that doesn’t match or that you don’t like first. That it’s a coffee table, a side chair or desk this is your chance to pick and choose your best furniture pieces to keep for your new place.
  • Be ready to break up the set. If you have a matching couch and loveseat you might have to part with one of them. Or if your dining set sat 6 but you only have room for 4 chairs and a smaller table, don’t be afraid to break up the set. You can always buy two head chairs in a different color and style if you go larger again in the future.
  • Check it will all fit by measuring and calculating how much space you’ll need around the furniture. Typically for one person to move around comfortably they need 45-60cm of clearance. Take into account any activities that will happen around the room and how much space those activities need to not feel cramped. This is anything from getting dressed, to practicing yoga, to entertaining friends.
  • You might have to change the location of some furniture pieces (you’re home office desk might now have to be located in the living room instead of it’s own room) and be creative with the furniture you’ll be using like using it for dual purposes.

How To Incorporate Your Existing Furniture In A Space That Is Bigger.

Moving into a bigger place isn’t necessarily easier than downsizing! You’ll have more space for your new furniture but will also have to buy a couple of new things so the rooms don’t look so bare. Or, if you have small scale furniture because you were in a tiny apartment, it might look way too small for your new high ceiling living room. Start by moving into your new place and arranging the furniture you already have. It will then be easier to see where you have dead spaces around your home that need to be filled with furniture or decor. Try to make whatever you are buying match in style with what you already have! Like I mentioned in the section for moving in a similar sized home, you may have to change the layout from what you had in your previous home.

The other thing that might happen is you’ll have to move everything closer to the centre of the room. Don’t place your furniture relative to the walls and the size of the room but rather place your furniture in relation to each other. This is where the tip of not putting your sofa up against the wall comes into play. You wouldn’t want to have to get up to put your drink on the coffee table that is in the middle of the room or raise your voice to speak with someone sitting across from you and against the oposite wall.

I’d love to know if you’re moving soon and in which category your move fits in – same size, smaller or bigger – and if you plan on keeping your furniture or selling and buying. If it’s been a while since you moved what do you wish you had done to make the move a bit easier?