Interior Design Consultant Shelley Scales, gives a few tips on moving into a new smaller home with style and beauty.

Aging is not a subject people generally like to face, though  to “age in place” i.e. in your home, is highly desirable by most. If your home is full of stairs, or has too many barriers that renovation is necessary, or is much too big, it might be time to start thinking about a new place for you to make a home where its easier to age in place.

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We all know that making a move after living in a home for many years is daunting and can cause much stress.

How to Downsize, a step by step approach:

1. Start to get rid of stuff you have been hanging onto that you don’t need.

2. Include grown children. In this step to see if there is anything they need or could take off your hands including stuff they have stored in your home. Smaller condos have very little storage space.

3. Assess the things you have and decide on the essentials.

Define what you need:

Besides the basics, people who downsize have a need for the following:

1. A home office/hobby space

A computer workstation, filing, printer, a place to store bins for supplies for crafts and  display favorite books and references.

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2. Lots of storage in the kitchen and bathrooms

Most condos have between 12 and 15 cabinets, but the increase of handheld appliances, and the trend to cook from home, presents a need for far more storage. You at least need an additional pantry.

Bathrooms are well under planned. The medicine cabinet is almost nonexistent but necessary! So look for ways to add storage for small items.


3. Safe new fixtures i.e. grab bars and great faucets

Not fun, but safely getting in and out of the tub is a really big concern for people with arthritis.  Faucets with one handle are easy to grab and move with one hand.

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4. Good Toilets

that are quiet, water efficient, and are a comfortable height.


5. TV and entertainment center



TVs are getting larger! but there is no place to put them, ensure you have a plan for where yours will go, along with the cable and other components.

6. Good laundry area

with area to hang things to dry. this can be as simple as one rod or a few hooks.


Other than providing these essentials, a downsize should bring you all the comfort and beauty in a home you desire with good colors and interior design. You can paint before you move in. check out my blog – 8 Mistakes When Chosing A Paint Colour. Best to hire a designer who is an expert in paint and light and can tie things together for you with the right shades.

Interior Designers Checklist to Moving:

1. When you are ready to move take photos of all the items you want to keep and print them out as thumbnails several items per page with all the dimensions.

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2. Have a full measure done of the space by a Designer or Measure Masters and do a full scale drawing.

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3. Sort out where you are going to put all your furniture. Make a list of the new items you need you can buy over time or sell the things you don’t want and use the money to buy the new.
4. Create a Pinterest Board to save items from your internet searches you will want to keep in mind for your move. This will help you talk with your interior designer or moving professional. If you don’t know Pinterest, (you should try) you can keep a file instead.  You can sign up at



5. Figure out the best attributes of the new home’s interior, things you would like to change and make a plan with your interior designer to implement a color and design strategy that can be executed over time.

How to solve the downsize storage problem:

This is a problem, as there is a lack of product readily available off the shelf.  Therefore low cost custom furnishings or IKEA “hacking” (taking modular knock-down furniture and upgrading it with simple custom solutions) is a very popular trend for the downsizers and small space dwellers alike.

Pullouts and drawers, new closet organization and built-ins can all be installed into homes with proper planning at an affordable price if planned well.

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Employing a design professional who can help you plan your move so that you are living with good design is a way to ensure you will like your new place and live comfortably and beautifully.

There are a lot of steps and if you start now you can be ready – it will only take a few months to get moved and you will be so glad you did!


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