Moving to a smaller home and decluttering a lifetime of belongings is hard. So hard. We were recently put to the task and helped a longtime client turn a new living space into a loving home for her mother. The emotional impact of moving can be overwhelming whether it is nearby or across state lines. As was the case with this move, the distance was further, but luckily closer to loved-ones.
When downsizing, you often cannot bring everything with you. The belongings you’ve collected over many years have high sentimental value, so of course it would be tough to let them go. Plus, if they still work and still fit your style, it can seem wasteful to not at least try to make them work in your new space!
To be sure we didn’t add to the stress, we worked with our client to make sure Mom was bringing everything that was important to her. It is often an interior designer’s job to be a sounding-board who can visualize the space and your needs, then bring decades of experience of what actually works along with style tips.
How do you begin to sort a lifetime of stuff?
First, we started by creating a floor plan of where Mom’s furniture would be placed. There is no need to move furniture that does not have a home in your new space. By starting with furniture, we could see what options we had for creating a focal point in the main areas, which would act as the foundation for all other elements of design.
Every item brought to the new space with Mom was tagged for the movers so that they (and we!) had a clear picture of what would arrive. On furniture delivery day, we met the movers at the new home and oversaw the placement of each piece of furniture. We knew we were going back the next day and could tweak the arrangements, however, movers are professionals too and we wanted their help as long as we had it! Some of our best tips come from the hands-on experience of movers, painters, electricians and contractors who have seen it all too! We’ve created a team of trusted professionals with various perspective and tons of talent. Collaborating with others is the key to nearly all successful projects!
Once all the furniture and 21 boxes were delivered on that Thursday, we would work our magic on Friday to get ready for a Saturday arrival of our client and Mom! Because we were first in the new space, we were extra motivated to have every area complete for the big reveal, and mark a new chapter for this deserving duo!
After all the large furniture was placed in living and dining areas, we started unpacking the boxes. Organization of the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom were critical so that it could be used the very next day when Mom arrived. No matter your age or stage in life, there are always areas of the home that take priority. These are the areas that you use most often, and therefore, need to function well for your daily needs. Focus on these areas in your own home, keep them clutter free, and they will continue to bring you tranquility!
Soon enough, the new space began to feel like home again when we started to hang art work on the walls. Framed photographs, prints and textiles added color to the white walls and helped Mom’s personality come through. It was important that she recognized the decor enough to make the new space feel like home. Lastly, we put fresh flowers out for Mom to enjoy.
Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Mom had to self-quarantine for 14 days, which was another emotional element for the family. To us, it was one more reason to make her new home, just that… a HOME! Safely and lovingly, mission accomplished.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This project was specifically completed for a dear client of ours and her mother. While you won’t find this mini-service on our website, it is almost EXACTLY what we do during our Designer For A Day service! Give us one day in the most troubling areas of your home and we will use the items you own to redecorate. Plus, we share 40+ years of interior design advice on what to add or remove to make it your new favorite room in the house. Designer For A Day is one of the simplest ways we can help you live your best life in a home you love!