Downsizing – Making the Most Of Your Space

At Guardian, we know that moving home can be overwhelming at times. It can also be exciting, with many housing options out there to choose from. The amount of choice you have obviously depends on the budget you have to rent or to buy a place. It will also depend on the type of place you want and the area you want to move to.

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If you’re a young professional or a student in a new city, moving to a small flat is a great solution If you’re the type of person who likes their own space.

If you want to live alone and save money then a studio is what you should go for. Moving to expensive cities like Edinburgh and London can seem out of reach for some but it can be affordable if the right accommodation is identified. A studio is also popular for people who are out of town a lot or who generally don’t have lots of baggage.

If you’re used to living in a house with your family, downsizing does come with a new way of thinking and living. To make the most of your new space, check out the Guardian guide:

Visit several flats/studios

This is normal when looking for any type of new property but if you’re downsizing it’s imperative. Not all small flats or studios are designed the same. Check out a few places so you get a feel for what’s out there then you can get an idea of the type of place that works for you. This way, you’ll be able to imagine how the flat would accommodate your belongings and what you might need to get rid of before the move.

Measure the space:

Before moving into the property it’s vital that you get all measurements for your accommodation so it’s the appropriate size for shelves, curtains etc if the flat is unfurnished. This is important as you will know if you have enough room for everything and if not, you can then declutter.

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Sort out the colour:

Part of the attraction of moving into a small flat or studio means you don’t have as many rooms to paint. For example, in a studio, you can paint parts the room different colours to differentiate the kitchen and bedroom to offer an illusion of space and separation between each area.

Assess your space:

Get creative in your new space. Although you might not have tons of room, there are various things you can do to change the space up. Use a divider to divide up parts of the room if you’re moving to a studio. If your small flat is open plan you can get creative with the walls and use light paints to make it seem that the place is bigger than it is.

Storage options:

Before moving into the likes of a studio you’ll need to think what type of storage space you’ll need. This is more of like how you’re going to make the most of your small space in this type of property. This includes hanging a bike on a wall to make more space or using stackable boxes for your everyday items or stackable shelves for books.

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Get ready to declutter:

So, when downsizing, this is a big one. Having so many things, in general, can be overwhelming so having belongings cluttering your living space in a studio or small flat can make you feel claustrophobic and confined. Living in tighter quarters means becoming more minimalist. When packing, just before you move, separate your belongings into 3 workable piles; keep, donate or toss out. Most of your stuff you’ll end up keeping but it’s important to ask yourself whether you really need this item and whether someone else can make more use of it. Separating items between the donate pill and toss section can be a tricky area to navigate so be aware. If you’ve held onto certain items for a long time consider if they hold significant value in your life. Sometimes we keep items for sentimental reasons but hold no real usage. If there are items which you really can’t part with, consider using storage like we have at Guardian, to keep those possessions safe.

Consider versatile furniture:

It’s important to purchase furniture that has multiple functions for a small living space. You could have a pull-out couch which is great for chilling and relaxing during the day and is a bed for sleeping in at night. There is also the coffee table that is versatile. It can be used as a storage option for games and books underneath while also being a space for other daily tasks.

Give the space life:

Now, this is where the fun part begins. After the move to the flat or studio, after you’ve unpacked, got acquainted with your new environment, make your own mark on it with a new rug, a cool poster or fabulous curtains. The list is endless.

If you want to rid yourself of items then a studio or small flat is a great option. You just need to be creative with your new living arrangements and organise the space well.

In the Edinburgh area? At Guardian, we have a fantastic storage option if you have items that you need looking after. Also, if you need help with the move then get in contact with us via the contact form!