I’m downsizing from a large home to a condo. HELP!

In the recent economic turn down, it became more common for people to scale back their lifestyles and for many this meant a smaller space. Empty-nesters also face the issue of how to adjust from a five bedroom home to a condo. The first thing to do is be very honest with your self. What do you have to keep and what can go? Many of us become pack rats after many years of living in a large home. Do you really need that much stuff?

Measure your existing furniture, using only what you are sure fits in the new rooms. Purchase sofas that are sized for this kind of space. Many manufacturers make “apartment” or “mid-size” sofas. Buy upholstered pieces with a narrower silhouette, not big rolled arms. You’d be amazed how often you can actually achieve MORE sitting area in the same footprint by using English or track arm sofas that have a width of about four inches. I also always like to use rolling ottomans and stools. They can go anywhere for extra seating and when not in use store under a console or cocktail table.

Use every available space!  Open up under stairwells for storage. Build shelves to the ceiling.  In bathrooms, cut out niches in the walls and in the shower area for display of soaps, candles and towels. Beds with built in drawers saves space when there isn’t room tof it in a dresser.

Use less furniture but make it work harder. Look at drop leaf dining room tables that seat four daily, but can open up to accommodate more on special occasions. Use the center island as a buffet. The second bedroom in a condo can do triple duty as a den/guest room/office. Don’t be boxed in by rules. Rooms don’t need labels. This is where the old adage “less is more” comes in. Make it your motto!


There are many great books on the subject as well as a renewed interest today in building smaller houses and how to live in 100-200 square feet.  With a little ingenuity and creativity it can be fun!