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  • Writer's pictureGina Gaurisas-Wilson

Downsizing your home | Creative ways to keep your furniture

Updated: Jan 2

Whatever your reason for downsizing, sorting out possessions is time-consuming and usually carries an emotional toll. The size and number of furniture pieces may not fit in your new place, leaving you with the need to think hard about what to do with them. My easy guide to sorting out your furniture is brief and practical and it may save you some headaches.

Downsize your home--front porch
Photo: Gina Gaurisas-Wilson

We downsize for various reasons:

  • Simplify life

  • Financial benefit

  • Job relocation

  • Separation or divorce

  • Becoming empty nesters

  • Retirement

  • Health issues

I advocate for keeping old furniture that has personal value to the owner. The reasons? The most important: it means something to you. It makes your space more interesting, more personal, and leads to a good conversation with your guests about the memories it holds for you. My previous post is about memories.

Whether you are moving into a smaller house, a condo, or an apartment, an old piece of furniture should find its rightful place in it.

Old wash stand
Photo: Gina Gaurisas-Wilson
I like for people to see the possibilities of how to make their furniture work better in their new place.

Custom-designed hutch to expand the use of this dresser

Dresser with added hutch
Furniture Restyler

Maximize the use of your furniture in various ways

  • Using a single piece in multiple ways

  • Resizing

  • Repurposing to meet new uses

  • Combining two pieces into one

See more examples of my before and after furniture

Benefits of modifying/restyling your furniture

  • Meet your changing needs

  • To save money and shopping time by using what already works for you

  • Preserve quality, workmanship and materials

  • Old furniture has character and stories to tell with the memories they evoke

Find the right place

If you are looking for simplicity or freedom of material possessions, shipping container houses and tiny houses or cottages are a popular option. They don’t have to be "too tiny" so you can still walk upright in your bedroom and move around easily. They are a small contribution to your carbon footprint.

Although built-in furniture maximizes limited space, you can incorporate some of your old furniture to make the space more interesting, rich, and personal.

Shipping container house in Costa Rica

Photography: Andres Garcia Lachner, Design: Studio Saxe

Tiny cottage in Cape Cod, MA

Photography: Dan Cutrona, Interior design: Christopher Budd

Tiny cottage

If your choice is an active and independent senior living community, important things to consider are cost, location, skillful and attentive staff, quality and variety of services, atmosphere of the space, and food. Overture Crabtree and Waltonwood Lake Boone are high quality and unique senior communities for active and independent living in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Photographs courtesy of Overture Crabtree

Photographs courtesy of Waltonwood Lake Boone

Professional Movers

The downsizing process can be very intense and lengthy depending on how much stuff you own, the time you have to spend, and your budget.

If you need help with the move, Professional Move Managers can make the process very easy. They can do it all for you, or just a portion of it—you choose. The earlier you start, the better off you will be.

Your realtor, personal banker or attorney can guide you to your local resources for the moving process.

Whatever your reasons are for downsizing, keep in mind the expert advice from moving managers: do the homework ahead of time.

Thanks for reading!

I don't monitor this post, but feel free to contact me with questions or comments at

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