Moving Into a Small Space?

San Francisco Painted Ladies

San Francisco Painted Ladies

(Updated 4/27/2018)

Are you moving to a smaller home? There are a few things to consider when you are moving into a small space whether or not you’re moving from a larger home or one that’s about the same size.

And let me say that all small spaces are not alike.  There are so many variables to consider.

  • Floor plans, for example, might be about the same size but totally different in layout.
  • It makes a difference where the windows and doors are located and whether or not it’s a loft space, open concept or separate rooms.
  • Are there stairs? If there are, will you be able to move large pieces of furniture in and out of the space?

Checklist – 9 things you need to consider on your home search for a smaller space.

Are you planning to rent the property or purchase the property?

Some of the considerations will be the same but if you’re renting, these tips will make more sense. If you’re buying, they’re still important considerations but you’ll be able to be more flexible.

When you’re looking at multiple apartments or homes for the first time:

  1. Carry your Camera with you and take pictures. Photos will give you a frame of reference because – trust me…when you get home at the end of the day, you’ll need a frame of reference! It’s a big decision so you’ll need to weigh all the pros and cons of each place.

Floor Plan Sketch2. Bring a tape measure. (I always have one with me) so that you can measure each area…will your furniture fit?

3. Do a quick sketch of the floor plan.  Where are the windows and the doors?

4. If you’re renting, ask if you can paint the walls or hang wallpaper?  If you’re buying, of course, you’ll just have to decide if that’s something that will need to be done.

5. Consider storage: What size are the closets? How much storage is in the kitchen…the bathroom? Is there a cupboard for your linens? Is there a coat closet near the front door?

6. Ask these questions, too:

  • What is the countertop material…laminate or natural stone?
  • What appliances are included?
  • Is there a dishwasher?
  • Where is the laundry area…in the apartment or on another floor?
  • Are you allowed to install your own laundry appliances?  This is a consideration if you’re buying a condo, for example.swing arm lamp

7. Consider what kind of lighting you’ll need.  Is there ceiling lighting or are there wall sconces already in place? If space is going to be tight, consider purchasing wall sconces to hang in lieu of table lamps or floor lamps.

8. Check out the flooring:  Are the floors carpeted or are they hardwood or laminate…is there tile in the kitchen and bathrooms? Will you need Area Rugs ? (affiliate)

9. Check the size of your current furnishings and refer to the photos you took of each place to see if there is a good fit.  Once you decide which space is right for you, you can feel confident that you’ve made a good decision.

Honestly, I’ve experienced the remorse of moving into a smaller home thinking all of my furniture and belongings would fit and then realizing that I was totally wrong!

True story…when we moved from Pittsburgh, PA to a lake home in Minnesota we brought along a beautiful sectional that we’d purchased years ago when we lived in Kansas City (yep…I was a corporate wife and we moved several times during my husband’s career).

Anyway, I had a miserable time trying to fit that sectional in the living room of our new home. Talk about frustrating! Finally, I figured out an arrangement that worked but that’s an illustration of what can happen if you aren’t prepared.

Mercury Row Storage Bench from Wayfair

Mercury Row Storage Bench from Wayfair


For small space furnishings like storage benches which are classic multipurpose furnishings, you can’t go wrong with either Zulily or Wayfair, two hugely popular online retailers. (affiliates)

They both offer free shipping and that’s huge if you’re ordering large pieces.

I like that Wayfair has a section called Room Ideas with over 16,000 rooms you can browse for ideas! That’s an amazing feature in my book.

So this should give you some guidance when you’re considering a move.  Print this list to carry with you.

What are some of the dilemmas that you’ve faced during a move? Did you figure out a way to resolve them? Leave a comment or a question and I’ll promise to reply.

I hope you’ve found this post interesting and useful and if so, it would be grerat if you’d share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Google+.


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Cat Friendly Small Space Decor Ideas

Cat friendly small space decor ideas

If you’re a cat lover and have a small home, it’s a challenge to stylishly decorate and keep it cat-friendly, as well.

Cats are typically lively little creatures and will play with anything that’s not nailed down.  Fragile accessories and easily scratched surfaces are probably not the way to go.

You already know that living in an apartment or small home can be boring for your furry kiddo.  Cats are perfect pets for small spaces partly because they’re often snuggly and contented housemates and because they are pretty low maintenance…you don’t need to walk them every day!

But they do need a certain level of activity to keep them healthy and active. This new story on Apartment Therapy is all about making your small apartment more fun for your cat! 

I love this photo of my daughter’s cat, Eva, watching a squirrel nibble on pumpkin seeds. She was mesmerized!

Eva watching a squirrel

Sitting in front of a glass door or lounging on a window sill or cat shelf are just a few ways to make sure your cat is entertained.   It’s what I like to call “crittervision”!

I just know you’ll get a big kick out of this excellent article on 25 Awesome Furniture Design Ideas for Cat Lovers.

A bonus is that many of these suggestions can be DIY friendly.

My favorites are the All-In-One Cat Bathroom…  All-in-one cat bathroom

Cat bed planterAnd the Cat House Planter!

They’re both functional AND stylish!

Here are a few tips that are especially useful.

  • Make sure your cat has plenty of toys.  They’re easily bored and that can prove to be trouble! Keep the toys in a low basket to make it easy for your kitty to choose his favorite.
  • Use throw rugs and slipcovers.  There are some beautiful but inexpensive rugs (slip-proof) and slipcovers available. Easy to wash or to shake out the cat hair.  My daughter purchased inexpensive white (yes, white) bedspreads from Ikea to use on her furniture.  They’re really lovely.
  • Use candles with caution…better, yet, don’t use real candles, at all!  I’ve learned to love the battery-powered pillar candles.  They are so realistic looking, these days, and if you forget to switch them off the house will not go up in flames!
  • Secure accessories with  Collectors Hold Museum Putty.  It’s removable and non-toxic and the review are excellent.

If you can, choose furniture with exposed legs, rather than skirts…pet hair and dust can gather underneath furniture with skirts making it hard to clean.

If you can’t use a slipcover and you can’t teach your kitty to stay off the furniture, place a throw across the seat…it’ll give your cat a cozy place to perch and will be easier to clean.

Use a semi-gloss paint on the walls to make removing paw prints or cat hair (that stuff can be like a magnet to a wall!).

Try to place a piece of furniture under a window (without having delicate accessories on top) so your furry friend has a place to perch and watch what’s happening outside. Or purchase a pet shelf like this one that’s designed for that purpose. Deluxe Cat Shelf

If possible, brush your cat on a fairly regular basis because that will keep the hair to a minimum. And once they get used to it, cats do like being groomed.

From time to time, I’ll update this post when I come across other good ideas for creating attractive, functional and cat-friendly small space decor ideas.

Litter BoxUPDATE:  Want 10 Ideas for Disguising or Hiding a Litter Box?

They’re here in this post from Apartment Therapy My two favorites are the 2nd and 4th ideas (pictured is #4)…what’s your favorite?

If you have found a particularly successful solution to any of these dilemmas, let me know…post photos and tell us how you solved a problem!

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