floor planning for downsizers

If you’re moving to a smaller space (or moving at all, really!), an accurate floor plan of where your furnishings and belongings will go is essential.  In fact, the smaller your next place is, the more important the floor plan becomes.  A plan that you do yourself or one prepared by a professional will save you time, money and headaches when it’s time to make the move:

  • Save money by not moving things that won’t fit into your new space
  • Bring the furnishings, accessories and belongings that fit your current and future lifestyle
  • Plan for the space you need to comfortably move about your space
  • Face fewer decisions to make about what to take with you.

Before You Get Started

The biggest challenge most people have with choosing which furniture to take with them is that they tend to focus on bringing along their favorite or most valuable possessions.  While these are important considerations, a much smaller space creates many practical considerations. 

We recommend that you start by thinking through your current lifestyle and how you will live in your next space.  For example, will you prioritize seating for visitors, a desk for work, or space to house your collections?

When you think through your floor plan, try to mentally isolate each furniture piece you own and evaluate it individually based on size, beauty and functionality.  You may find that some of your “lifetime” or “family” pieces may not fit or serve you well in your next space.

Can You Do it Yourself?

The short answer is “maybe”.  Do-it-yourselfers are most successful at creating an accurate floor plan when:

  • The shape of the rooms you’re planning for are generally square or rectangular, without a lot of angles.
  • You’re not trying to fit a lot of large pieces into small spaces.
  • You have some professional guidance about floor planning best practices (lucky you! See below.)
  • You have the time, ability and mental focus required to take accurate measurements of both the room and your furniture.
  • You’re good at that sort of thing!

When to Call in a Professional

Professional floor planners can add a lot of value during the planning phase of your move.  An experienced professional will be able to:

  • Take the most exact and thorough measurements of your rooms and your furnishings.
  • Will anticipate the appropriate clearances for walking, maneuvering, etc.
  • Consider details like sun exposure, planning for lighting, anticipating glare on screens, etc.
  • Look at your options with a neutral eye, without emotional investment in your current pieces.
  • Provide the optimal floor plan for your lifestyle based on what you already have and what you may need to purchase.

Lots of people end up needing help, but if you want to try it yourself first, give it a go!  Be sure to read our detailed article about how to DIY a floor plan for moving first!

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