Last time I discussed the advantages and disadvantages of downsizing or resizing as I like to call it.
The thought of moving from a large home to a smaller, more compact space, can be very intimidating. What steps should one take and in what order?
I spoke to two pros on this matter for tips and inspiration on the topic. Firstly, Alicia Deakin of ADI Interiors who has 20 plus years of experience in both residential and commercial design. And Barbara Duggan who was previously an instructor and the Dean of the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Barbara has gone through the process of resizing from the family home to condo living with her husband.
The first and most important consideration is, what is your lifestyle?
What are your hobbies? Do you own pets? How do you like to entertain? Do you work from home? How do you relax? Do you have grandchildren who come to visit often? Take time to think carefully about these questions because answering them honestly will help to make your transition and new home more enjoyable.
Moving to a smaller space, be creative. There may be several purposes for each room. For example, a 2nd bedroom could also be used as a den, office, hobby or crafts room or a room for visiting grandchildren. In order to repurpose any room, think about the type of furniture that would best accomplish this. You might want to invest in a wall unit or murphy bed.
Storage is always a major concern when downsizing. Usually in a Strata you will have the use of a storage locker. It may be a space that is 3 feet by 4 feet. It is not meant to store valuables, but rather seasonal things like decorations, tires, sporting equipment etc. Most strata’s offer secure storage for bikes and also electric bikes.
If possible, get a scale drawing of the new home and use it when deciding what to take and what not to move. Will your king-sized bed, or full dining room furniture fit into your new space? This leads to the question; how do I get rid of these items. You can sell them on sites such as marketplace which is on Facebook or eBay which is another free listing service.
Start as early as you can. It could take several ‘goes’ at it. I had a couple who laid out all the things they were not taking just prior to their actual move, invited neighbors and friends to come and buy (for a nominal cost) anything they wanted. The proceeds went to a local charity.
There are many considerations to think about when moving to strata life.
Firstly, you have a set of Bylaws and Rules to abide by. For example, you may not be able to bring your gas barbecue, and there are limitations as to what can be stored on your balcony. There may be restrictions on the type of window coverings allowed, as the strata works to keep a cohesive look to the building. There may be rules about quiet hours (usually after 11:00 pm), and hours to conduct renovations.
Your neighbors are a lot closer now. If your entrance is of a main corridor you may hear conversation outside your door, smell cooking odors in the corridor.
Sound transmission between floors and walls is a big issue in neighbor relations, as is smoking. There are a number of Strata’s that have voted to eliminate smoking from the property all together. That means in your own home as well.
All the bylaws and rules are put in place for the well-being of the community as a whole. I have been in many strata developments that are very welcoming with many activities arranged by the strata member.
If I have to give one lasting piece of advice about moving into a Strata is READ the BYLAWS and RULES thoroughly and get started as early as possible.
I you want more info listen to my podcast availble on Apple and Sporticfy or here at my website.