On The Move – What Will Fit in Your New Home?

Beth Giles, Owner of NW Organizing Solutions (providing moving and downsizing services in the Portland, Oregon area) authored this very useful article, giving permission to post it here.On the Move - What Will Fit?

“You can’t fit a gallon of water into a quart size jar!” 

“This insightful statement also applies to the furniture and belongings we hope to fit into our homes when we downsize. No matter how hard we push, shove or squeeze we probably can’t fit everything from our larger home into our new smaller place.  So how do we figure out what will fit?

Here are a few easy ways to decide what furniture and belongings may be included in your new space.

Do the math:

  • Take the size (square footage) of your present home, and compare that to the square footage of your new home.
  • What percentage are you decreasing?
  • For example, if you are living in a 2,000 square foot home and plan to move to a 1,000 square foot home, you will be decreasing your space by 50%. This simple math means you will need to reduce your belongings by at least 50% as well.
  • This percentage of decrease applies not only to your big furniture but also to the many other smaller items in your home like clothing, dishes, and so on.

On the Move - What will fit?

Make a floor plan:

* Using ¼” graph paper, sketch out your new space with the scale of 1 box equals 1 foot (1/4”=1’).
* Measure the furniture pieces you hope to put in that room.
* Draw the shape of each furniture piece at the same scale on a separate piece of paper and cut it out.
* Now arrange your room as you wish (without all the heavy lifting).
* Remember to allow at least 24” to 36” (about 2-3 squares) of open space to move between furniture pieces and through the room.
* Don’t forget to figure in space to open doors, cabinets and drawers and to pull out chairs.
* To help with this process there are plastic furniture templates available at office supply stores.
* If you are computer savvy, you can buy floor plan design software or use a free one available online such as at Art Van Furniture or Sweet Home 3D .
* It’s a huge advantage to have your floor plan handy to help the movers with furniture placement.

Recreate the space:

  • Get the feel for your new space by recreating it in your present home.
  • Using blue painter’s tapeOn the Move - what will fit (which can be easily & safely removed), create a taped room outline on your present floor following the new space measurements.
  • With the use of furniture glides and the help of a friend, slide the furniture you hope to include in that room into the taped area.
  • Now check to see that there is enough room to walk through the room and that it does not feel too crowded.
  • Pay attention to the location of the entrance and the path of traffic flow, making sure there is adequate space to safely move around.

Spending time before the move figuring out what will fit in your new home will make the whole downsizing process much easier.”  Thank you again, Beth Giles, for sharing your very informative article.


“Every calling is great when greatly pursued”  Oliver Wendell Homes