Space planning comes into play in various life scenarios. Some of the most common life scenarios include – moving to a new home, remodeling, a new baby, someone moving in or out, inheriting items, new furniture and holiday decorating.
These scenarios dictate the need to consider the available space you currently have, or the space that will become available. This will enable you to create, or adjust your spaces to encourage peaceful surroundings.
Actually, we should always be consciously aware of our homes in terms of space, or our surroundings since we spend so much time there. Too much clutter, and too much furniture is also clutter, causes stress. This stress can be reduced by keeping your belongings proportionate to your living spaces.
Part of the organizing process naturally includes space planning. We de-clutter to free up space. We consolidate to free up space. We move furniture around to free up space. When a room or space no longer works with existing organizing solutions, we tweak them to allow for changes in our life situations. This is space planning, or planning how you will store your belongings.
Let’s take a look at the life scenarios above in terms of space planning. There are specific things to consider in each scenario and some things are included in most of them.
Moving to a new home
This is the most common scenario that involves space planning. Whether you are moving to a larger home or downsizing and moving into a retirement community, the first thing you need is a floor plan.
Most floor plans include overall dimensions of each room and locations of windows and doors. It’s a great start but you need more details for your plan. Details include the locations of HVAC vents, electrical outlets, switches and phone & cable jacks. Take care not to place furniture over floor vents or in front of electrical switches, outlets or phone or cable jacks.
Another part of your space planning should include storage options for each part of your new home. Don’t forget basements, garages and attics. Be mindful when considering attic storage options. Ease of access, frequency of use, item weight and weather need to be considered for attic storage.
The remodeling scenario is similar to moving to a new home. Some remodels may be just one room, others may be multiple rooms. Each room that is remodeled had a previous floor layout and that may stay the same, or may be rearranged. You will need to tweak your plan to accommodate the changes from the remodel with the considerations listed above.
Your new little bundle of joy will need a room of their own. The room you may have been using as an office, or craft room may work wonderfully for your new baby. This scenario could mirror the remodeling scenario above. My guess is that at a minimum, you will move furniture and other items out and paint the room. If that’s the case, you already know the layout so your space planning will be minimal.
Someone moving in or out
When someone new to your family, or household moves in, you will need to determine available space. You may need to repurpose a room much like the new baby scenario above. If they need additional storage other than their bedroom, take that into consideration. The garage, basement or attic could be used for additional storage. Make sure to label all containers, shelves or areas with the owner’s name.
When someone moves out, you will increase available space to your home. That could give others room to spread out, or provide the opportunity to re-purpose a room to an office or workout room. In this scenario you can use the same space planning techniques mentioned throughout this post.
Inheriting items/New furniture
These two categories are pretty much the same in terms of space planning. Before you bring in new furniture or inherited items, such as furniture, determine the placement location before you bring it in. I recommend measuring it to make sure it will fit in the pre-determined location. In the case of inherited items, if there is already a piece in the location you chose, decide which piece is most important to you. Either relocate the existing or inherited piece, keeping in mind that too much furniture is clutter, or donate or sell the excess piece.
On many occasions I’ve heard from those that have had to clear out a loved one’s home, only to bring all, or most of their furniture into their homes with no plan on where to put it all. It ends up in the garage or basement and that’s where it stays.
Depending on how much décor you will put up, you may need to determine a space plan. Christmas trees are typically the biggest piece of décor to take up space in your home. If you have a spacious home, it’s not really an issue. Those with smaller homes, may need to relocate furniture pieces to free up space for the tree.