You may be wondering how I can group college dorm room ideas in with downsizing and moving to a retirement home? It seems like I’m comparing being 17 or 18 to being 60, 70, and 80+ years old, right? It sounds sorta crazy? I mean, what could an 18-year-old moving into their first “space” have in common with someone moving into a smaller, possibly “last” space?
I think they have a lot in common.
To begin with, they are both starting a new chapter in their lives. This provides an excellent opportunity to try styles they haven’t had a chance to try before. The college student has an advantage here because they probably don’t have existing furniture so they can start brand new. The retired person probably has furniture that they have acquired over the years which may or may not be their current style. Either way, this new beginning is a great chance to do something different!
This new beginning also offers a chance to purge the old. The old clothes, shoes, knick-knacks, decorative pictures, decorative pillows, decorative anything, whatever it may be that has been outgrown, can now be tossed, given away, or sold without guilt. I think the important thing to remember is, you don’t HAVE to toss anything but moving can be a good excuse to get rid of the sweatshirt someone bought you that you didn’t like but feel guilty about getting rid of. The retired person most likely has more stuff and can now purge guilt-free.
When moving into a new space, function, is, of course, the first priority. You must have the basics that provide you with comfort and the necessities.
If you are moving from home to home you most likely have, assuming it fits into your new home, at least a few pieces of furniture. Whether starting fresh or moving a U haul load, this is a great opportunity to update your existing or purchase new.
Side note: I think updating and purchasing “new” can be done on a budget. A coat of paint or decorative painting can completely change a piece of furniture. If you are painting challenged, try a local high school or college art department, they may paint for the price of a pizza. Most hardware stores and big box stores will sell paint that people returned (due to the color) at a reduced rate, just keep checking back until there is a color you like.
Also, there are a ton of people getting rid of furniture all the time, you may be able to find a “new to you” piece at yard sale prices. What I’m saying is to be creative. This is a great time to get what you want!
If you are looking for new items, look for items that are multi-functional or serve a dual-purpose. An ottoman with storage, a lamp with a USB port, a chair that is also a bed, use a bookcase as a room divider, the possibilities are endless!
The function is important and your space may be limited, but style can make the difference between you loving your space or it feeling like a hotel room.
Some people get caught up in having one “style” such as country, beach, boho, or blue but you can like and have pieces from all those elements mixed together. Your style doesn’t have to fit into a box, be eclectic and let it naturally evolve!
Insert you in to your space! I took several pieces sitting around the house for the picture to the right (yes, I had to dust them first). Wow, that is eclectic!
They all bring me joy and say a little about me.
My mother-in-law got me the M&M container – I love M&M’s and yellow. My husband has an M&M container wearing camo because he was in the reserves. I smile when I see them sitting on the shelf.
The Travelocity traveling gnome, my brother got for me. I love to travel plus my sister-in-law and I love the show The Amazing Race, again, I smile when I see it.
The yellow bird – I was with friends on vacation, it caught my eye, and I “had” to have it! It is breakable and a little heavy and I lugged it back (I can’t remember where we were) and I’m so happy I did.
The little bobblehead turtle wearing glasses is made from seashells and it makes me laugh! My brother, sister-in-law, and I were in Vegas visiting family. We went to the Hoover Dam one day while they worked and stopped at the biggest tourist trap souvenir place you have ever seen…and I found the turtle there.
We have snapshots of loved ones all over the house, we love looking at the pictures. These are all things that insert personality into our home and bring back fond memories of people, places, and trips.
But if photos and knick-knacks stress you out, skip them! Be true to you!
This is where succulents come in. A room can be functional, stylish, full of personality and when you add a succulent (or any plant) you add warmth and a homey feel.
Here are some benefits of having succulents in your space.
- The make your space healthier by cleaning the air
- They are calming and reduce stress
- They release oxygen at night which can help you sleep
- They can boost your mood
- They have been shown to improve focus and memory
Read this article for more details on their benefits.
Do you think they would be a pain to care for? Think again!
- Slow growing
- Easy to transport back and forth during summer break or if you are a snowbird in Florida for the winter
- The pot/planter can add more style and personality to a room
- Most succulents are easy to care for and some need only low light
- They can sit on a shelf, be in a hanging pot, or you can get pots that mount to the wall
Here is a quick guide to taking care of them – Succulents and Care
Still not convinced that succulents add a lot to a room? Check Pinterest or any HGTV home makeover show, most of the time a few plants are added to the “new” room to give it that comfortable and cozy feel.
Moving + Change = Stress
This formula has been tested and tested for years! No matter how happy and excited someone is about moving, it is stressful.
By having the proper function you need in your new space, having your style and personality reflected in the space, and by adding some warmth via succulents, it can begin to feel like home in no time!
Have you added plants to a room and loved it? Been stressed when moving? Do plants make your space feel cozier? Let me know by commenting below.