The actual process of moving your household can be a rather daunting task. But the stress of standing in line to turn on utilities and deciding on which moving company to use ends once it's all over and done with.The problems of calculating security deposits or cleaning out the fridge and packing up your pantry are short lived. But, there is one area of transitioning to an address that can prove not just stressful, but problematic years after.
As we continue to move forward in this tech-heavy time, there are new considerations we all must include in our interior decorating and furniture arranging if we want a comfortable environment. What is the best orientation for your bed so that both sides have equal access to power outlets for lamps, charging cables, etc? Considering the floorplan of your home, will one router/modem gateway be sufficient to blanket all of your rooms with a healthy Wi-Fi signal for internet? In the rooms for entertaining, where are the ports for cable access and how best can you utilize power strips safely?
Another factor, particularly here in sunny Florida are the locations of air vents, fans, and windows. That living room may be stunning with its floor to ceiling windows, but would your flat screen television and entertainment center be better served in the family room on the other side of the home with less glare from the the sun and certainly less heat in the mid to late afternoon hours?
Holidays can also play a major part in furniture placement year round. Is there a configuration in one of your main entertaining rooms that can accommodate a Christmas tree or other festive display without requiring you to play musical chairs? Remember those ceiling heights and ceiling fixture locations! You might get something to fit, but flip a switch and suddenly it's a few feet shorter! Yikes!
Kitchens are a very mystical room in the home. They're kind of like those changing room mirrors at department stores. You look at the size of the kitchen, think you have a handle on how to move your equipment, food, and ingredients into it and then once in the thick of it, nothing is quite working the way you thought. Sometimes a small kitchen can have just the right layout for organization, ease, and utility whilst a kitchen of a larger size and a different style has inadequate storage space or lack counter tops for food prep. This is another instance where power outlet location is crucial! Do you use a lot of appliances? Mixers, processors, cookers? Is square footage in limited supply? Perhaps a dedicated area for using something requiring power will have to suffice while the others are kept in their storage. A rolling prep island or even a multi tiered produce basket can work wonders in improving usability especially in situations where there isn't enough height between the surface below and the cabinets above.
So, what can tame this chaos and allow you to not only craft a plan, but also shrug off the stress in the now and possibly down the line?
A pencil, graph paper, and a measuring tape.
Whether the method is used for just one trouble room or applied to build a strategy for the whole home, it's an easy way to organize your mood with big pay offs.
The boxes on the graph paper allow for quick scaling of your room so that you can be sure your furniture will fit exactly where you need it to. Taking photos as reference, you can add to your floorplan sketch where power outlets, lights, windows, and air vents are. This gives you a bird's eye view of all the possibilities and what can impact your day to day living.
Start with these measurements of a room:
- Measure walls from corner to corner and label them in your list for easy reference.
- Pick a wall and measure from the corner to the exterior of the door frame.
- Measure the width of the door frame.
- Measure the width of the door's interior.
- Measure from the outside of the door frame going across to the first landmark (e.g. a power outlet, another doorway, a window.)
These figures will help you determine your scale for your graph paper so that not only will everything fit, but will be detailed enough to serve as your map. Once you have your formula worked out (e.g. 1 box = 6 inches), you can decide how much to include on your floorplan. If you have light fixtures, shelving, and artwork/photos it's best to include all windows and outlets.
This might seem tedious or daunting to do on paper. But it's far less of a hassle than movers hauling furniture into the room only to find out you can't put things where you originally wanted. This can force an in the moment decision you might regret down the line. A sofa might be something you can move with plastic furniture disks, but an eight foot high bookshelf or a china cabinet is a whole other story.
For kitchens, these extra measurements are worth looking at:
- Interior dimensions (including height) of cabinets and shelving.
- Location of built in appliances.
- Additional shelving or portable storage to suit your needs.
The graph paper method can also be useful if one or more people living in the home is physically challenged in some way or require equipment for mobility. Consider placement for ramps, charging areas and outlets, storage for physical therapy equipment, height of shelving and access through doorways. Scaling in the required width of say a motorized wheelchair will ensure that your furniture is position with enough room to accommodate safe and trouble-free passage.