When moving into a new home, I like to draw out small scale (or close enough) drawings of the room layouts so I can get an idea of where I want to position furniture. This helps eliminate the multitude of options I have in my head to get more realistic options. Sometimes you look at a space your standing in and think "Oh, yeah. I could totally fit the sofa, four arm chairs and coffee table in here." Then you start moving the items in and realize that no, you can't fit all these pieces in the room. So, scale drawings help me speed up the process.
This is a drawing of our living room. You can see that below the room I made small drawings of the furniture I hoped to place in the room as well. This allowed me to see how much space I was going to be using up. I also added some furniture that we don't have (like small end tables), but I wanted to see how it would fit into the space if they were purchased.
After being recent college graduates and then moving across the country, we don't own a lot of furniture. So, moving into this home has allowed us to start furniture shopping and filling in what we have seen as gaps (like nightstands). I've found that these drawings also help me to realize that purchasing a large armoire I spotted at the thrift store doesn't make sense because I have no place or purpose for it- even though it is fabulous looking.
I've found over the years of drawing these layouts that it is beneficial to mark where your doorways, windows and electrical outlets are. Nobody want to set up a living space only to realize that you'll have to run a 15' extension cord around the room just to get the table lamp to function!
There are some rooms in our new home that we've been debating over what they should really be used for. As an example, we have a small empty room that is right before you enter the kitchen. I would assume that this could be have been used as a breakfast nook before, but we love the large dining room and didn't plan on eating anywhere else. Because we have no entry hallway (a long staircase leads you directly into a main doorway that branches off in four directions), I've been thinking of using this room as a drop-off location for mail, keys, muddy boots. After drawing out the scale layout we decided that it would be fun to use this room as a place for friends to relax in if we're cooking in the kitchen. So, we're looking to add a few comfy chairs and a buffet console to store liquor in. A buffet will also free up shelf space in our pantry to hold small appliances that have been neglected to sit on the floor.
Right now, the spare room has been my main concern. We own a large metal desk that we planted in the room right away because it is so heavy to move. I've been working around the desk to put up shelving, but we will soon have visitors coming to stay with us and I am in need to make this room more accessible and comfortable. The layout above is where items are currently placed, but I will have to rearrange the drawing to find a layout that will allow me to fit in a full sized air mattress.