Empty Nesters Get Excited
It’s that time. School is coming and some parents are going to have an empty nest for the first time. Your time to start a new chapter where you can be on your own as well is now. Many people in this position don’t want the upkeep of dealing with such a large house now that the kids are gone.
Moving to a smaller house can help with that.
You have time too. You don’t have to make a decision right this second but these tips and tricks can help you move to a new home with confidence.
And confidence is key!
Before You Go
Sorting and packing, getting ready to change locations, it’s definitely a big deal. But there are things you can do to make it easier. For one, baby steps.
Everything is done one step at a time. We build skyscrapers and even lives that way. To create space for new ideas and allow your next steps to make themselves known, you can start with decluttering.
A good place to start is to choose a room, just one, and go through the items there and divided them into three groups- stay, donate, trash. If you’re feeling stuck, focus on things you know need to go. Things you haven’t used in years, clothing that doesn’t fit, or furniture which is no longer useful or functional.
And remember, this isn’t a race. Everything in life is less stressful when you can go at a leisurely pace, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time before you need to actually vacate. Do this because you want to, not because you have to.
As a good universal rule, give yourself at least six months to decide what stays and what goes. You don’t need to go too fast or go overboard either. Be gentle with yourself and the emotions that might come up during cleaning.
Let It Go
Part of downsizing is, in fact, cutting down on the things you own. It can be hard of course but the truth is the memories will be there, and there are other, better ways to make sure you remember all the good times that aren’t holding onto your kids’ Halloween costumes.
Photo albums, one-of-a-kind antiques that have a place. Those can stay. Resumes and doodles from 1992 need to go.
It can feel really great too! A cathartic process that feels like a huge weight lifts off your shoulders. There will be places for new things now.
When you’ve cleared everything away, you might decide that your current house is the right fit for you. You might be thrilled to create a guest room or art studio. Or, you may decide that this much space really isn't’ something you want to take care of.
You might even decide to rent the space or make it an Air B’n’B! The sky’s the limit.
Downsize Is NOT A Bad Word
Downsizing isn’t decreased style, isn’t less than, isn’t settling. Remember you aren’t giving something up, you’re gaining something that works better for you.
You’re going to get something that’s more affordable, convenient, comfortable and more conscious of what you truly need to enjoy this next step in life.
Ask For Help
There is no rule anywhere that says you have to do this alone. Get help. Hire a professional or bring in a very honest friend who can share you the error that is your collection of Hawaiian shirts and blazers with shoulder pads.
Remember to donate your items or sell them at a yard sale. If you have special items, you can put them up on Craigslist or eBay.
Also, you can make albums on Shutterfly and pack up the hard copies so that they don’t add to your clutter. Got any new neighbors or people moving in down the street with families, give them your exercise stuff or large toys. A new family will get the chance to love them as much as you did.
When you’re planning on living in a smaller space or really don’t want to add to the amount of stuff you have, consider upgrading to items that work double duty, like hidden storage ottomans or beds that double as dressers.
You can also check out this article about decorating a small space.