It’s too bad the word “downsizing” starts with “down,” suggesting something negative or sad. Truthfully, having fewer material things to take care of can be a very “up” experience for anyone. That’s why so many people are downsizing these days. Especially for seniors, it can make life easier and freer.
Why You Should Consider Downsizing
Downsizing works well for a variety of situations. If you plan to stay in your house, your needs can still change. Maybe instead of everything you needed to raise children, you now need more room to host a flock of grandkids during the holidays; downsize unused desks and storage furniture to create more sleeping and play space.
You might want easier access to possessions you love or find useful, without the clutter of things you no longer need. Decluttering can make your home safer for you to maneuver in, as well as giving you less to organize and clean. Who wants to spend time dusting unless those things are still important and meaningful?
Even if safety isn’t an issue, it might be time to downsize for the sake of your heirs. When they become responsible for the house, decades of stuff to deal with will make an emotionally difficult time even harder.
If you’re ready to let go of a big place you don’t want to take care of, downsizing will help you move somewhere more compact with the things you really love, and you’ll be able to easily settle in and join your new community.
No list of downsizing tips for empty nesters would be complete without considering both physical and emotional aspects. It can be challenging because you’re uprooting the familiar and letting go of things you may have cherished for a very long time. Change is not easy, but it’s so often worth it.
One practical tip is to not let it get overwhelming. Take the downsizing, and the emotions that might go with it, one area of your home at a time. Start with one closet or bookcase and stop when you need a break.
Have a designated box for everything: Keep, Give to Family, Sell, Donate, and Trash. Clothes you haven’t worn for years, books you’re never going to read again, and duplicate kitchen items can all depart and free up your life. Enlist family to help you sell online, adopt items, and scan your documents and photos to eliminate bulky piles. You can even include furniture and other items in the home sale; some buyers are happy to have it.
Do kids or grandkids just beginning adult life need supplies for dorm rooms or new homes? You could be their hero. If not, many fine organizations are grateful for donations, and some of them will pick up. You’ll be doing good and helping others; many people find that silver lining outshines the “blues” of letting things go!
Once you have downsized, you may be amazed at the freedom you feel. Continue the positive changes that bring you joy. Have more company. Paint and furnish in ways that don’t have to accommodate others, just you. Organize your remaining books into that reading list you’ve always meant to get to. Get new plants or art. Designate space for your favorite hobby or craft.
If you’re ready to move to a smaller, more carefree space, find a top Realtor who can help you locate just the right home for your lifestyle. There are many ways for empty nesters to enjoy spreading their wings, and downsizing gives you room to do it!