A Guide to Easy Downsizing for Empty Nesters
A Guide to Easy Downsizing for Empty Nesters
Pop the champagne! You have achieved something tremendously important and admirable. You have raised children that are independent and courageous enough to move out of the family home and start making a life for themselves. Although it is perfectly natural, its also to be a nostalgic and bitter-sweet time, remind yourself that ultimately, this was always going to be a significant marker of your parenting success, and should be celebrated as such.
Many things will change as a result of your kids moving out. You may be going from a hectic house full of children or young adults to one with a population of two. One of the things you can be considering is downsizing your house. After all, you don’t need four bedrooms anymore, and you certainly can do without all the cleaning that goes with a family home! A large backyard may no longer be practical, and even a different neighbourhood might be calling. Optimove Removalists Brisbane gives you the expert advice!
So What Does Downsizing Involve Anyway?
Downsizing means that you reduce the size of your home, usually by selling your existing property and moving to somewhere smaller. It is part of a more considerable lifestyle change that takes place over the months and years after your birdies leave the nest. This could include a smaller (bright red, convertible) car, reconnecting with your partner, international travel, or even taking up tango lessons!
You may have chosen the location of your family home because it was family-sized, close to good schools, and close to other families with young children. These are probably not the things you would look for if you were looking for a place now (and there’s probably a young family now who is itching for a family home in your neighbourhood!).
Something else ‘empty nesters’ often do move interstate or overseas. All of a sudden, you can ask yourself, “If I could live anywhere, where would I live?” Some make a sea change or tree change. The change could also be to live somewhere quite luxurious and compact, with all the breakables and creature comforts you wouldn’t have dared have previously.
In short, downsizing is part of evolving your lifestyle and living arrangements to suit your current living situation – something that suits your needs and long-awaited wants.
Sounds Great! How Do I Start?
Like all exciting and liberating experiences, it starts with careful planning and research. OK, admittedly that does sound like more work than fun, but it’s essential for your long-term excitement and freedom.
Before you start to look for a new house, have a serious think about what need in a new home, and what you want (but don’t need). This list for you may be different to your partner’s, so have an open and honest discussion about what you’re looking for. Some things to consider are size, living space, bedrooms, accessibility, storage space, and location (close services and transport).
Take out a tape measure and calculate how much space you’ll need for furniture you want to come with you. Alternatively, is it time to buy more small furniture to go with your more compact lifestyle? Remember that this may be the home you stay in for another 30 or 40 years, so assess wisely.
Decide what kind of property will fit you best. Will it be a small house, townhouse or apartment (though keep in mind that stairs could pose challenges down the track)? Will a retirement village be a better match or something else entirely? Once you’ve made that decision, the rest will fall into place much more comfortable.
Give Yourself Time
As always with these big decisions, don’t rush it. The chances are that you are in a pretty stable place in your life and you can afford to take your time and weigh up the pros and cons of different options.
With time up your sleeve, you can take a measured approach to one of the more difficult aspects of downsizing – de-cluttering. This can potentially be emotionally challenging, as you’re letting go of the objects that have been with you for decades, through raising your family. They will have connections to events and people, and those memories are what are hard to let go of.
Take some time and decide which possessions are staying with you. For the rest, you can chant the mover’s mantra: sell, toss, recycle or donate? Start sorting your things into those three piles, even if it’s mentally, to begin with. Again, negotiate with your partner about what’s staying or going, as it’s likely that one of you will be more attached to some things than the other. You don’t want to (accidentally on purpose) throw their favourite chair without them knowing!
Some of your clutter may be due to your adult children using the family home as convenient, free storage. They might be outraged to hear that you’re considering chucking their grade 1 collage or the skateboard they used once when they were 10! A strategy you can try to get them to do their culling is to give them a deadline. This is yet another time when starting the downsizing process early can work for you.
Give your adult children an amount of time (3 months, 6 months, whatever works for you) to come and get their things. Let them know in no uncertain terms that if they don’t go and pick up their items by that deadline, then you will be disposing of them yourself. Deadlines can be the best motivators, and you’ll know that by a specific date, those things will be cleared, one way or another.
Final Downsizing Tips
Just because you are downsizing doesn’t mean you’re leaving your old life behind entirely. You’re merely moving onto a new phase of your life by moving into a home that’s more suitable to your new lifestyle.
It’s a good idea to select a location for your new home that is close to family and friends. Also, when buying a new house, be sure to choose a place that has a guest room. You never know when you might need to accommodate visits from your now adult children – or even from your grandchildren!
Go With Movers You Can Trust
If you are downsizing and moving house, make your relocation with friendly, professional movers who take extra care with your precious possessions.
At Brisbane Furniture Removalists Optimove, we wrap and pad your furniture while it is being transported to your new location in modern, clean trucks. Our professional removal teams are led by team leaders who have conducted over 600 moves each. We ask you what you want before we begin moving your goods, so you are in control of moving day.
Our superior end-to-end service means you don’t have to lift a finger during your house move. We can pack, transport, and reassemble all your belongings, so all you have to do is settle in and enjoy your new lifestyle. There are many benefits to hiring a reputable moving company over attempting a DIY removal. Save money, stress and your back!