Downsizing your home
What to do when homes become to large for owners
Often, senior citizens or even younger empty nesters find their homes have gotten too big for them.
Once the kids move out, a bigger home can not only seem really empty, it can be a genuine chore to take care of.
As a result, many seniors and empty nesters decide to downsize their homes, moving into smaller homes that are more accommodating to their new lifestyles. While this is an obvious decision for many, it isn’t always an easy one.
In addition to growing attached to a home, especially one in which their children grew up, homeowners are suddenly faced with the difficult decision of what will make the trip to their new home and what won’t.
When deciding to downsize their home, homeowners might want to consider the following approach with their sudden abundance of excess possessions.
• Begin where you rarely go. Lots of homeowners have rooms in their home where they don’t spend a significant amount of time. Living rooms that are more for show than leisure, for instance, can be a good place to start downsizing.
Consider parting ways with fur- niture that’s not regularly utilized but intended more for show. Ridding yourself of excess furniture will do a great deal in lessening your moving load.
Another area to consider is the basement. Often, basements have items such as pool tables, ping pong tables, etc., that were purchased to entertain the kids. These items won’t be necessary at the new home, and chances are they won’t fit anyway.
• Make the kids a part of the process. Kids often cherish things from their youth that parents might not know about. To avoid leaving something behind that your kids might cherish, involve them in the process of downsizing.
If they truly value something you’ve decided to get rid of, give it to them rather than simply selling or donating it. Depending on how many kids you have, it might be hard to determine who gets what.
Create a system before you begin downsizing and involve the kids in the creation of that system.
• Get a decent head start. Start downsizing enough in advance to enjoy the process. If you save everything until the last minute, you won’t get to enjoy reflecting on the many memories you’ve made in your current home.
A head start will also afford you the time to better determine what possessions you value, and which ones you’re not really attached to.
• Decide what to do with the excess. Your kids won’t cherish all of your possessions and neither will you, so this will leave
A family affair: you with lots of stuff to get rid of before moving into your smaller home.
There are many ways to rid yourself of items you won’t be taking along. Donations are almost always accepted by thrift stores, and depending on the time of year you move, a garage sale might be a viable option as well.
• Remember to make room for especially treasured items. If there are items that you genuinely cherish but you think might make for a tight fit at your new home, do your best to make room for these items anyway.
If need be, go back over what you’ve decided to take and reexamine if it’s worth more to you than other items you’ve determined are must-haves.
When downsizing, involving the kids in the process is a good way to make faster work of sorting through belongings.