Down­siz­ing your home

What to do when homes be­come to large for own­ers

The Covington News - - Showcase Of Homes -

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.

Metro Creative Ser­vices

When down­siz­ing, in­volv­ing the kids in the process is a good way to make faster work of sort­ing through be­long­ings.

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