Empty nesting is a paradox of celebration and sadness rolled into one. Your little ones have become adults and set out on their own. While this means you no longer need to worry about driving everyone everywhere, cooking for a full house, cleaning up after others, and footing the bill for substantial recreation costs, it also means your house is uncomfortably silent. Your house may also seem suddenly huge. There’s more room than you need. It may be time to downsize. Here’s a guide to downsizing for empty nesters.
You didn’t make it this far in life by living by the seat of your pants, falling prey to spontaneity, succumbing to the need for instant gratification. It’s time to put all of those lessons to use as you plan to downsize your home. Determine whether you want to move into a smaller house, a condo, or rent an apartment, or consider age-restricted options.
Know when you’d like to move, and do it on your terms. Don’t wait so long that the relocation becomes mandatory, health-related, or due to financial duress.
Time should be on your side. Plan enough to give you wiggle room on the calendar so you can take your time in sorting through your sentimental belongings.
You’ve likely spent years and years accumulating stuff. Some of the stuff may be considered junk and easy to discard or donate, but the majority of your belongings are probably steeped in sentiment. Decluttering can take longer when you’re sorting through nostalgia. Give yourself time to feel, to meander down memory lane.
Schedule sessions for decluttering, such as on weekends or for an hour or two each evening. Sort one room at a time so as not to feel overwhelmed. If you can start with relevant documents and photographs first, finding a safe place to store what you need. You may also be able to take advantage of technology by scanning your images for digital albums.
Your Next Home
Although you may love the idea of living mortgage-free, you may also find it optimal to take out a mortgage on a smaller home. However, when relocating, consider adjustments you may need to make as you continue to age. No one likes to think about adding wheelchair ramps, bathroom grip bars, or other lifestyle modifications, but you’re best to consider those things now than to face them under difficult circumstances. But buying another house isn’t your only option.
Apartment living may be ideal for this phase of your life journey. One of the benefits of apartment living is that you don’t have to handle your maintenance and repairs. When something breaks, you just submit a work order and allow management to take care of the problem. Another benefit to apartment lifestyles is that it may be safer to leave your home while you travel.
Age restricted living is yet another option. You may not be ready to move into assisted living, but you may not want to contend with the noises and activities of younger neighbors or tenants. Furthermore, age-restricted residences typically have an array of amenities and features such as fitness centers, swimming pools, planned activities, social get-togethers, and other ways to occupy your time.
Consider a Short Distance Move
No one is saying you have to liquidate all your belongings and move across the country for retirement. Although that is certainly an option, you may find it more beneficial to stay in your area, close to loved ones, and minimize the expense of your move.
When you relocate to a smaller living space, you may need to get creative with storage. Consider double-duty furniture like ottomans with storage, bed frames with drawers, and other methods of multi-tasking your belongings.
Empty nesting doesn’t need to be a depressing experience. You’ve reached significant milestones in raising your household and making memories to last a lifetime. Yes, it can be difficult and lonely when you find yourself in a great big house and fewer people to share it with, but it can also be an exciting time. Celebrate this season of your life by having a solid plan for your future. Decide when you want to move, where you want to move, how you’ll fund your move, and what amenities or features you’d like your new lifestyle to offer.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Renee Degitz a call today at 217-440-9797 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.