Downsizing for Empty Nesters
Empty nesters often find that downsizing is appealing at this point in their lives. The kids are grown and no longer in the house, and the space that was once occupied is not needed anymore. It’s a whole new chapter that can be filled with uncertainty – but it is also a good time for change. The thought of starting over can be overwhelming, especially when you have to sift through every item in your house to decide what to keep, what to throw away, and what to pass on to your children. The sentimental ties you have to certain items in your home can make this a daunting task. Realistically, you will need to part with things that connect you to your past, but in the end you will feel a sense of freedom. Think about what you will need in your new life and space. Consolidate and plan to take the stuff you will actually use. You may find that you can replace necessary items with smaller, more compact versions or with something with multiple uses. Dutch ovens fit the bill, allowing you to easily make one-pot meals, and help you conserve your cabinet space. It is unlikely you will need the 10 vases that have taken up space in the cupboard the last 20 years, so get rid of them. Box up your daughter’s trophies or your son’s baseball card collection and hand them over to your kids. Take pictures of items you have fond memories of, but no longer have a need for, and donate or toss them. You will always have the memories to take with you, and that is all you need. There is so much to look forward to, so don’t let your emotions get in the way of starting over in a smaller, more manageable and cost-effective home.