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Don’t Downsize, Right Size
So, your nest is empty and feeling a bit too roomy. Is it time to move to a smaller home? For many empty nesters and seniors, the answer is yes. But what do you do with all of your stuff? Don’t downsize, right size. That means letting things go so you can enjoy the next phase of your life. Here are some tips.
Right Size Your New Home
Before you start decluttering, consider what size home you want. If you know you are going to have children or grandchildren visiting overnight, it makes sense to purchase a home with three bedrooms. If you moved to be near your family, you might only need two. If you have a hobby or are starting a business, you might need a dedicated extra room. Knowing what you want in your new home will help when it comes to deciding what to keep and what to give away.
Start Before You Sell Your Own Home
Let’s face it, over the years you have probably collected a lot of stuff. Some of it has sentimental value, some of it you put away thinking you might need it later and some of it you just forgot about. If you sold your home, you probably only have 30 days to clear out that stuff. Not only can it be stressful, but you may also end up packing and moving things you don’t really need.
Go Room by Room
The easiest way to downsize is going room by room so you can declutter and organize at the same time. Start in areas you aren’t emotionally invested in like the utility room or the guest room. That will get you in the habit of getting rid of stuff without moving things into another room because “you might need it later.” Tackle the garage or basement last. It’s a big job and one you don’t want to do in the summer or winter. Organize the things you might want to keep. It will make the move easier.
Keep, Store, Give Away
There are several ways to declutter. One way is to mark boxes “keep,” “store” and “give away.” Everything goes into one of the three boxes. Resist the temptation to put things aside until you can decide which box it goes into. Another option is to just have “yes” and “no” piles. Don’t allow any “maybes.”
Bye, Bye Duplicates
Have you got several cellphones tucked away in a drawer? How many ice cream scoops do you have? How many sauté pans? Over the years you have probably collected a lot of duplicate items. The drawers and cabinets in your new home probably won’t have enough space. It’s time to say good-bye.
Do You Need 100 Snow Globes?
Whether it is snow globes from your trips, t-shirts from concerts you attended or model trains, you have probably acquired a collection. Ask yourself if you need them, have duplicates, got them from a loved one and have a place for them in your new home. Chances are the answers are no to at least two of those questions. Keep the ones you love the most and get rid of the ones you don’t. If they are antiques or have a value, sell them.
As you get closer to moving day, ask family and friends to help you pack. Why? You probably still have stuff to get rid of and it can be of sentimental value. There is nothing wrong with keeping stuff that has special meaning, but will it have value to the person who inherits it? Your grown-up children may not want all of the old toys you carefully wrapped up. Your grandchild may not want your old kitchen table for her new apartment. While going through your stuff, ask them if they want it and then give it to them. Anything they don’t want, can be sold or given away.
Think About Your New Lifestyle
Without the kids around, what will you be doing? Do you plan to travel, start a business, spend more time with friends? Your ideas will influence what you decide to keep. If you plan to travel, you might not want houseplants. If you are starting your own business, you may need to buy updated equipment so get rid of that old printer. More time with friends means keeping more plates and wine glasses. Take only what you need for the next stage of your life.
Move to Imperial
Moving to Imperial can make emptying your nest easier. Our builder offers an array of homes that will meet your changing needs, such as ample storage for the items you keep — even if you will be living life on a slightly smaller scale.