10 Smart Downsizing Tips for Empty Nesters
Start as early as possible
Initiate the difficult conversations early, you may find yourself needing to compromise. For example, you LOVE that chair and ottoman, and already envision where they’ll live in your new home. But is this a shared vision? Rule 1, 2 and 3: open the communication, have a plan and eliminate stress. Here are some tips for how to choose a moving company.
Get an objective opinion
Take inventory and start in your closet…danger zone. Tag in a friend or family member –maybe bribe them with something — you’ll need a voice of reason. Maybe you need help with a musical instrument; in my case, a drum set. I had no intention of picking lessons back up and I was truly awful, but I needed a third party to tell me that.
Be honest with yourself
View your possessions with skepticism, especially in the kitchen. You probably don’t need all 10 of your mixing bowls or serving plates that only come out on rare occasions and/or never. I have a sombrero bowl for chips and salsa and sure, I’m super excited when Cinco De Mayo rolls around, but do I need this thing in 653 SF?…absolutely not. Next stop is the garage.
Be charitable or go for cash
Would someone else be better off with that dress you haven’t worn in over a year? Donating to charity always feels good. Or, envision how you may want to decorate your new place when you’re all moved in. Could you sell an item and use the money to buy something that you like even more and would use more often?
Grab the measuring tape
The last thing you want to do is move and find that your king size bed doesn’t fit or it does but not with your bedside table. Measure your furniture so you know early on what you can take and what you need to part with. Think about what comes out of downsizing—you’re saving money and becoming more organized.
Give yourself plenty of storage
In my 653 SF living space near downtown Dallas I have a coffee table that can be lifted up to also functions as a kitchen table, took me 19 grueling steps to build it, but it’s fantastic. See-through bins are also great for clothes, purses and hats and if you get the right size, you can store them easily under your bed.
Take inventory of your things and minimize duplicates
If you’re moving in with someone else, take inventory of the items that you both have and tie compromise back into the equation. One of you could get rid of some type of kitchenware, a television or any item of furniture, for that matter. Do you need 25 coffee mugs or six spatulas?
Use multi-functional furniture
Let me reiterate–a storage coffee table. Or, get creative and hang clothes from a tension rod if you don’t have enough closet space — or heck, a closet at all. In my mind, location > space.
Gift your Items
Is there something that you know a friend or family member has always wanted and this would be a perfect “I was thinking of you” type of gift. Or your kids probably left you with a bunch of their knick-knacks. Find a fun, maybe comical way to re-gift everything back to them and let them deal with the clutter…sneaky.
Remember why you are doing this
Finding new possessions isn’t hard, but finding the right home is. What do you want to get in addition to a new dream home? Could it be an active lifestyle by a running trail or by White Rock Lake in the Lake Highlands neighborhood? This is an exciting transition, and you’re buying so much more than a home. You’re buying a lifestyle where new friends are waiting to meet you. I know we are.