Empty Nest? Tips for Downsizing


tips for downsizingYour youngest child has packed up and moved off to start his or her life as an adult, and now you’re ready to start the next phase of your own lives. That might mean entertaining more often, going out more, or trying on a new decor style. One thing is for sure, you probably  no longer want or need to hang on to the many items that fill your living space, garage, and basement.

The idea of downsizing might not sound appealing, since it can mean parting with possessions you’ve worked hard to purchase or parting with items that have sentimental value. But, it’s possible to look at the process in a positive way. You’re about to start on a new adventure, whether you’re trading your suburban home for a city apartment or simply moving to a smaller space in the same town. If you’re ready for the change that downsizing brings, here are a few tips to help you get started on your next adventure.

Parting with Possessions

One of the trickiest parts of downsizing is figuring out which items you no longer need or want. Although you might feel an emotional attachment to certain things, even if you don’t use them, it’s important to be ruthless when it comes to getting rid of items. If you’re moving from a 4,000-square-foot home into a space that’s less than 1,000-square-feet, there simply won’t be enough room in the new place for everything, or for even a fraction of what you currently own.

Start with items you never use or  have little emotional attachment to. For some people, that can be books. Take a look at your shelves. Ask yourself if you’ll ever read a book again and if you do, if you can easily check it out from the library. There’s no need to hang on to books you didn’t enjoy or that you can easily borrow. Use this line of thinking when paring down the rest of your possessions, from clothing to kitchen gear.

One way to make the process of decluttering easier is to delegate tasks. If your grown children still have old belongings at your current home, have them come over one day and sort through those items, either donating, selling, or taking the possessions home with them. Let them know that anything they leave behind will end up in the discard or donate pile.

It also helps to work with a professional designer or organizer, who doesn’t have an attachment to your possessions. A professional can sift through the items you own and help you figure out the things you’ll use in the new space and what things are just going to take up space.

Look at Your New Space

Taking a look at the layout of your new home can help you figure out what items to keep and what you no longer need. If there’s no outdoor space, for example, you won’t need to bring all of your lawn equipment. Think about how you’ll use the rooms in the home. An extra bedroom might work as a guest room, or it could turn into a study, a fitness center or that library you’ve always wanted.

Also think about what you’ll be doing in your new home. Now that the kids are grown and supporting themselves, you have more time and money for the things that really interest you. Will you have friends over regularly for cocktails or dinner parties? If so, you might want to focus on designing a truly stellar drinks and dining area. Getting rid of old possessions allows you to make room in your new space for your latest hobbies, whether they are looking at the stars through a telescope on your balcony, learning a new craft, or learning to cook a different type of cuisine.

Try a New Design

Moving to a smaller space is the perfect time to try on a new design. Where once you might have had to worry about your kids breaking fragile items or dirtying expensive furniture, now you’re really free to finally decorate your home in a way that appeals to you.

Your new home might be smaller, but that’s no reason why it can’t be your castle. If you’re ready to start downsizing and decorating your new nest, Michelle Wenitsky Interior Design can help you throughout the process, from figuring out what to keep to putting together a vibrant home design. Contact us today for more details.