Downsizing Tips for Empty Nesters

Once their kids have grown up and moved away from home, parents face a number of challenges as they adjust to a quieter, emptier house. With all the clutter to tame, rooms to paint, and furniture to replace or get rid of, new empty-nesters could use a little guidance as they downsize.

Start Downsizing Early

An older couple sitting outside for a photo

Whether empty nesters are planning to move to a new home or will remain in their current one for a while, the best time to start downsizing is as soon as possible. Everyone sets out with good intentions, but the longer downsizing efforts are put off, the less likely they’ll get done. Plus, it’s better to be one step ahead of unexpected events like illness, career changes, or significant family milestones.

Take It Room By Room

Being faced with a big downsizing job or a move to a new house can quickly feel overwhelming, especially for new empty nesters. Simplify the process by taking it on slowly, preferably one room at a time. When broken down into small, manageable pieces, even a major downsizing won’t seem so daunting. If the de-cluttering process seems unmanageable, empty nesters should consider hiring a professional organizer or a professional estate sales company to help streamline the process.

Categorize Every Item

Begin tackling each room by dividing up its contents into three categories: keep, sell or donate, and throw away. Once everything has been sorted, it’s easy to immediately get rid of items in the “throw away” category. Then simply relocate or put into storage everything in the “keep” category before finding a new home for everything labeled “sell and donate.”

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