Your children are off to college and/or have moved out of the house. For the first time in a long while, you have a lot more space in your home—but it’s filled with a lot of stuff! Interested in downsizing your belongings for your next stage in life? Here are a few tips on how to downsize an empty (or soon to be empty) nest.
Assess current living arrangements. Assess your current living arrangements and think about where you’d like to see yourself in the near future. What goals do you have for your living arrangements? Are you interested in moving to a smaller house or apartment? Do you want to do repairs, redecorate or convert a spare room into an office, craft space or guest room? Don’t forget to take into account how your space will be used. For example: How many people will live in your home regularly? Will you expect visits from adult children during school breaks? Will you have frequent guests? Will you need a home office after you retire or scale back on work?
Create a necessary vs. unnecessary plan. Downsizing is quite similar to organizing: sort, organize and store. The difference is you’ll pay more attention to items you no longer need or want, getting rid of duplicates and deciding how you will consolidate rooms. With your living arrangement goals in hand, create your new living space from the bottom up. Start by identifying what’s absolutely necessary in your home, followed by what’s unnecessary or no longer needed. For example, in a kitchen, you’ll need a fridge, stove, range, sink and perhaps a small table and chairs. But do you need the numerous small electrical appliances and kitchen gadgets that you haven’t used or touched in years?