Becoming an empty nester can be bittersweet. While there are loads of opportunities that come with the newfound freedom, transitioning into this new phase of life can be challenging on a number of different levels. If you’re an empty nester, or an empty nest is on your horizon, here are a few tips for downsizing your home (without downsizing your life).
Set a Reasonable Timeline
You’ve spent years building the life you have now. The memories you have made, the belongings you’ve acquired, the home you’ve created—it’s taken time. It also takes time to sort through what you’ve compiled over the past 10, 20, even 30 years. Once you’ve decided to downsize, sit down and decide on a timeline for different projects. Don’t expect to get everything done in a week! Allow yourself to work through your home in a way that is best for you personally. Once you’ve set a schedule, stick to it! Giving yourself time parameters will provide the structure needed to effectively downsize.
Work As a Team
You didn’t live in the home alone, so there’s no reason for you to work through it alone. Include close family members in the process. Depending on your stage of life, it may even be helpful to begin passing belongings on to your children. If this isn’t a workable option, then consider bringing in a close friend or even a professional to help. Having a few trusted allies in this process will help you to think clearly through the emotions you’ll inevitably encounter. Have guidelines for sorting through belongings, and ask your teammates to keep you accountable. They’ll have more of an unbiased take on what items you should keep and what items should go.
Assess Your Priorities
Once you’ve covered the logistics of preparing to downsize, you’ll want to evaluate your priorities for the next season of your life. Make a list of priorities, and consider what steps you need to bring your hopes for your new life to fruition. If you want to be close to your grandchildren, that may mean researching different neighborhoods. If you want to travel more, it may mean spending less on your home. Take time to consider what you want out of downsizing. Remember, you’re not just going for less space—you’re aiming for more joy!
Make a Budget
If it hasn’t already, your income is likely to change in the future. Be sure to consider how much longer you’ll be working, how much you’ll be receiving from social security, and what you’ll have available from your 401k or any other savings or investments. After you’ve determined your income, use your list of priorities to set a budget. By doing so, you can determine how much money you’d like to spend on your next home. Budgeting may not be the most fun part of this process, but creating a budget will give you the freedom to enjoy your new home and the next season of life.
Utilize Your Health
Move because you can, not because you have to. Homes with stairs, large floor plans, or labor-intensive yards are not ideal for those wanting to age in place. Take the opportunity to move while you are healthy. The process of downsizing is much more enjoyable when you are doing so voluntarily and not because your well-being requires it.
Build for Life
If you’ve put off building the home of your dreams, now is the time to take action! Moving is a hassle, and you probably won’t want to do it again any time soon. By designing a custom home, you’ll be getting everything you want in a space you can easily live in for years to come. Custom homes allow you to make your dream a reality, and there’s no better time for you than now!
Don’t settle for anything less than perfection. If you’re planning on downsizing, contact Castle Brook Builders to learn more about our custom home building process. Castle Brook has served the greater Omaha area for more than ten years. We’re experts at making your dream home a reality. Schedule your consultation today!