For parents and guardians, saying goodbye to their children as they enter adulthood can be bittersweet. As empty nesters, many couples find themselves in the position of needing to downsize. Moving from a large family home to something smaller and more manageable can have its challenges. Here are five helpful tips for empty nesters looking to downsize their homes.
Where to Live
The first tip for empty nesters is to decide where to live now that you don’t need so much space. Do you want to stay in your current city or town, or do you want to move somewhere else? If you decide to stay put, you must consider what type of neighborhood fits your budget and lifestyle. Do you prefer a condo or apartment within walking distance of stores and restaurants? Or would a house with a yard better suit your needs?
Consider Senior Living Communities
Senior living communities can provide an appealing option for seniors who are looking to downsize or simplify their living arrangements. With various housing options available, including independent living and assisted living facilities, seniors can select a community that suits their lifestyle and requirements. Many senior living communities offer many amenities, such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and opportunities to socialize with peers. In addition, these communities can provide a sense of security and peace of mind, as residents can often access the assistance they might need while still maintaining their independence. A senior living community may be wise for seniors seeking a welcoming and supportive environment.
Downsizing usually means that items that once fit comfortably in your larger home no longer have space in the new one. Before starting the downsizing process, it’s important to go through each room in the house and declutter. This is also an excellent opportunity to donate items that still hold value but no longer serve a purpose in your life. If possible, enlist family members who are familiar with the items you plan on donating so they can help pick out pieces worth keeping versus those that should go away.
Hire Professional Movers
Moving can be a stressful and difficult process, especially for seniors. To take the stress out of moving, hiring professional movers who are experienced in helping seniors relocate is helpful. Professional movers can help pack up your belongings, transport them to your new home, and even unpack and organize items once they are there. Moving can also be a great way to give your family members the closure that you need.
Consider Your Estate
You may not think much about estate planning until later in life. Still, it’s also important for empty nesters, especially when downsizing from a large family home into something smaller and, in the process, purging what you don’t want to keep. Consider setting up trusts or creating wills so that if anything happens unexpectedly, there will be clear instructions about what should happen with all your possessions and assets after death. This way, all of the unpleasant details won’t unexpectedly fall onto any surviving family members during an already difficult time. In fact, you might look to an estate lawyer, someone such as the Ritchie Law Group, to help you get everything squared away long before it’s needed.
Downsizing can be a daunting prospect for empty nesters. However, with some thoughtful consideration and planning, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By considering the five tips discussed above — where to live, senior living communities, decluttering, professional movers, and estate planning — empty nesters can start the process of downsizing their homes and embarking on a new chapter of life with confidence.
Written by: Meghan Belnap / Blogger, Researcher, and Freelance Writer
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being outdoors and researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.