Top Downsizing Tips for Empty Nesters

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When our kids leave our family homes, feeling emotional is normal. It’s even okay to grieve the family times you spent together in your family home. However, this is a very expected part of life, and we all wish the best to our children. Therefore, the empty nester syndrome might kick in when we set them off to college or elsewhere. This is when we could get inspired to remodel our homes and make a craft room or a home office. But, on the other hand, if our family home doesn’t encourage us to do so, it’s a clear sign it might be time to sell it and downsize. In today’s article, we share the top downsizing tips for empty nesters with realistic expectations and a clear plan.

The list of downsizing tips for empty nesters

When we think of downsizing, decluttering might be the first thing that pops into our minds. And no wonder that’s true, as decluttering is a vital process of downsizing. However, it’s important to remember that it isn’t just limited to our living space.

So, if you’re an empty nester looking for downsizing tips, renting a storage unit to store some of your extra belongings you no longer need or use might be worth it. However, to avoid overcrowding, it’s crucial to apply the same decluttering principles to your storage unit. Thus, as part of your downsizing process, it’s vital to declutter your storage unit and get rid of the extra stuff you no longer need. Doing so will help you reduce storage costs and simplify your life.

So, now that you’re aware that you should declutter your living space and a storage unit that will protect your seasonal belongings, let’s jump into the top downsizing tips for empty nesters to get you going.

Start on time

If you plan on selling your home and leaving California, starting early is one of the best downsizing tips anyone can give you. This life-changing situation should be taken seriously and with enough time on your hands. Thus, taking things slowly but on time would be better to avoid the rush and overwhelm of leaving things up to the last minute.

Downsizing is a process that requires time. Therefore, starting decluttering and organizing as soon as possible would be best. Doing so gives you time to sort through your belongings, make difficult decisions, and sell or donate items at the pace you dictate without a deadline looming over your head.

Create a plan

Another critical tip for downsizing is to make a plan. As with everything in life, having a plan helps us stay focused, on track, and ultimately, motivated throughout the process.

Your downsizing plan should include the following:

  • a timeline,
  • a list of tasks throughout the timeline,
  • your budget.

Pro tip: Prioritize the most critical tasks, such as sorting your sentimental items or downsizing your large furniture pieces. 

By breaking down your downsizing process into smaller and more manageable tasks, you can make steady progress which helps you stay motivated and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Take care of your important documents

A task that is worth separating from the crowd is the sorting of your essential documents. These might include:

  • your medical records,
  • tax returns, 
  • insurance policies, 
  • contracts, and so on.
A woman going through her documents in a binder which is one of the top downsizing tips for empty nesters.

You can sort them out in a binder and keep everything in one place. Another intelligent way of ensuring your document game is on point is to digitalize them. This will make access easier from anywhere.

Measure your new living space before you start packing

Choosing a new home to start living in is a different topic we could discuss in a separate post. Assuming you’ve already picked out a place to live, measuring it before packing is essential.

This way, you’ll be able to determine which items you can bring so that everything fits comfortably. Also, you’ll know how many things you’ll need to donate or sell (or toss). 

Finally, measuring your new living space can help you envision your new home space and feel the warmth of a new beginning. Which is an excellent motivator during this process, you’d agree.

The front door of a new home for an empty nester couple.

Get rid of duplicate items

Another task worth sticking out is this one. Many of us have accumulated too much stuff over the years. These could be multiple sets of dishes, kitchen gadgets, linens, and so on. 

However, these things can use up valuable space in your new home. So, after you sell your family house, keeping only the items you use regularly and eliminating duplicates will free up a lot of space and simplify your life in your new one.

Consider storage options

When planning to downsize, renting a storage unit will be a lifesaver for sorting items you’re not ready to part with or for sorting bulky seasonal gear and clothing. However, there are a couple of things to think through regarding storage, as professionals behind Golans Moving and Storage suggest.

Firstly, finding a reliable and trustworthy moving and storage company is vital. The crew will create a detailed inventory and choose a specific unit that will suit your needs. 

Secondly, being selective about the items you choose to store is essential. Storage units tend to get overfilled easily, leaving you with no space left. Therefore, it’s wise only to keep truly important or sentimental items. Finally, label and organize them so you can access them easily.

A box and suitcases on a bed ready to go to a rented storage unit as one of the downsizing tips for empty nesters.

Donate or sell things that you no longer need

On the previous account, it’s common for people downsizing to hold a garage sale and sell the possessions they don’t need. The items that are garage sale worthy are some of the following:

  • clothing, 
  • electronics,
  • furniture.

Provided that they’re in good condition.

However, if you have sentimental items or family heirlooms, it might be best to pass them on to other family members or keep them.

Stay positive

Finally, staying positive throughout the process and keeping your end goal in mind is vital to success. Downsizing can be a challenging process, both emotionally and physically. But, on the other hand, it’s also a liberating and rewarding experience, as you’ll be simplifying your life, reducing your expenses, and living in a more suitable home.

Final thoughts on top downsizing tips for empty nesters

And these were the top downsizing tips for empty nesters. Even though this can be a daunting process, it can also be a life-changing decision that brings numerous benefits. This is crucial in prioritizing what’s most important to you and starting a more simplified and fulfilling life.

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