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The Art of Downsizing: A Nest for the Future

The Art of Downsizing: A Nest for the Future

Empty nesters aren’t all depressed and sad, even though the term “empty nest syndrome” refers to a transition period during which many people experience feelings of loneliness or loss, according to Psychology Today. Even for parents who have encouraged their children to be independent, self-sufficient adults, the experience of having them leave home can be painful.

One of the challenges most people experience with an empty nest is that the home feels suddenly far too big for their needs. Rooms that were once busily occupied now remain unused for days at a time, and simply don’t justify the effort to keep them clean and functional. This often results in radical lifestyle changes, some of which can be exciting while others are stressful.

The Art of Downsizing

Moving to a new home doesn’t necessarily have to mean letting go of everything you love. The art of downsizing successfully depends on being able to meet certain criteria. These include:

      Knowing What You Need to Keep

Keeping what you need and needing what you keep are by necessity two different things. Somewhere in between is knowing what you need to keep, which typically includes both the items you will need as you move forward with your life and those you can’t live without. For some people, “need to keep” could include mementoes of their children’s babyhood, while for others it could be works of art or a collection of books.

What you don’t need are the things you haven’t utilized in years, and you’ll be surprised just how many of those you have. Start by setting aside everything you haven’t used in the last year. Don’t think about getting rid of them, because that will make you lose courage and change your mind. At this point, just identify each item and list it on a sheet of paper alongside the estimated resale value.

      Prioritizing Functionality

When you move into a smaller space it’s vital to put every inch to good use, says blogger Mary Carol Garrity. You’ll no longer have the luxury of using a room just for show, or amassing furnishings and accessories that look good but don’t have an important function in your lifestyle. And if you’re considering a one story house plan like the Cedar, its 1,788 square feet will ensure you become better at planning.

Don’t try to fit the contents of your old home into the new one, or to make the new one function like the old one did. Embrace the opportunity to get rid of unused items, take with you only objects that serve multiple purposes, or those that are so important you would have to purchase a replacement if you found yourself without it.

      Minimizing Your Workload

When they reach the point of becoming empty nesters, most people have had their fill of gardening, snow shoveling, pool and lawn maintenance. Leave that all behind when you downsize by choosing a home where maintenance is minimal, such as the new developments at Briarstone, Choto Meadows or McKinley Station. The time and energy you’ll save will be well worth it, and you’ll be able to channel those into more interesting activities.

The primary consideration when you’re ready to downsize is whether the new home will work for you into the future. One way to determine this is to list your plans for the next 5 and 10 years and evaluate how they will be affected by the move. Plans often change along the way, so try to prepare for some contingencies during the period. If you can visualize living in your new home in spite of these, you may be ready for the change.

Contact Saddlebrook Properties for more information on one story house plans to suit your future lifestyle. 

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