How to downsize – Empty Nester’s Guide

How to Downsize

An Empty Nester’s Guide

organized home office

If you’ve just returned from dropping your children off at a university, or they graduated in May and are officially out of the house for good, downsizing your space might be on your radar.

Selling a large home and moving into a smaller one not only holds the promise of making life easier to manage, it can also be more cost effective. But if you’ve been in your current home for a couple decades, you’ve likely amassed a lot of stuff. When is the last time you cleaned out your attic or garage?

The key to downsizing effectively is taking a systematic approach to planning your move and organizing the space. Here are some tips.

Declutter First, Slowly

Getting rid of things you no longer need or want isn’t for the faint of heart. To manage the process of first reviewing your stuff, use these tips:

  • Tackle cleaning out spaces slowly over time. You don’t have to tackle the basement and the linen closet on the same day.
  • Make three piles: “Keep,” “Donate” and “Trash.” Don’t make a “Maybe” pile
  • Decide if you want to include a “Sell” pile (only if you actually intend to sell items).
  • To help you make decisions, ask yourself questions like, “When is the last time I used this?” and “What purpose will this serve in my new home?” If you can’t remember the answer to the first question or you don’t have an answer to the second question, it might be time to part ways.
  • Choose where you’ll donate what you no longer need. There are many options depending on what you have to donate. Check first—some donation centers prohibit specific items.
Use Space Wisely

If you’ve made the decision to downsize, you might be concerned about keeping your new space clutter-free—whether it’s a smaller house, a condo or an apartment.

To make the most out of less space, use it wisely and consider storage options which make the most out of your closets.

  • More hanging storage – If you’ve got small reach-in closets with one rod and a shelf, you can likely add a second rod to double hanging storage for your clothes.
  • Hooks and racks – Add hooks behind the door or on the side wall of your reach-in closet or in your walk-in closet to hang bags or accessories. This is also a good spot to add a tie rack or belt rack so you’re not taking up valuable space elsewhere in your closet.
  • Shelves and cubbies – Adding shelves and cubbies to a reach-in or linen closet is an excellent way to add storage that helps you avoid piling items on top of items, which can quickly contribute to clutter

hanging clothes neatIf these solutions seem appealing to you, you could also go with a completely custom solution, where a professional Designer reviews the space and helps you maximize it. It’s a better way to ensure that all of your things have a place in your new, more compact home.

Think Multipurpose

Beyond considering where you’ll keep all of your stuff, it makes sense to think multipurpose when downsizing. The spaces in your new home—and the furniture in those spaces—can pull double duty so you can get more out of them.

For example, choose an ottoman that doubles as a storage bin. Consider a kitchen island with cubbies on the side for small appliances or cook books. Maximize under-bed storage with containers or a bed with drawers below it.

And when it comes to sleeping arrangements, you can opt for a sofa bed or even a Murphy bed.

For the full article, visit Closet Works

When you need help getting your empty nest organized, reach out to Organize Me!

Organizeme! Frederick, MD

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