Have you looked around your home recently and come to a new realization: I don’t need all of this space anymore! Maybe you have two bedrooms and now you only need one. Maybe the finished basement is only collecting dust. And the big backyard? Maybe you just need a small patio on which to relax. The kids may have moved out, and you’re tired of cleaning spaces you don’t use anymore. Downgrading the square footage of your home could mean upgrading your life.
Moving because of an empty nest is both bittersweet and exciting. Finally thinking of yourself and what it is that you want is at the forefront of your mind while leaving behind memories can be rough. What can make the transition easier? Preparation, knowledge, and some really fun home decorating!
Invest in storage! It’s time to get creative! You may not have all the closets, cupboard, and counters that you used to have in your old home and it may leave you shaking your head about where to put everything that you own. But new home, new you. Take this time to rid your home of clutter and only purchase items that you really love and need. Or, like the heading says, get creative with storage. Find cute baskets, file cabinets (yes, those do exist), and organization tools and place them around your new home, as needed.
Sharing spaces. If you’re moving to a new home with another person prepare yourself for more up close and personal time. If that sounds ideal, good for you! If you need time alone, from time to time, it could be an adjustment. Develop and explore interests outside of each other so you can have time alone. And just remember, you might not have an entire upstairs to retreat to, but you also don’t have an entire upstairs that needs cleaning. That’s worth it!
Time for new furniture! An issue that you may not have thought of: your furniture is too big for your new space. It’s hard to know exactly what the furniture looks like until you have it arranged in a new space, and sometimes it just doesn’t work! Sometimes you just need a new style and some brand new pieces. Time for shopping!
What if you used to have green space…and now you don’t. That is something you have to get used to, especially if you used to maintain a pool, or hot tub. Take advantage of whatever outdoor space you now have and make it your oasis, without having to mow the lawn, All. The. Time.
A smaller backyard can serve the same purposes as a large backyard can: relaxation, grilling out, gentle exercise for a dog, and just enough room to hold the only people that you really want at your 4th of July party. Build in some bench seating for guests, and yourself, and plant a very small garden with the food you love.
A smaller kitchen may be something you’re celebrating…but just in case it isn’t: now is the time to explore and test your culinary skills. It may be back to basics when the limited storage space prohibits you from keeping all of your gadgets. If you love to cook now you can change it up a little bit…find a cool compact dining/pub set and simplify your eating. Or find a lot of great restaurants you love close to your new abode.
Don’t disinvite your guests. Yes, there’s not as many bedrooms, and therefore beds, to sleep everyone, but (again) let’s get creative. Go for furniture pieces that can serve a couple different functions: a futon can be a sofa in the living room, or an extra space, and then fold down into a bed. Guest time will be…cozy.