As children grow up and leave home to begin their adventures, parents face a new chapter in life, joining the approximately 22.5 million in the United States who fall into the category of empty nesters.
This transition can bring a mix of emotions and decisions, like whether to downsize into a smaller home that better suits your new lifestyle. However, moving as empty nesters requires different considerations than your previous relocation experiences.
If you’re looking to embrace this next chapter and make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible, we’re sharing helpful empty nester moving tips. Our empty nesters’ downsizing guide will help you ensure a seamless transition into this exciting phase of life.
What is downsizing for empty nesters?
With children out of the house, you may have more space than you need. Downsizing to a smaller home can provide a better solution to suit your present needs and new lifestyle. Plus, selling or renting a home can free up financial resources and provide a fresh start in a new environment.
Downsizing doesn’t have to be an emotionally and logistically challenging process. To help make the transition smoother, here are some effective downsizing strategies for empty nesters.
- Plan to give yourself ample time to sort through your belongings, find a suitable new home, and make the necessary arrangements.
- Determine what you truly need and want in your new home before you start looking.
- Consider how your needs may change as you age, and choose a home that accommodates features like single-floor living, wider doorways for accessibility, and proximity to medical facilities and social activities.
- Prepare yourself for the biggest challenge of downsizing – dealing with years of accumulated belongings!
- Rely on professional assistance, including real estate agents, professional organizers, and moving companies.
- Explore your housing options thoroughly, taking your time to envision yourself living there and visiting prospective properties before making a decision.
Tips for a stress-free move as an empty nester
Moving as an empty nester can be both exciting and bittersweet. By following these stress-free moving tips, you can make the transition smoother.
As you take this opportunity to declutter and simplify your life, making room for new experiences, follow this empty nester decluttering guide.
- Divide everything into categories of keep, sell, donate, or discard.
- Keep items that hold sentimental value, bring you joy, or fit the lifestyle you envision for your new home.
- Digitize photos and documents to save space.
- Sell items in good condition that won’t fit in your new home.
- Donate or discard what you no longer need or use.
Have a strategy for packing
Of all the organizing and packing tips, starting early by packing non-essential items well in advance will save you headaches. As you go, label all your boxes with their contents and choose one box to hold urgent items you’ll need immediately. Also, keep all important documents, such as leases, contracts, and moving receipts, in one designated folder.
Consider hiring professional movers
Moving can be physically and emotionally draining. Rather than enlist help from your busy friends and family, simplify packing and moving logistics by hiring professional movers who specialize in helping empty nesters downsize.
Make a moving checklist
Planning and organization can ensure a smooth transition into your new empty nest. As you prepare to move, look over this empty nesters’ moving checklist.
- Arrange for repairs/updates before you move
- Research and hire a moving company
- Pack, label, and make arrangements for valuable or fragile items
- Notify important parties of your address changes
- Forward your mail, contact utility companies, and update your insurance policies
- Make time to say goodbye to your old home where you made a lot of memories – and your neighbors
How to make a fresh start as an empty nester
The empty nest transition can be both exciting and challenging. As you find ways to redefine yourself, approach this time as an opportunity for personal growth and a new beginning.
Strategies for adjusting to life as an empty nester
Once you’re settled into your new home, here are some practical tips on making a fulfilling and gratifying fresh start as an empty nester.
- Embrace this next chapter of life and its potential for self-discovery and growth.
- Let go of the nostalgia and focus on the exciting possibilities before you.
- Find new hobbies and activities by revisiting or exploring new interests.
- Dedicate time for self-care – physically and mentally – by exercising regularly, eating well, and nurturing your emotional well-being.
- Redefine your relationship with your partner and make time to reconnect with each other.
- Seek out social connections in your new neighborhood or community that bring joy and fulfillment to your life.
- Set new goals for yourself and embark on new personal, professional, or travel adventures.
- Maintain a healthy and loving relationship with your children by staying connected in person or through technology.
Entering the empty-nester phase is a time filled with emotions and choices. As parents navigate this transition, downsizing becomes a pivotal step. Through careful planning, decluttering strategies, and embracing new opportunities, this transition can be made smoother, offering a fresh canvas to embark on this next chapter.