Should You Downsize Your Empty Nest?


The kids have left and now it’s only you and your partner left or maybe just you for all us single parents. You wonder around all those empty rooms and now the house that seemed full and too small now feels massive. Funny, isn’t it, how a home which was perennially too small is now too big? That’s life for you though, and part of life is to adapt when changes happen. No parent wants their kids to leave, but they have to spread their wings. While they’re doing flying off into their new adult lives, it’s essential for you to figure out what you want the second half of your life to look like. Time to really asses your home and decide if its still what you want or do you want to make a change.  Whether you decide to downsize your home or not, there are many things you can do with all those empty rooms.

Do Not Keep a Shrine to Your Children

Take it from me your kids really don’t want all that stuff you have been saving for them.  It’s fine to keep it while they are in college or until they settle into their first home but at that point, let it go. It is too hard for us as parents to throw all those little drawings and report cards we have saved all these years in the trash so leave it up to them. Call your children and have them come and get all their stuff.  Make it their responsibility to sort through and get rid of the things they don’t want.  Either box it all up and have them take it or take yourself out for the day or weekend and leave them to sort through and box it up.  Either way, you now have a nice empty room to transform. A new hobby can fill the space in no time or maybe you would rather have a home gym.


Downsize to a New House

You really don’t need five bedrooms anymore, do you?  How about that big pool with all that maintenance?  Are you tired of cutting all that grass? Maybe it’s time to sell the house and buy something smaller. Something where someone else does the maintenance. If you are wanting to sell, you have to make sure it’s the right time. If there are market fluctuations, it can make buying and selling incredibly tricky. You don’t want to end up losing money on your home. It is your biggest investment. You want to look at the bottom line and factor in things such as the hassle of moving and the costs. The Bekins Moving Company or another similar one in your area could help with some of the hassles, however, hiring a moving company is a cost you need to factor in. Call a realtor and ask some questions. They would be happy to help with selling your current house or finding you a new place.

Sell the House Fund Your Dream

Have you always wanted to live near the ocean? How about travel the world by boat? Dreamed of being a gypsy and living in a caravan traveling the United States? Wanted to start a small business selling antiques? How about opening a cafe and bookstore? Whatever your dream is, now is the time to do it. Your home is your biggest investment and if you choose to sell it, you can do any number of things with the money. You’ve worked hard paying for your house so now let your house work for you. Let your house fund your dream.

Think Outside the Box

For the most part, it’s the buzz and chaos that we miss the most. Once the children have gone the silence can be deafening. We miss knowing there are other people in the house.  Why not do a Golden Girls and move in some room mates?  Think of how much fun you could have with a house full of friends. Depending on the size of your house, you could open a B&B or rent out rooms through Airbnb to make some extra income and fill the house.  If you’re an artist or a writer you can host retreats in your home inviting other artists and writers to stay and work together. There is also the option to have a multi-generational home.  Many countries do this and it seems to be advantageous for everyone.  The possibilities are endless.


Are you thinking about downsizing?

Let me know in the comments.


4 thoughts on “Should You Downsize Your Empty Nest?”

  1. I would love for my parents to downsize and be able to move to another area. And I don’t need them to keep all my stuff!

    1. Getting rid of your kids’ stuff I find to be the hardest part; so many memories attached. One way to help is for the kids to just take the stuff and get rid of it themselves. We hang on to the first outfit, the first drawing, the first everything for so long it is nearly impossible for us as parents to get rid of it. So one way to really help your parents is to take the stuff and then toss it yourself without letting them know. For us tossing it is like throwing away all the years with our children and the thought of that is unbearable, so just take it to your house and let them think you have it packed away in your garage or attic.

  2. Linda Manns Linneman

    I really think downsizing is the right thing for me. These are some great suggestions. It is hard to get used to not having all the kids around. Thank you and God Bless

  3. I was more than happy to send my kids stuff packing along with them. BUT, downsizing was NOT something that I wanted to do. I finally had a home that was not stuffed to the rafters. I loved having the extra breathing room. Space for me! Then sadly, we were forced into downsizing, and it wasn’t pretty. I’m having a terrible time adjusting to living in a tiny dollhouse. Oh well, I guess I’ll adjust at some point in time. Also wish we had used a reputable moving company like Bekins. We had a terrible experience…one that I hope no one else ever has to go through!

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