Have you arrived at “that time of life”? Time to move from the old homestead into something smaller and more manageable? If so you have already discovered that this can be a very scary time. But think waaaaaay back to when you were moving out of your parent’s home for the very first time…it was both scary and exciting at the same time with promises of unknown adventures ahead. Emptynesting or downsizing is no different—scary and exciting with promises of many pleasant changes ahead that include:
- More time to spend on those activities you enjoy vs. time spent maintaining a large yard, cleaning a large house etc.
- More $ to spend on those activities you enjoy vs. spending those $ on home repair, taxes etc.
- An opportunity to rid your home, and life, of all the clutter that accumulates over the years. This can be very liberating.
- An opportunity to decorate your home in a new style and color that was not possible in the old house without undertaking an entire redecorating project for which you had no $ because of all the expense and maintenance..yada, yada, yada.
If you are a sentimentalist like me it will take some time to get over the crying jags every time you run across a box of the kids childhood artwork or the bag that stores that adorable little outfit she wore home from the hospital….(I need a break to wipe away the tears right now!) But then reality sets in and you actually begin to enjoy the peace and quiet, the clean floors, the food that remains in the refrigerator for more than a day, having to do laundry a couple of times a week vs. a couple of times a day and other pleasures you can enjoy when there are no kids in the house
Now that you know how to enjoy your empty nest space, here are some decorating ideas that will help you make the most of your new, smaller home:
- Use multi-tasking furniture. Anything with drawers is a good idea and that includes not only the obvious chests for the bedroom but think about media units, coffee and end tables, bookcases and hutches with drawers to hide and store all of the “stuff” you could not part with or that is simply part of our modern lives. You know what I’m talking about–remotes, DVD’s, chargers, ear buds and those all-important how-to manuals. This unique storage coffee table does double duty as a desktop or TV tray while “hiding” your stuff and is going into my small den as we speak.
- Multi-tasking also includes items like sleeper sofas that can provide a bed for guests, side chairs that can be pulled up to the dining room table during dinner parties, ottomans that can be used as a table, footrest or additional seating, trunks that can store games or magazines when not being used as an end table. The ideas are limitless.
- One tip is to select a color scheme that flows throughout the house. This means a chair in the living room, for example, will work just as well if moved to the master bedroom or a piece of artwork, throw pillows or a rug can be moved from room to room. This is a good idea regardless of whether you live in a large home or small apartment.
I look forward to hearing your empty nest/downsizing stories and how you decorated your new, smaller home.