Help–I’m downsizing



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 happy face winking

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.
  • West Elm storage coffee table

    West Elm storage coffee table

  • 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.

About hayniedi

What about me? In a nutshell I am a middle-aged interior designer and freelance writer, mother of an amazing 27 year old daughter, wife to my semi-retired lawyer husband and step-grandma to two delicious babies. From my earliest memories I have been fascinated with interior decorating and love to share my passion for beautiful rooms with anyone who will listen. Join me on this blog as my husband and I enter our empty nest years and move back into the first home we bought when we were first married that has been a rental for the past 15 years. I will share our experience with remodeling as well as other ideas and thoughts that I hope will inspire you.
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4 Responses to Help–I’m downsizing

  1. hayniedi says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Karen. Empty nesting and downsizing really is something to look forward to!


  2. Karen says:

    Great article… We sold and moved from our family home of 31 years to a small fixer-upper that is half the size of our former home. There were tears and letting go and excitement and dread that we have not regretted for a minute. We reinvested our equity into retirement funds and kept some aside for the move and reno. That was 18 months ago. We purged about half of our stuff which included furniture too large for our little mid-century ranch and have started afresh with a clean, artistic and eclectic, yet modern, vibe.


  3. hayniedi says:

    Thanks for stopping by Lulu. It is tough to figure out all the logistics and costs of moving, not to mention the emotional expense, so am glad you are able to continue to enjoy your home.


  4. lulu says:

    We use so little of our house that downsizing seems a good idea until we price the cost of moving. Until we have to leave this house, we are better off even if all the space is not utilized. Good hints you’ve given.


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