The kids are grown and you have successfully launched them into adulthood! Congratulations! So now that your nest is empty, you may be thinking about selling that big house and moving into something that offers you a lot more freedom! But selling that great big home can come with a lot of hurdles when it comes time to empty out your empty nest. We have been down this road many times with our clients, so we wanted to share with you what we share with our clients that helps them jump over those hurdles and into their new stage of life.
How to Empty Out Your Empty Nest
Empty the Clutter
It’s difficult to empty out your empty nest without feeling like you are throwing away your memories. Organizational expert, Lisa Giesler, Author of Uncluttered and My Life Is a Mess, recommends going room by room and decluttering the things you know you don’t want and which have no important memories attached to them. Then, once you have done the initial decluttering, you can begin the more emotional decluttering. Here are four helpful tips to moving with your memories instead of leaving them behind.
1. Create a Time Capsule
Create a time capsule by packing up your grown kids’ belongings and sending them to their home to store. When they receive their box of trophies and awards and books and toys, they’ll have their own fun time going down memory lane and can decide themselves what to keep!
2. Pass on Keepsakes to the Next Generation
Are there treasured family heirlooms that have been passed down to you that you want to pass on to the next generation? This is a great time to do just that!
3. Take Pictures
We had a client who did not need their five bedroom home after their kids left, but they just couldn’t sell the house because they had recorded the growth of their kids inside their laundry room and couldn’t bear to leave that memento behind. When we suggested having a professional photographer come in and capture that, then create a framed, life-sized photograph for the new home, they were delighted!
4. Donate Bigger Items
Sometimes things have so much emotional value, the idea of just discarding or selling an item is not acceptable. Johnny doesn’t want that tricycle you’ve saved all these years, and you clearly have no use for it, but selling it at a garage sale just doesn’t do the item justice. Donating the item to a worthy cause can often help with the guilt that comes with getting rid of it. Knowing someone else’s family will treasure and use the item makes giving it away feel like a great option.
Once you have done the decluttering (really the hardest part) neutralizing the decor of your home can help you get ready for listing your home. Another added bonus is that changing the “look” of your home will make it feel less like you are leaving the family home behind. Begin by selling or donating furniture and decor items you know you won’t use in your new home. Then paint the walls a neutral color and pack up photographs and personal items that you will take to the new home.
Hire a Professional
A professional real estate agent who is a local expert can help you make the transition from large suburban life to the next stage of homeownership. Whether you are wanting to relocate to life on the lake or to a maintenance free garden-style home (or somewhere in between) a professional real estate agent can help you minimize a lot of the stress that comes with this transition.
When it comes time to empty your empty nest and move into your next home, you can trust the team at Cloninger Properties to help you find the next home of your dreams.
Keeping it real,
Cloninger Properties Team