There comes a time in your life when conversations shift from soccer practice and school plays to vacations and places to retire. It can be an exciting time for some, but it can also be overwhelming for many!
Once the kids have moved out (and moved back in and moved out again), you may begin to think about trading in the old house and getting a new one.The problem that many of us have is that, along the way, we have collected a lot of stuff!
Some of you may have made-do with a smaller-than-ideal home while you were raising your kids and now you are in the enviable position of not necessarily needing to move. In order to stay in that home, you likely trained yourself to be a good steward of cleaned-out closets and a diligent tosser of unused items. Or not.
If, like many of us, you are still in a family home that was the ideal size for your family--when they all lived at home--you may be left with a house that has extra bedrooms, too many couches and lamps, as well as a storage room filled with things that will never see the light of day until they hit the sidewalk give-away pile.
How do you begin the process of Right-Sizing? And let me be clear, not everyone who lived in a smaller house when their children were around wants to stay put. I know plenty of parents who picked a great school district in which to raise a family and once that no longer mattered to them, moved somewhere that they could get more space for less money.
The first step to considering a new home is to look at your existing space. Do you have a lot of things you want to get rid of before you move? Do you have things that you want to sell, donate, distribute within the family? Do you only have things in your house that you LOVE? Do you want everything in your house to come with you when you move to a new house? If you are like me, the answer is that you have a lot of cleaning out to do.
Cleaning out and getting organized is hard work! How and where do you begin?
I have found there are really only three ways, if you are actually going to get it done:
- Jump in, room by room, and be committed to the process
- Enlist a friend or family member who is not as sentimental about your belongings to help
- Hire someone to help you with the process.
Many of us will do a hybrid of all three.
If you are thinking about 'what comes next,' your first step is to take a hard look at your home and your stuff and put together a plan to get it organized. Even if you opt to stay put, you will feel lighter and more mobile if, in the future, your home plans change.
There is nothing easy about Right-sizing. It can be exciting, but it also requires work and commitment. If you think you are ready to get started, take the first step and begin the 'clean-out!'