Flying the Empty Nest

Now that the nest is empty, is it time for you to fly it too?

In a home that you've built up over the years, it may be unthinkable of living anywhere else. Everywhere you look there are reminders of the family you brought up here and happy times spent together. But what of your life now? You may have flirted with the idea of downsizing but the task ahead is just too daunting to contemplate both physically and emotionally. Staging your property can help you if you want to downsize. Property stagers can help from the de-cluttering right through to staging the property for sale, they're on hand to help. They offer their advice on how to pick your way through the transition. Leaving your much loved home is a huge decision; apart from the simple fact that you're comfortable there, you're familiar with the boiler's little foibles and the creaky fourth step on the stairs, it's tied up with who you are as a person. A house where you've been a spouse and a parent has you clearly defined, who would you be if you left?

The first step along the journey is deciding you actually want to move on. You'll get an inkling of this if you spend time worrying over the amount of maintenance the property requires and whether you can keep up. Household billr can be a source of anxiety not only the maintenance costs but also the expense of heating rooms that are no longer inhabited. What about the higher council tax band that your property falls into? Could that money be better spent elsewhere? Perhaps on those long held ambitions that could still be fulfilled if you could just liberate some capital tied up in it. Whether it's the pursuit of a lifelong dream or just the peace of mind of living a simpler life, you could be ready to move on and now could be the start of something new; you could be able to make the first move.

Once you've made the decision to go it's vital that you concentrate on the positive aspects. Think about the burden of high property maintenance and the costs of hefty bills being lifted off your shoulders. See this as a new phase in your life, an opportunity to take time doing more of the things you enjoy most; a chance to reinvent yourself, and put yourself first after all these years. Reinvention keeps you young as discovering and trying new things keeps you stimulated and ultimately gives you confidence. Contemplate the new you and begin to move out mentally before your do so physically. Unlike a son or daughter who may have emotional ties to their childhood home, they can advise on the presentation of the property. A large property will always appeal to families - as it did to you. It needs to be presented to appeal to younger families with more modern tastes who will be able to visualise themselves in the space. Stagers can help the vendor achieve this.

Another aspect of the move is the de-cluttering of a lifetime's possessions and clutter. Many grown up children leave behind boxes of belongings at their parents' home. They use their home as an unofficial dumping ground or demand that nothing changes in their old bedroom in their absence. Parents are often also happy with the arrangement, they want to oblige them and by doing so keep hold of the past too. However when a parent decides it's time to move on it means that decisions have to be taken as to what to do with it all. Chances are that the children don't ever look in those boxes and wouldn't miss them anyway. Start by sorting the clutter on a scale of 1-10, with items at 1 being so prized you'd brave going into a burning building as to save them and 10 as being rubbish not even fit for recycling. The stuff kept just in case it may come in handy? Well it never did - so that can go. This is also a good chance to get photographs organised in albums so that they can be stored more easily or even in frames that can be put on display and enjoyed. Then there are those guilt items. The odd birthday gift that you never did like - there won't be enough room in the new place - that can be donated to charity. The clothes bought on impulse that serve to reproach you every time you open the wardrobe. And the big one: the children's clutter. Well you consult with them and state that you're happy to hand it back or dispose of it according to their wishes. Sometimes it just takes a gentle guiding hand to start the process.

It may also be a way of handing out an early inheritance. Heirlooms can be distributed to loved ones where you'll be able to see them enjoyed and cherished in your lifetime. You may want to sell on some pieces, which will feather your new nest even more Once the first pile has been sorted you're on your way. It can be an emotional process too, with memories flooding back as to how and when you came by an item, so it may be useful to have someone there to keep you focussed. There is an enormous sense of relief when it's done and the aids you to move on to the next phase. It's almost like a liberation from the past but choosing to carry only the best bits forward with you. Downsizing can be immensely satisfying both as a process and with what's left at the end of it. You have a streamlined life, with the opportunity to devote yourself to more of what pleases you; surrounded by the things you love most.

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