There is nothing that can done about it. Demographics in America are such that the bulk of the Baby Boomer Generation is nearing retirement. The kids have grown and have families of their own. That big house with all those stairs is no longer your dream home. You find you live in only a quarter of the house. Your bedroom/bathroom, living room, kitchen and breakfast area. Oh! And you use the laundry room and garage….But the rest? Not necessary anymore and pain to keep clean. What’s more, the house seems to have grown more stairs that are steeper than they seemed a few years ago when you were running up and down keeping up with the little ones. So it is finally time to downsize. I found a great 12-Step Guide that I want to share with you. No reason for me to draft something new when someone else has covered the topic so well.
But what they don’t cover is the emotional dynamics of downsizing. I just want you to be prepared.
Mom, Dad, as you know, starting about the time they become teenagers, your children start finding their friends more interesting to spend time with than you. You start to see them less and less. Then they grow up, get married and have children of their own. You have kept all their old memoirs in safekeeping for the day they have their own home and can come get everything. But they don’t. Their first home is either too small, or their jobs have forced them to move away or move often. The day comes that you want to sell and move into something smaller.
One of two things will happen with regards to those memoirs. They will either come get them or they will tell you that they really don’t want all that junk from their childhood. They have moved past that….. It saddens you and as you go through things you must make tough decisions of what to keep and what to get rid of. My advice? Sell it all and set the funds aside for your grandchildren – or spend it on your next vacation.
The next emotional dynamic? Half the kids want you to sell and move into a ranch style home in a nice 55+ Community where you will be able to enjoy friends your own age. The other half doesn’t want you to sell the home they grew up in and hoped to raise their own children in someday. (Well, not really, but for some reason they feel impelled to say so.) Don’t let them make you feel guilty. Take lots of pictures and give them to them. Don’t forget to include pictures of all their old memoirs they didn’t bother to come get and you subsequently sold at the yard sale.
Don’t let the past hold you up. Even though you may now be considered a Senior Citizen, you are vibrant, have a whole lot of living to do and not quite as much time ahead of you as behind you to do everything, so you better get crackin’! Sell the old place, move into the newer, smaller, less cluttered and easier to keep clean homestead and invite the kids over for dinner. And order pizza so you don’t have to cook!
Oh! And those of you who are downsizing and don’t have children to deal with? Here’s that link again for the 12-Steps to downsizing.
That’s it for this blog. Hope you found entertaining as well as helpful.