Here are my very own secrets to making the move more enjoyable. This Rightsizing thing (Ha! Who said it was a small project!) doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience for the Empty Nester. Here are some great pointers for Rightsizing, moving, settling and styling up your life.

These secrets are designed in two parts: Part 1 being for you, the Empty Nester, and Part 2 being for your ‘rock’ (i.e. your team, by this I mean the solid family / friends around you that are there for you and support you). They ensure that you, as the Empty Nester take time out and always look after yourself in the process. Being informed and involved with every step of the way is the best and most appropriate thing you can do. Make this the best experience possible, so you can settle in and minimise the stress!

Everyone has moved once or more in their life. Understand that this isn’t just an ordinary move. It’s a decision that affects lives. Leaving the family home can even be a traumatic experience for some. You’ve got to be aware of the issues that may arise and do the best you can to support everyone involved.

For The Empty Nester

Moving may be one of the biggest events you will have in your life. It is completely understandable that emotions will come into this, as they deserve to. You will have accumulated lot of memories and possessions in your property. You may well have seen people come and go, lots of parties, big occasions, fun times and sad times. It is important to acknowledge and savour all those memories.

Secret #1: Perception Is Reality

Acknowledge your own feelings of loss or grief for your home. Often having to relocate to a new home brings to light many feelings of life and even death. Your feelings right now are of the utmost importance. Verbalise those feelings and talk things through with your person of trust. It is important for you to express your feelings so they are acknowledged and discussed. Know the facts about where you are going to live, if you have already found your next home, or write your lists of needs and wants about the place – you’ll find it if you put thought into it. Be real; don’t discuss the new place as if it’s a brand new fairytale castle or as if it is terrible and shocking.

It is about a great new chapter in your life – it’s recommended that you are positive, but there is no reason not to be straight with your trusted ‘rock’ (your team!) and yourself about what’s going on. Be informed and discuss the factual details of your new home, often.

Secret #2: Set The Ground Rules

Listen to concerns. There may be several parts of this transition that you do not understand or that you think need to happen. You need to have your ears open wide and make sure you are truly listening to all concerns.

Secret #3: Allow Someone To Help

Don’t feel taken over unless you want it that way. It might be easy to feel pushed around, but usually your ‘rock’ (your team!) of trust is only trying to help. This transition is hard for all of those involved. Allow your ‘rock’ (your team!) to have input, and be ready for their input. Remember, just because someone is trying to help you – it doesn’t mean they are trying to take over and control you – it is your home. Be alert and aware of your teams’ feelings towards change. You may not want to face the fact that your family doesn’t want you to move. It is important to surround yourself with a team of genuine supporters and deal with any resistance through effective communication.

Secret #4: Sell / Rent / Build Your Granny Flat When The Time Is Right

Don’t worry about selling or renting your home immediately. These memories took time to grow and develop so allow yourself the right amount of time to move on and let go and I want you to invest in some unbiased, seriously good financial advice. It is smart to have your property generate as much income as you can. Rightsizing effectively at the right time and having extra funds available would be a great advantage.

This is no time to rush, working out when to sell or rent your property as part of your financial plan is imperative. We know that dedicating time and expertise in getting the property looking right will reap rewards for you.

Secret #5: Be Positive. It’s A New Chapter

You can do this! You have been through a huge amount of events and challenges in your life and you are still here to tell the story! You have years of experience and may have even travelled the Seven Seas. There is not much that you can’t handle. Look back at all the things you have achieved! Believe in yourself and know that you CAN do this; Rightsizing is totally achievable for you. Your trusted ‘rock’ (your team!) needs to know that you truly believe in yourself too. 

Secret #6: The Cycle Of Change

For an Empty Nester, making the decision (or having it made for you – but hopefully by reading this book that won’t happen!) to leave your home could be devastating – or it could be fantastic for you. First there are the thoughts of an impending move. Not everyone likes to move or leave the place they call home. The stress level in that alone can possibly cause anxiety and even the ‘D’ word, depression. As an Empty Nester who is moving to a new home, you need to be aware of the stages you may go through as you transition. It is important to be aware of this cycle, so please have a good understanding of ‘The cycle of change’ and consider the effects.

There is also an association with moving house and moving to a new chapter of life. We are getting older and we need to understand that we are associating ‘letting go’ of the family home with the perceived letting go and familiarity of the ‘younger you’. This will stir thoughts of ‘Who am I now?’, ‘Am I happy moving into this chapter?’, ‘How will I cope on my own or with my husband or wife now’, ‘Are we wanting the same thing?’… We are moving out of a phase in life and now we are moving out of the safe environment of our family home surroundings and culture, it can be a daunting prospect and bring feelings of unhappiness or uncertainty about the future.

Secret #7: It’s A Team Effort – Your Person Of Trust

Connect with them. It’s a team effort to work through this transition. Rightsizing is not something that happens every day as discussed in the introduction. Don’t try to do it alone and communicate your thoughts and feelings with someone you want to help you through the process. The change will take time and effort and a problem shared is a problem halved, as they say. If you don’t have a friend or relative who will take this project on with you, consider engaging a professional expert team to help you through the process. Try to be involved in the personalisation of your new home.

Hiring a professional is something you can choose to do. Make sure your special belongings are being treated with the care and respect they deserve and talk through each of these items with your trusted person. Take what you want with you to your new home and ensure your other special items are passed on to family or a new owner who will love them too. Your new home should become as cosy and loved as the one from which you just came.