Downsizing is often the time when people face the most anxiety over moving house. Scaling down from the family home to the empty nest home can be a stressful, emotional period. But it doesn't have to be.
The challenge is how to deal with all of those boxes of photos, mementos, and childhood toys and crafts that have been stored away on shelves in the garage or up in the attic for decades. It makes us feel safe to know they are there and can be passed along. The thing is, you never look in those boxes, and do you really want to pass their contents along in large boxes for your kids to sort through? At this time, the kids are likely away at college or travelling and short on space themselves.
So how do you pay homage to the past family home when you're moving into the sleek new condo? Here are our top tips for keeping the memories alive and still saving space in your new place by letting go of sentimental items.
Sort through the boxes of items you won't be able to take with you. Throw out anything that's damaged or just not a keeper.
Ask family members what items they'd like to have and set aside accordingly.
Deal with photos by digitizing them and creating albums to send or selecting the best photos and putting together a photo album for each family member and for you to take with you.
Purchase small chests to place family members' memorabilia in. These can be stored in far less space in your new home until you're ready to give them away.
Bring design elements of the old to the new by selecting features and colors that will remind you of your old family home. This could be a beautiful oil painting of the home in a special place; an interesting color you always painted a specific room, the design of a fireplace, or even the configuration of furniture.
Create a tribute to your former home in the new by dedicating a shelf or a small glass display cabinet to items you just can't let go of. This is a great way of actually seeing your treasures every day. Glass cabinets are great because they are clean looking and don't take up a lot of room. Inside you can place items such as trophies, medals, treasured cook books or a well-loved recipe card, keychains, or a sentimental dish. You can purchase them at Ikea.
There are many ways to preserve the essence of the old home in the new home. It just takes some team work and a little creativity.