Downsizing the Empty Nest

Right now high school seniors are submitting their applications to universities and colleges. If it's your last child filling out those forms, you may be bracing yourself for the dreaded "empty nest syndrome."

Some parents grieve, while other parents celebrate their time alone and/or with each other. However you feel about it, moving to a smaller home may be a good option to consider.

There are many benefits to downsizing and a smaller home doesn’t necessarily mean a less luxurious home. Many people find that smaller is cosier and that smaller spaces have more character than larger ones. Now that you don’t have to position yourself close to a high school, you can take the opportunity to move wherever you want.

Instead of living in a four or five bedroom house, why not move to a two or three bedroom that boasts a sunroom, workshop or that art studio you’ve always wanted? This way you’re cleaning rooms that you actually use instead of ones that just sit and wait for weekend visits.

This could also be your chance to move to the place you’ve dreamed of retiring in; or if you’re not quite ready for that, you could put the money you save from downsizing and cheaper energy costs towards a  vacation home like a cottage or beach house. You can also make some extra cash by selling the furniture and appliances that you’ll no longer need.

Depending on your lifestyle you may even consider condo life. Though it can be a little restrictive for some, it certainly cuts down on household chores like cutting the lawn and cleaning out the gutters. It can also be a good way to meet new people if you decide to move to a new community.

On the CENTURY 21 website you can search for specific features like square-footage, style of home, acreage and age of home to narrow your options. One way to figure out the size of home that would be comfortable for you is to measure the square footage of the rooms you don’t need anymore and subtract that from your house’s total. Don’t forget to add in the amount of any additional rooms you’d like to add at the end.

Your children aren’t the only ones who get a fresh start; you can have one, too, and stop feeling left behind!

Share your stories of "empty nest syndrome" (or not) in the comments section below.


  1. Dawn Evans 01/14/2010 at 4:08 PM

    Yes it is the era for me, as the youngest of them all plans for University, the others moved out and on years before. Big house much to renovate and keep clean. But how do you find something cosiderably more modest with a garage that only a Woman could love...?? I have unusual preferances. So I am just going to browse the real estate sites to see if I really am better off to stay where I am.

  2. Manny Munir 01/28/2010 at 9:35 AM

    Very interesting. I agree with you 100%.

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