New members of the empty nester club are likely to discover some newfound spare time on their hands, as well as a somewhat excessive amount of square footage in their home. You’ve heard of this trend: Empty nesters downsizing and moving into the city. Does it offer anything for you?
Lifestyle preference is always in the eye of the beholder, of course, but many especially in the past decade or so have found the benefits of urban living with less clutter. Removing clutter to the point where you’d be able to downsize significantly can actually be the most daunting part of the task, so much so that a small market of concierge services have sprung up to help with the process. The most thorough of these services will run not only clutter removal and moving your remaining belongings to your new home, but also consulting with you on preferences and connecting you with realtors to fit those needs. But are the benefits of downsizing worth all the effort?
Well, clutter removal can be a cathartic exercise on its own. Being ruthless with yourself on random keepsakes unlikely to ever be useful or important again can open up a world of possibilities, whether you’re downsizing or not. If you are interested in downsizing though, this is probably going to be a vital first step.
Along with downsizing often comes less home maintenance and upkeep. Lawn mowing and snow removal could become chores of the past, and your time spent house cleaning be cut by multitudes. Living in a condo building or dense settings in general also provides easier access to concierge services such as dog walking, group or personal fitness opportunities, massages, and cleaning services. Perhaps you’ll be looking to travel more in your free time — living in such environments often allows you to get away without having to make as many arrangements at home.
Walkability is another feature people hope for when changing their lifestyle. Many city neighborhoods can offer this — restaurants, cocktail bars, pharmacies and corner stores, doctors’ offices, and even full grocery stores just a block or two away. Many suburban downtowns offer strips of pleasant walkability too, so that’s an option as well. Areas where you can walk for many errands, social outings, or even your job also reduce the number of cars needed per household. After all, with ride-hail available at your fingertips or any number of “L” stations to live near, who says you should still have to deal with traffic?
You may be noticing a theme here. Downsizing is not only a shift in your amount of square footage, it is often a reallocation of how you spend your time. Less household chores that either no longer apply or can be outsourced at ease, more time enjoying your loved ones and friends out on the town — or still at home, but perhaps now at your condo building’s rooftop deck.