When we bought our current home, the thought of downsizing just didn’t make sense to me. Downsize? Really? Why should I downsize at a time when life is so precarious? Just because our nest is about empty doesn’t mean our family has stopped growing, right?

The last time I shopped for a home, we had one child left in the nest. However, we’ve already had one family need to live with us. So, I knew that should always be a consideration. Then of course, there’s the aging mother to consider. What if I have to care for her? She lives in another state. In order for that to happen, she would definitely have to move in here. She’s too independent. At that point, sedation would be the only way to make that happen.

My, how things change in the span of just five years.

The thought of moving to downsize sounds like a marvelous idea.

For all those reasons, we bought a large house with two acres. Even though, we raised nine children with one bathroom. We now have two people living in a house with three bathrooms. 

You would think that having three bathrooms on two floors would be easily maintained. Not necessarily. Although we don’t use all three, if three grandchildren come to visit, guess where they all run to. Three bathrooms is no longer a convenience. It’s triple the dirty work.

There was never a need to bring my mother home to live with us. We weren’t that lucky. She got her wish. My mom stayed active and independent until three weeks before she succumbed to cancer. I stayed with her.

So, here we are. In a home we love, that is a lot of work and empty space. 

Over the past five years, we have been able to host our adult children and their families. It’s been great. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

As we move into the next season, we will make changes and adjustments. Before you decide to downsize think about the following.

  • Are your adult children financially stable? Just because they are on their own, and seem to “have it all” doesn’t mean they are not up to their ears in debt. It is becoming more common for adult children to come home. 
  • Are your parents still alive? Have you decided how you will care for your aging parents?
  • Can you physically maintain your home into your later years? Honestly, that’s a hard call. As we age, large gardens, pools and beautiful lawns lose their appeal. It doesn’t take long for them, like my bathrooms, to become all work–no play.

For the first time in our forty year marriage, we are looking at house plans that suit us. Just the two of us. Our family home, has truly transformed into a grandma’s home.

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