Downsizing is NOT for Sissies
Was it a hop, skip and a jump ago that we moved from the city because we were squeezed out and needed room for our growing family? I guess it was.
Except it was really so long ago, twenty years and whose counting, that when I hop, skip and jump today, my knees hurt.
I was done with house living. Over it. If I never saw a gutter or a furnace or a ceiling damaged from water again, I’d be a better person for it. Every time I turned around something was breaking and something else needed fixing. In one year alone we lost power at least four times. And our house happened to be on the last road on the totem poll to see light.
Finally I saw the light and it was time to start over, go backwards, and downsize. I hated the excess. The stuff I didn’t need or want. Even organizers gather. We have children and families and memories. We have our history. The challenge is when our history isn’t exactly history. But there comes a time to be selective. To make choices about what stays and what goes.
I’ll fast forward and admit that I LOVE our new and smaller space. It’s adorable. Perfectly organized, totally uncluttered, very convenient, cozy, homey, and just as I imagined. When I first saw this space I knew ---kind of like “I knew he was the one.” It felt right and the bonus, if anyone could make it work , I was sure I could. No attic and no basement, I knew I needed a scheme. A plan to get it done, as in moving out and moving in.
I measured, measured and re-measured. And although my husband and the movers said my stuff wouldn’t fit, I knew differently. I asked for one thing and for one thing only (besides weed out, buy boxes, tape and wrapping paper in bulk, weed out, get with the color coding system, make a run to Home Depot and did I say weed out?) LET me do my job. Let me do what I’m good at.
I sold furniture and equipment. I consigned furniture, chandeliers and rugs. I sold and consigned clothing. And I gave away two truck loads of I-don’t-need-it and I-don’t-want-it-anymore-items to charity. I also had two truck loads for recycling—just a nicer way of saying I had two dump runs.
The difference between doing this for me instead of for my clients is that no one held my hand. All of my friends and family offered to help. But as one friend said, when I was pining after an old rug headed for consignment, “You certainly got your money’s worth after all these years.” Bottom line – things are not people. The real treasures in your life can’t be negotiated or bought or sold.
I’d also like to add that I met the nicest people along the way. Especially the proud new owners of my dearly parted stuff. I didn’t meet one goof ball during that entire process.
And guess what? Everything I moved with fit like a glove. No problems, no worries. It helped that I weeded, shredded and worked until the wee hours of the night, night after night, to sort, clean, pack, label and inventory with pictures. The only moving horrors were that (1) we moved during a blizzard and (2) a cable company (whose name will go unnamed) got the work order wrong four times. But finally, they got it right.
So, like I said, Downsizing is NOT for Sissies. But it can sure feel good.
Shout out if you need help.