REFLECTIONS OF DOWNSCALING TO A SMALLER PROPERTY
Moving house can be exciting and stressful at the same time, add downscaling to the mix and it becomes emotional as well. If you are a sentimental hoarder like me, this becomes your worst nightmare, what do you keep and what do you give away or sell.
This was the case for me in the last few months when we moved from a large house to a smaller place. Downsizing was the right thing for us to do, us being my hubby and myself. Having a large house with a swimming pool which we never used, it was far too big for us. I knew we had made the right decision, but, oh yes the but! But what to take? but what to give away? but what must I sell? The decisions seemed endless.
A friend gave me some advice – Take what you know you will use and what will fit in the new place. If you don’t use it often or are in doubt – think if I give it away can I afford to replace it? This along with my husband’s sentiment “You can’t take it with you when you die, you never see a hearse with a trailer behind it”! With this in mind, I started spring cleaning and going through room by room. I did find a lot of things that I hadn’t used in years. When you have space you don’t seem to notice all the things that you really do not use and were keeping “in case I need it”. Once I started, I found that giving away my things was not so bad, the things that I battled to let go off was all my inherited things and furniture from my Mom and Grandparents. I felt guilty letting go “their” things. I was clinging onto items, as though if I gave it away or sold it, I was letting them down and giving them away. I was also holding onto the things so that my nieces and nephews could get them one day, however, after asking if they wanted some of the items now, I was met with “No Thanks”, “It is not my taste” Surprise Surprise they don’t want silver cutlery, old-fashioned dinner sets that can’t go into a dishwasher etc. So slowly I began to give these items away, and in doing so I realised these things were actually weighing me down.
I had a lot of things from my Mom, you see, she moved in with my husband and myself two years after our wedding, so when she passed away all her things which were in her little flatlet on the property made their way into the main house (already then I clung to her things, as though keeping her things with me would keep her close to me). As my brother said to me, visiting us was like walking into her home, and that it was our house but her home. I still have a long way to go and have 3 boxes of things in my Mom’s ornaments in the garage – but I will get there. I have not discarded everything of hers, I still have many things of her’s and my grandparents, but I have managed to blend it in with our things, and have bought a few new things for the new home, and that has been exciting. We are creating our home, and not living in a shrine. This has been good for my hubby and I. I must say he must be a saint as he never once complained that I was living in my Moms shadow, and has allowed me to reach this point on my own and in my own time.
Well back to the actual move. Not having much experience with moving, I decided to colour code them as per room at the new house. I had a book in which I labelled each page with the name of the room and the colour code. Each box had the colour coded label on all sides and the top. I also numbered the boxes, but not per room, just in numerical order so I knew how many boxes we had for the moving company. In the notebook, I wrote the number of the box under the relevant room name and a detailed description of what was in the box. This system worked well once we were in the new place. All boxes were packed into one room, I checked in the book to see which box I wanted (ie: box no 5, green for kitchen and it has the everyday crockery in it). This way I could unpack what was required urgently and leave the rest until I had time to unpack. All things considered, it was a smooth move. Only two ornaments were broken in one box which was packed on its side and not upright by the movers.
We are settled into the new house and I am still clearing out things I don’t need. This spring cleaning bug has bitten. I have come to realise that we really do collect far too many things that we do not really need, and maybe the more simplistic way is better. I am now on a mission to download all my music onto my iPod and pack the cd’s away. There is no need for them to be stored in the lounge. Photos are going to be scanned and preserved, this way I can pass on the family photographs to more than one person. The next huge clean out project will be going through all my scrapbooking and crafting stuff! Watch this space as I go on a journey of decluttering my life.
This will all be done in due course,
for now, I just want to sit back and enjoy our new home.
Home Sweet Home 🙂
These are just a few pics of all the boxes packed and ready to go into the truck….. and PS my baby girl “Cheeky” doing inspection 😉