Downsizing Isn’t Easy

And yet, downsizing is what my husband and are choosing to do. No one is making us. Thankfully, we both have our health. Bob will probably work for several more years—perhaps forever. LOL We’ll just have to see.

Last year I wrote about how a lakehouse with incredible views dropped into our laps. We weren’t looking to move from our current house that we’ve been in for almost 20 years where we have super neighbors and our great dog walking crew.

But here’s the view:

Here’s what the house did look like: FullSizeRender(48)

FullSizeRender(49)

Here it is in progress:

FullSizeRender(41)

It’s not finished, but it probably will be in another month or so. We’ll move out there and put our house on the market. Thankful for our daughter Kathryn for many reasons, but she’s a Realtor and will handle all of those issues.

But to move from our 28 hundred sq. ft. two story house to our lakehouse of 1700 sq. ft., we have to lose a lot of stuff!

I’ve already made five trips with a stuffed car to Goodwill. (I know there are some issues with how they manage their money, but they have a drop off place super close to us. Too easy to pass up. Sorry.)

Yesterday, I took two more large bags. IMG_3264Our two large upstairs closets no longer have clothes in them. Even after getting rid of a ton of clothes, now my downstairs closet is jam packed holding all seasons and all sizes clothes! Yesterday I climbed 11 flights of stairs!

The last stuff to take now are all the cocktail/party dresses that both daughters wore when they were younger, and some of my fancy things from days past. IMG_3263I tried to take them to a resale shop, but they only take “high end” clothes. So thank you, but no thanks. I’ve never bought “high end” anything. I’m a medium person. So they will also go to Goodwill. Again. It’s the easiest way to get them out of the house.

Still we’re drowning in books. And Half-Price Books has been the recipient of a slew of them already. You wouldn’t believe how many vacation books we have from our early days of vacationing when Bob looked up everything in books.

I spend my “spare” time, measuring furniture, trying to decide where all the pieces will go. Of course, they all won’t go. That’s one of the meanings of downsizing. A very nice thing has occurred. Our daughter Kathryn will take our Aunt Virginia’s 3-piece dining room set. FullSizeRender(52)She will give us her extra-long dining room table. IMG_2809

Laura took an oriental chest that my mother had stored memorabilia of hers and my fathers. Laura also took a queen bed and a desk that had been mine in high school that Kathryn used when she was in high school. Laura already has the matching chest. Again from me to Kathryn to granddaughter Sarah. Very nice.

Kathryn is taking my mother’s piano. Friends are taking one of our sofas. Both girls have reclaimed the toy boxes my father made for them. Laura’s husband refinished hers for their daughter. Kathryn will do the same for her daughter.

So we’re going to make it, but it’s tough. I ran across Bob’s and my love letters we mailed each other several times a week when he was in law school in Austin and I was teaching in San Antonio. Of course, we’re keeping those. Just not certain where, since Kathryn took the cedar chest those (and a number of other things were in). 🙂 But I’m grateful.

So here’s my question for you. What’s your experience with downsizing, either your own or someone you know? What’s the hardest thing for you? Deciding what to go? What to keep? Dealing with the emotions? I found a box holding my mom’s insurance papers and her will. I shed a few tears, even though, she’s been gone over 12 years now. I’m still in awe of how organized she was.

Civics Lesson:

Texas is a part of the March Super Tuesday voting. Please educate yourself about the candidates. Please do vote. When you don’t, you let someone else decide your fate. If you’ve already voted (either early voting here or in one of the early states), good for you. Even if my candidate loses, I feel I’ve taken part in democracy. We all should.

Love to hear from you.

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25 responses to “Downsizing Isn’t Easy

  1. Down-sizing can be difficult, but it can also be a great adventure. When we moved I only held onto the keepsakes I couldn’t leave behind. Most of everything else went to family, so at least I know where it is 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Jacquie. I agree it helps for many things to go to family and friends. I still have papers and shirts from the many schools I’ve worked in and shirts commemorating the plays we put on. There’s really not room in my closet for those. Maybe they can be boxed up for the garage. Decisions, decisions! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We’ve moved several times over the years and I’ve been ready to move each time. I love an adventure. Also, I tend to be a packrat and when we move, I get lots of stuff cleaned out. When this is over, you’re going to love the smaller house.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Stephanie. I think I’ve held on to more stuff than necessary because of moving a lot growing up and never being able to keep all the stuff I wanted. So I’ve made up for it as an adult. I’d never have done all this cleaning out if we weren’t downsizing. It would’ve left a huge mess for the kids when we die. So if for nothing else, this is a good thing. The view is what makes it all worthwhile. We are so blessed to have this opportunity! Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

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  3. We’ve moved a few times over the years, so I feel your pain! A friend of mine recently downsized. She found a local women’s shelter that took most of her clothes. If you have extra you might try them. Keep working, it will be sooo worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Jerrie. Yes, it’s baby steps. We’ve been grateful for this large house, as both daughters and their families used it as a stop gap measure during some transitions, but looking forward to less space and truthfully less stuff. I’ll keep carting stuff off. You know sometimes it takes several times of looking at something to work through the emotions and realize you can live without it. Thinking of taking pictures of those special shirts, so I can more easily part with them. Of course it would help if I just had one size of clothes. LOL Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  4. Unfortunately, we’re getting ready to upsize from our current size of 3200 square feet. Hubby wants to buy his childhood home, a three-floor American foursquare built in the 1890s. As an Army brat, I’ve moved plenty of times to varying sizes of homes and apartments so size doesn’t matter to me, but the sheer enormity of the renovation (it hasn’t been touched since the 50s) is scaring the begeezus out of me! Good luck with your downsize!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Amanda. Wow! My stars and garters! What a huge endeavor. But how cool to be able to restore the family home.So I’m a real fan of HGTV. If you don’t watch those shows, you might give a look to The Property Brothers & Fixer Upper. They take some homes in amazingly awful shape and transform them. It will make you feel like the project is doable. I hope you’re not having to live in it while it’s going on. We’ve done that. Not so fun. This time is much better. We live in our lovely home while the next place turns from plan Jane to beautiful. I’d love to hear about how your project comes along. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  5. I feel your pain. Been going through the same process. Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of is the worst for me. And trying to get my packrat hubby to let go of things, particularly books!
    Have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Kate. I get you with the Hubby. Mine was fussing I’d given away too much furniture all ready. Well, the grands are here this weekend sleeping in sleeping bags because we no longer have the two queen beds we used to have upstairs. He may have a point. LOL He seems to think because we’re getting a new garage at the lake, he can take all of his boxes of keepsakes & his books! Not happening. Keep me posted on your progress and thanks for stopping by.

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  6. I know how much you love your Aunt Virginia’s dining room set. I’m so glad it’s staying int he family. Your lake house is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to see the pictures.
    I’ve been trying to downsize from a small country home on a Gulf Island to a townhouse for four years, but it’s turned out to be more like double-sizing and never knowing which house has what. lol. But it sure makes you look at your possessions. The hardest for me is the books. I had walls of books, Some I gave away, some are at each of the houses and some are in boxes in limbo. I find it so hard to part with them. So many memories. lol
    I wish you the best of luck with the process.
    Jo-Ann

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Jo-Ann. Oh poor you. It made me nuts when we spent weekends at the lake and had to have stuff there, but then I never had what I wanted or knew where it was. I know some folks juggle two or more homes at one time. Just not for me. I’ve been getting rid of books here for a couple of years, because I just ran out of space. It’s actually not quite so bad now since most of the new books I get now are digital. Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck with your consolidation. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hubby and I thought we’d downsize when he retired, but turns out the kids may not necessary live in North Texas so we’re keeping our 2700 square feet. That way we’ll have places for them when they come home. But we are doing a refresh (new floors, bathrooms, paint, etc.) We’re in the middle of all that right now. We’ve never tolerated clutter, but now we’re really ready to live light. Very light. So we’ve been downsizing our stuff. We’ve donated a few truckloads already and are itching to get rid of more. So we’re sticking where we are for now, but if a place with a view like your lake house ever came our way, we might have to reconsider. Enjoy all that gorgeousness!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Regina. I get you with making sure to have room for the kids. We’ve got bunk beds at the lake with a trundle and got a pull out sofa. If more are staying at the same time, they’ll have to bring sleeping bags. 🙂 But generally, they’ll drive the 15 minutes to their own homes. We’re very blessed. I’m so impressed you’re getting rid of stuff without actually moving. Most people aren’t able to do that. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.

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  8. As you know, I live on a 47′ sailboat, down from a 2700 sq. ft. home. Been there, done that. Some parts were easy, some not so much. Still after almost 9 years in a simpler life, we’re downsizing more. It’s amazing what you don’t need and what truly becomes important. Good for you and the views…. yeah…. the views are great. Life is about people and moments, not things. Enjoy the transition.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey, Nancy. Your own version of a Tiny House. Have you ever watched that show on HGTV? You’ve said it perfectly: It’s amazing what you don’t need and what truly becomes important. We’re still in that process, but family certainly comes way at the top. And when we can get them all together with the views we have…well, near perfection if there is any such thing. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

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  9. With three kids still in the house, we won’t be downsizing anytime soon, but you have inspired me to clean out my closet. I have clothes I haven’t worn since 2002 in there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Ally. No you’re quite a ways of from being able to downsize. Heck you & kids haven’t even accumulated all of it yet. LOL My mother always preached: Out with the old to make room for the new. Good luck with your closet work. Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. Oh, Marsha, I feel your pain… and indecision! LOL.
    As you know, we went through this only a few months ago. It’s hard, but feels good at the same time (kind of like a deep massage 🙂 )
    I handled some of the tougher decisions by postponing them. That is, when I went through things, I made three piles. Pack, Toss, and Maybe. The Maybe stuff was put aside for a few days while I pondered.
    The other trick was the “personal tote of memories.” I labeled two totes, one for him, and one for me. Unfortunately, we both filled our totes very quickly, so I gave us each a second. Then, when they were full, we waited a couple of weeks and went through them all over again. In the end we each only had one.
    Because my new closet would only hold one season worth of clothes, I only allowed myself one storage tote of summer clothes.

    This method of determining how many totes per room, or per closet, or per subject really helped me whittle things down. Yes, I occasionally want to reach for something I no longer have, but for the most part, I’m loving not having all the “stuff” I really didn’t need.

    Good luck, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Kathryn. Oh what good ideas you’ve share. I will have to try the tote idea (tote being a large plastic bin, I take it.) And they’re easier to store. It’s especially helpful knowing you’ve gone through this and survived. LOL If Bob hasn’t read this, I’ll make sure to sharing this with him. And love the massage analogy. I have always equated this kind of thing to the Israelites wandering in the desert, thinking it really wasn’t so bad back in Egypt after all. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

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  11. Oh Marsha, I completely understand the angst you are going through. When we decided to go full time in our 32′ fifth wheel, we had an auction of all our stuff. Not only did I have to make the decision about what to keep (family pieces) and what to sell, I had to watch as people bid on all of it in that cool day in September. I hated to sell the Arkansas dulcimer my mother gave me, but a father bought it for his daughter, and that made giving it up easier knowing she would play the marvelous instrument. So the “stuff-of-my-life” was on display in our yard on hay trailers (or what ever you call them) for folks to paw through. Pretty dramatic day for me. But when I hopped in the truck, Old Blue, strapped on my seat belt and we pulled out onto the road, I felt a lightness, free of baggage, fall over me. The most wonderful freeing moment of my life and ready for a new adventure. You’ll be fine. Enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey, JQ. Oh my! My heart aches for what you must’ve experienced that day. Are you going to put that in a book? It deserves a place somewhere. Love, love, love the dulcimer story. How inspiring! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

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