I felt my stress level rise the other day contemplating how we were going to get rid of all our stuff under the label of Downsizing. Just the thought of gathering boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, scissors and the energy…then going through the closets and the garage (oh!) and deciding what goes and what stays was giving me a panic attack. Not only are our clothes in our bedroom closet, the guest bedroom closet, two dressers and two bedside cabinets have the “overflow” and granted. a lot of them we don’t wear very often, but still, I gotta make some decisions here
And then we have the furniture, the pictures and the what nots all over the house which I have loved and taken care of all these years. Looking at 80% of my house I see my mother and my aunt whose things have lived with me for over 20 years in my own home. But they have lived with me for over 50 years as I was growing up in their homes. The shelves and credenzas hold my memories. The artwork and pictures reflect our family, our heritage and our travels.
My mind was working overtime thinking “what if I get rid of something and then regret it or realize I made a mistake”! How will I feel? Will I cry? Will the rest of my family still speak to me while I’m crying?
I share this with the 2 people I am the closest to….and they both thought I was nuts. My husband Zaf, has no problem with tossing something out when he’s “done” with it. My sister Tina went through an entire household dismantling several years ago (medical reasons) where virtually nothing was kept accept clothes, pictures and the good china. She now told me “I miss nothing – “I have all that I need in my new home with new things that make me happy!” Drat! I thought she of all people would understand since I watched the tears flow down her cheeks when the moving company drove away from their home. But now, 3 years later, she’s Pollyanna 😊
The good news is that I found a way to honor my books. I am re-reading them and when done, they go into the box in the garage to be donated to the library. The bad news is whether or not I can actually put the book in the box!
While I’m busy with my work and maintaining the home, in the back of my mind is the burden of “I’ve got to get started.” I’ve earmarked January 2020 to begin listing items for sale on all online the sites I know of and maybe finding a few more. Someone gave me a contact information on good estate sale people, but I’m hesitant to do this. We tried it for my sister and brother-in-law and it was a fiasco. People strolling through the house – we had to have a staff person in every room, so nobody got light-fingered.; we went through all that effort to lay things out and only a handful of people showed up. We should have spent the energy and time to just pack things up in the first place. A glorified garage sale was what it was, so we’ll see.
I would prefer to spend my brain power on exploring what I want our retirement to look like, but the priority is to explore how we’re going to get there. And put that into action. That is where I’m at today. Wish me luck!
We are on it!
Photograph of our china cabinet from The Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf
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