Recently my husband and I have decided to sell our house, which means giving up many things that we have held onto for many years. It seems the last twenty years of marriage we have accumulated stuff that we do not use or need any longer. Looking in the closets and drawers, it makes me wonder why we have held onto so many things.
Deciding to move to a smaller house was not easy, we have loved the life we have lived, but we have changed. Our interests now do not allow us the time to keep up the way we used too. As we have aged, we can tell we do not need or want things as we did years ago.
Downsizing and getting rid of stuff can be such a blessing in disguise. I believe our children will only thank us later. I have seen what children go through, as they have to dig through mounds of things, trying to decide what to keep or throw away. Why would we put them through that torture? The guilt they would feel in getting rid of something only adds to the emotions of loss they are already going through. They do not need to go through mounds of papers, files, nick-knacks, strange mementos, and pictures.
If you are thinking about downsizing, and making your life simpler, these are some thoughts I would like to share.
Talk to your children, asking what they may like to have before you sell it in a yard sale or donate to the local good will. You may be surprised that what you think has no sentimental value, means something to that child.
Why keep it… give it away! I feel much joy in seeing my children happy now. Why not give them that special gift, while you can enjoy seeing the impression on their face. It has only been sitting up in the closet for the last 20 years. Let it go!
A good idea would be to put all the old photos on a disk. If you do not know who is in the picture, do you think your children will have a clue? Why do we need to hold on to boxes of pictures that will be discarded after we are gone?
Why not put some special items away that you know will mean something to them later. Attach some special notes, taping a note to the item, letting them know where and when you got this. Explain why it is so special. If you cannot remember where you got it, whom it came from, and what it is…Let it go!
I have started to go through dishes and silver ware. I cannot believe all the gadgets in the kitchen I have that I no longer use or need. For some reason I have become a “collector” in kitchen utensils and I never knew it. Donating these types would mean so much to a young family just starting out.or a family who have lost everything is a tragedy. Kitchenware is not cheap. How many sets of forks, spoons, and plates do we need?
If you have towels and washcloths that are falling out of your linen closets, evidently, you have too many. Cramming them in the linen closet will not make them go away. I have tried. I have no idea how I got so many odd pillowcases, sheets, and blankets. These do take up a lot of space.
Going through ones clothes is never easy, but I have decided if I have not worn that outfit in over a year, I am donating the clothes, and that goes for shoes too. How many coats and sweaters do I really need?
The last thing is one of the most challenges and that is my husband’s workshop. He has so much stuff, that I am afraid he will go into shock before this process is over. He has always been the type to say, “But we may need this one day.” Five years will have past, suddenly one day comes, and he uses that ‘thing’ he has saved. He looks at me smugly, “You see, I told you I would need this.”
I plan to be away from the house the day my husband goes through his workshop, as I know I will be so tempted to get in there, telling him what to throw away and keep. I do think he should be given a time frame as to when this needs to be done. I may be moving without him. He may need a week or two to sort through his treasures. As his wife I feel it my duty to supply boxes with large letters on the side that say, throw away, keep, and donate. A slight hint is always a good thing.
There is no if, and’s, or butts, downsizing is hard but may be good for the soul! At least I think it is good for the soul. Once we have finished this move, I will report on the “good for the soul bit.” A process like this says a change is coming, hold on, don’t lose heart, everything will be okay. Letting go of stuff is sometimes like letting go a part of one’s life. Once we let go of stuff, it is amazing how quickly we forget about the things we held onto for so long, never really missing the stuff.
The old saying that says, “you cannot take it with you when you go” holds very true. My saying is slightly similar.
“You cannot take it when you move to a smaller house!”