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Friday, July 4, 2014

When do you know?

When do you know that those trees must go.
That pampas grass is taking over your view.
That you need to get up and do something about your place before it is condemned, as in not habitable? Do you really need to keep all those Tupperware lids saved up?

Most of us continue to nest, adding more of this, a dash of that, shoes for this and that activity, a dish for that special party, an easy ugly chair that your parents gave you for your first apartment and you have kept all these years.

We have been lucky. We moved a few times, and each time, there was someone who could get rid of/or take possession of our extra stuff without us spending an arm or a leg in finding suitable receivers. In a sense, we have never downsized properly except this last time. Twelve years ago, as we planned our retirement move to the state of Oregon, a long way from home, we asked our children to take what they wanted and what they didn't take would go to Goodwill.  The three of them took just about everything, and what they didn't take did go to a charity.

Ahead twelve years, and our house now looks as crowded and as full of stuff as our original house.  If we had to move again, we'd have a very tough time downsizing. No, we no longer have the family silver. We no longer have lots of memorabilia. What we do have are very comfortable furnishings chosen for our present home. Furnishings that might as well remain behind, as few of them would look as well somewhere else, especially in a tiny apartment where we figure we'd end up in our doddering years, close to family and doctors. And our children, some living quite far, would not care to collect what we collected.

We are doing a few things differently.
We are regularly purging, donating and upgrading furnishings and implements.
Regularly, our books go to the library, our clothes and appliances to the local charities. If we have to sell the house, it will have the simple furnishings that remain, with fishing poles, life jackets and canoes in the boat house.

Even our landscaping taste has changed through the years. Perennials in the ground, mostly natives. Annuals in pots. Every thing has automated irrigation so humans have to do little thinking ahead.  Even our mail receptacle, a p.o box, is big enough to keep three-four weeks worth of mail, should we be hospitalized and out of circulation for a while.

We can digitize all our files and pictures and send copies to our children.
Did we forget something?


20 comments:

Rian said...

You sound like you have almost everything covered. We have been in this house for 30 years and have never downsized, but we have begun de-cluttering and giving things away. I'm trying to use the philosophy that if we haven't used it or worn it in 2 years (and it has no deep sentimental value) then don't keep it any longer... either the kids or a charity might use it.

Brian Miller said...

smiles. we are purging this summer...next week we will yard sale..then donate the rest...the rule is once it is out of the house it does not come back...still there is room to do more...

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

A great independence day post, Rosaria! I think more and more of us are seeking independence from our stuff! Bob and I have been gradually pruning down our belongings, too, even after a major purge before our move from California to Arizona four years ago.

Linda Myers said...

We do the best we can and let the rest fall where it may.

Rob-bear said...

I was out for a walk today and picked up a couple of boxes. Time to get serious about getting rid of things for which I will have no further use.

Happy Independence Day!

Blessings and Bear hug, too!

yaya said...

You have your life in good shape! It's my dream to have it...our "stuff"...under control by the time retirement rolls around. A little here, a lot there...hopeful any way! I like to call these posts of yours my "wake up call" posts. Keeps me on the right track!

Tom Sightings said...

We want to get rid of things; but somehow they still keep reproducing themselves in the basement ... and in the kitchen cupboards. How does that happen?

Lisa said...

You are doing it right Rosaria. I am trying and it is not easy.

Lisa said...

and Happy Independence Day!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. I've recently downsized and am now needing to do another sort - and I regularly clear out ... one more go soon - and then possibly another in a year or so, as some things need attending to - before I let them go.

I'm always going to the Hospice .. and give my cards and pictures to the Nursing Centre for their use ..

Cheers Hilary

Marty Damon said...

I envy your efficiency. We're still knee-deep in stuff here. I'd love to start purging here, but while I'm a "thrower," I'm married to a "keeper."

fiftyodd said...

We've just done the big 'retirement' purge. I will follow your advice and carry on at least once a year. I am sure the children will be grateful

Perpetua said...

We'll be doing more of this after the summer, but I too am a thrower married to a hoarder. Sigh...

Tabor said...

I try to do a big purge every spring and cannot figure out why I have so much stuff. I really should get rid of EVERYTHING that has not touched hands since we moved in her 6 years ago.

kj said...

Hello rosaria, nice to be here.

I'm amazed how things re accumulate. I purged completely when we last moved and little by the little the cellar and garage expand :-). You have the right idea and I'd guess your mind and days feel simpler because of it.

Things are just things once we're not here to love them

Love
kj

Amanda said...

I have a table in the basement where I regularly put clothing and other items I no longer need. Then when it's time for the Goodwill pick up, they are ready to be bagged and donated.

ellen abbott said...

I don't know. I plan to expire with all my stuff. Let the kids sort it out.

dianefaith said...

We've got our house up for sale and will be moving closer to our daughter's family, so we've been de-cluttering by necessity. I've also looked at houses in the new city and can say unequivocally that the ones that appeal are the houses with the fewest possessions on display. I'm inspired to go through our house again with a clearer, more severe eye.

Vagabonde said...

Congratulation - you are good planners. I wish I could say the same, but I keep trying…

Maggie May said...

I hate to think what chaos would ensue if we had to move. Far too stressful to think about!
Maggie x

Nuts in May