We are coming up on the two year anniversary of selling the large family home and moving back into our first home—a 2000 sq ft townhome that had been a rental for the past 15 years. And boy I have learned some things!!!
- My belongings sat in a Pod for six months and then most of them sat in the garage for another year and a half. When we were finally able to tackle the garage I made it a point to glance into each and every box and if it was not something I had longed for during the remodel I gave it away. I discovered that you do not need 7 or 8 sets of dishes–our days of large dinner parties have given way to quiet and intimate dinners and friendly card games with close friends. Off they went to some lucky person perusing their local Amvets store.
- As with all of our belongings, clothing comes in a close second. Anything I needed had already been replaced so no need to even bother to look into the garment bags. After all, who needs eight plastic boxes full of sweaters? Off they went. (I must admit I have wondered about a couple of favorites but I am sure I will find a new favorite this season)
- Extra storage space is certainly a luxury and if I did not have to live without it I would choose not to. However, since I lost 1500 sf of living and storage space in the downsize I have had to not only purge but also be creative with storage. For example, all of my large kitchen appliances and extra sets of dishes (yes I did keep a few) have been placed in a storage shed in the garage that I lovingly call the dish library. This also houses all of those decorative items like vases and seasonal “things”.
- I only buy furniture items with drawers. I think drawers are God’s gift to designers. In my kitchen remodel I chose to have drawers over open cabinets in many instances. Even if it just a simple little end table it must have a drawer. My favorite purchase is this media unit from West Elm—drawer heaven! It houses the TV and all the components in our very tiny family room and provides room for dinner napkins, games and plenty of toys in the lower drawer for our delicious granddaughter, Ella.
- Most of all, I have learned to enjoy this passage in life, the simplicity of living in a smaller space and the realization that those who are important to you do not care how big or fancy your home is—home is where you are. So hang those family photos, reposition that favorite chair that has been in every home you have owned and enjoy this next phase.
I am with Carla, I just found your blog and read Goodbye Moon with tears. We are getting ready to downsize in the coming months, partly because we are ready but also for financial reasons, so it is not completely a decision we were ready to make. Your posts have made me feel that I am not alone. We built our home 21 years ago on 6 acres and are in the process of selling most of the acreage to our neighbor. We will keep just over two acres to sell with the house. Some days I am excited, others sad, but reading your story has lifted my spirits, Thank you!
Hi Pam. Thanks for visiting the blog and for your kind words. This is such a difficult time but I am here to reassure you that there are sunshiney days ahead. Good luck with your move.
thanks so much for reading and commenting on that post,Carla. This is such a difficult time that does not seem to get much press so we all enter it without much guidance or knowing what to expect. I am here to tell you that there is light at the end of the tunnel and once the decision is made and you begin to move forward you will soon appreciate a simpler and smaller life that provides an opportunity to make new memories. One of the quotes I hang on to is from, all people Dr. Seuss “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened”. That carries me through some of the times when memories come flooding back or I am just tired of not having enough storage space or can no longer decorate an entry hall (since I do not have one now). Silly, I know, but to a designer, very important. I wish you luck and peace with your upcoming changes.
We are progressing towards listing our property and I read Goodby Moon. It resonates with me as I left my favorite home to move to this property a decade ago. I have made peace with this place and now it seems downsizing is the next thing on our list. We have around 100 acres and three homes we built for all family members, no longer with us. We spend almost every waking hour working. I am still trying to manage my home decor studio and furniture restyling business as well. I know this is something we must do, but it is a frightening experience to go thru. I so appreciate your honesty of emotion and the way you are able to relate it to the written word. Thank you for the encouragement, that life may be different, but can be embraced in a different situation.