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    Retiring/Downsizing Question

    We will be moving in the next couple of years when hubby retires. I have decided to slowly work on cleaning out things I never use and taking them to Goodwill. So far that's been pretty easy: never used it so out it goes. The hard part is paring down things I really like. I am now stuck on the Christmas decorations. For the last two weeks it looks like the North Pole has exploded in my quilting cave. I know I need to get rid of 3/4 of the stuff but for some reason I am hesitating. I realize we will probably move to a smaller house and as I get older I may (or may not) want to bother with decorating extensively.
    If you've retired, downsized and moved, did you later find that you were okay with the things you let go? Was there something you wished you'd kept?
    :icon_happy:


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    #2
    Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

    We are retired and one thing I find that I almost never use is Christmas decorations! We have two sons who each live in different cities and we go visit one son one year and the other the next, so I don't even bother decorating. If they ever come to our house for Christmas, I suppose I'll haul them out. When we moved out of Alaska we got rid of a lot of stuff, and I haven't missed it yet. That being said, I still have boxes I haven't unpacked, and it's been four years, so there is more stuff that I can get rid of. If I haven't used it in four years, I never will.
    Nancy

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      #3
      Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

      I just did that today. My dd moved back to the island and came by today. She always used to ask me for my things and it bugged the heck out of me. I decided to give her my bike, a collection of glass balls (fishing) and an expensive table. I found that if she really wanted this stuff that bad, I'll part with it.

      Christmas ornaments are different. I've been collecting one of a kind for thirty years and a few years ago she wanted to go through them. I said no. Fast forward, I got a nice faux alpine tree and put all my favorites on it. I put a bag over it and bring that out. I'm ready to let the rest go.

      I didn't think I was so attached to some things, but I'm ready to thin down.
      🌺 Lorie

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        #4
        Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

        I did a huge downsize, and haven't missed anything yet.

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          #5
          Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

          I have a TON of Christmas stuff. I put up quite a few trees, my 3 story house is decorated inside and out, bathrooms and kitchen too.

          To downsize... which I do from time to time, especially if I want to update or get more.... when the next decorating season comes, I decorate the house, using only what I like the best or is valuable to my collection. (Hallmark stuff). And then, I can clear out or give away what I did not use that year. That way I keep rotating my things, and keep the look up to date and fresh.

          It really does work. Some stuff might get packed away, but I give away a bunch too. Goodluck!!

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            #6
            Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

            Having gone through two flood/water events in our house in a three year period it is much easier to get rid of things than it used to be. I never want to be in the situation of having to move that much stuff out of the house again And I have found I've gotten along fine without the things I've got rid of. What hasn't been thinned out yet is quilting and Christmas items. I feel like I can go through my quilting things and donate things I don't love anymore. I will still have more than I need. I have a series of Christmas collectibles that would be very hard to part with. A few years back I went through old Christmas ornaments from our sons chilhood. He had children of his own and thought he should have them. They have been very happy with that. As we downsize more I will probably try to share with nieces and nephews. When my sister and BIL retired and become fulltime RVs she gave me a couple of her cherished Christmas things. She knew I loved them and they'd still be in the family. So that it what I will try to do.

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              #7
              Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

              We are kind of thinking that way also. The last few years I have stopped decorating for holidays mostly. I bought a prelit tree, bought small storage containers I can carry by myself and each year bought a few more easier things. I will slowly just get rid of the excess that is in the attic. I used to have 3 teens living here to help haul things and manage the attic storage. They are gone and my bad feet and knees can not deal with it. The pain is motivation enough to not over do it.

              My mother was an extreme decorator in a way and having to wade through all her things after she died is also strong motivation. We moved her stuff several times in her later years. She did very little of that work- it fell on us. ;-/

              Make yourself an 'ambivalent' closet or area. Set things there as you purge. If you realize you have not even missed it after a few months, give yourself permission to toss it. So holiday stuff it would be making newer, smaller area to store what you are certain you want to keep and check next year to see if you really wanted to haul any of the other out. Cooking/household items give it up to 6 months. I say that long because I found if I only waited a month then something came up and I needed that one item. LOL

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                #8
                Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

                Coming off tsladaritz's idea you could do the give, keep, maybe boxes like when you do a garage sale. I know I could make a few hundred dollars from one, but have no shelter to set one up and it rains a lot here.
                🌺 Lorie

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                  #9
                  Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

                  This is so strange - folks having clear out - it must be the season for it!! That is just what I have been doing - over the weekend I went through my quilting fabrics and re-folded them as they were in such a mess. This gave me the impetus to do the same with my dressmaking fabrics so all the half yard bits are going in a bag which I will take to our local cancer research charity. They weigh in old clothes and fabrics and sell it to the car industry who use it in padding out seats.
                  When MIL died and FIL went into residential care we had to clear the house to put it up for sale. There was so much stuff that we still have a garage full waiting for us to sort and take to the charity shops. I have promised my DD I won't leave our house in the same state but can't yet bring myself to get rid of anything!!

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                    #10
                    Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

                    Originally posted by tsladaritz View Post
                    My mother was an extreme decorator in a way and having to wade through all her things after she died is also strong motivation. We moved her stuff several times in her later years. She did very little of that work- it fell on us. ;-
                    Yes this exactly - We had to clean out my Mom's house and my FILs. It is something I don't want our son to go through! And I agree hauling out all the stuff and putting it away is harder each year. Or at least I get less excited about it than I used to.

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                      #11
                      Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

                      We moved in May after living in a house with lots of storage and I got rid of lots and lots of things. I only regret giving away one small lamp, it was inexpensive so I could just get another one.
                      As far as Christmas items are concerned, I got rid of a lot but after this coming Christmas I will be getting rid of everything that I do not decorate with. Our storage is in an attic and is not too easy to access so what comes down will either be very precious or be gone in January. I wish my DS and DIL were interested but they are not, some one at the thrift store will be.
                      Claire from Pelham, Alabama

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                        #12
                        Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

                        My situation is that everyone in my family is gone. One by one things went to another person. I grew up looking at all these beautiful things and it became really sentimental to me. I brought a ton of stuff home to Hawaii. This was a good subject for me. Now to do it!
                        🌺 Lorie

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                          #13
                          Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

                          Several yrs. ago we gave the 6 ft. artificial Christmas tree to a son. All the decorations have been given away. The only Christmas dec. we kept are the ones on the small artificial tree we have, which is about 3-4 ft. tall. I leave it decorated year 'round. When Christmas is over, I just cover it with a large black plastic bag & store it in the bsmt. Come Christmas, just take off the bag, & it's ready to plug in the lights! No muss, no fuss.

                          I have a LOT of boxes of all sorts of things I should be going through & ridding out. It's one of those things I keep putting off. I know it's something I need to do. At present there are no plans to downsize, but I know that day is off somewhere in the future, & I really should be making a start on it.

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                            #14
                            Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

                            The only two things I regret getting rid of were easily replaced - a juicer and a food processor. As for the rest, they have never been missed. I still have items to dispose of. What I have learned is that some of the things I am keeping are because I still have the "fantasy" of using them for certain things - which I will never do! The "fantasies" do not fit in with my present life at all - but they are still there. They are dreams of what I would do if I were "perfect", and that is the real fantasy! LOL!

                            I agree, though, that you should wait a bit before getting rid of any item if you are not absolutely sure of removing it from your life. Put it in that maybe or wait pile, and start thinking about life without it. That should help.

                            Another way to look at it is that you are "passing things on" to others who will benefit from something that you no longer need or use.
                            If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.- Zig Ziglar

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                              #15
                              Re: Retiring/Downsizing Question

                              I've been working on downsizing my "horde" for the past six years. I'm going through my stuff right now, once again. I know we'll move one more time, and it might be across country. I look at everything and say, "Do I like/want it enough to move it?" I find that I'm really able to distinguish between what I really want and what I don't by using this method.

                              As far as xmas/holiday stuff goes, I literally had tons of it. My birthday is Dec. 29, and for years after my marriage, my mother would flood me with 1/2 price xmas stuff as birthday gifts. I had to finally put my foot down, when we bought my current home, and tell her "I have a two story house with a full basement. If I don't have room to store more stuff then I have too much stuff. Please, no more xmas." She got mad, and really never gave me another birthday gift, but that is a gift in and of itself.

                              I have gotten rid of most of my stuff, and have not missed a thing -- nor have either of my children when they visit for xmas. I bought a 7'ft slimmer prelit tree (and put it on a stand that turns it) and I kept most of my ornaments which I've collected over the years. I kept my (very nice) creche which my husband gave me, a small fraction of my village stuff, a ceramic tree that my grandmother gave me, and a few other decorations including some vintage candles. I've gotten rid of tubs and tubs of xmas, easter, halloween, etc. I have not regretted anything. I have learned how to put limits on my collections. For me, the biggest thing I had to deal with was the guilt of getting rid of "gifts". But so much of it was stuff I'd never buy for myself, and I've just learned to get over it.

                              For me, as I've aged, I have realized that I like simple. I don't need my house to look like the inside of Christmas store, decorated from one end to the other. In fact, I don't want it to. Too much stuff bothers me. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy experiencing the collections/decorations of others, but I've realized I just can't handle it.

                              Ha! I could go on and on about this, but I should stop boring any poor readers. Anyhow, hope that helps.

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