Have you ever thought about downsizing? Or have you already downsized to your second forever home? Come hear our story and tell us about yours too!
Friends, I was so overwhelmed by all the stories, advice, and questions you left in the comments of the first downsizing post, OUR DOWNSIZING STORY! I thought I knew just how relevant and important the topic of downsizing might be to many of you but I had no idea just how big this topic really is!
So today is part 2 of our downsizing story.
Before I begin I want to thank you for your care, love, and concern for me and my foot! I am doing well and am living a full life with my handicap. You never know what kind of curveball life will throw at you! I had a choice. I could wallow in the fact that I don’t have a foot that works or I can be thankful I have a foot! I chose the latter. Life goes on and so do I! So thank you! You really are the best!
If you have not read Our Downsizing Story, part 1 you might want to read it to get the full story.
We left off in our downsizing story with Bobby and me wrestling with the notion of downsizing and praying that God would give us guidance. And God certainly did!
Wow, it was such a whirlwind of decisions and meetings! After going through our finances and getting a promise from Bobby that we could do the upgrades on my list we decided we were going to put an offer in for this unicorn of a condo. And we did!
The owner countered and we countered again. And he accepted our offer.
Oh, goodness we were buying a house! Which meant we had to sell StoneGable!
When not living in my beloved StoneGable became a reality, the weight of it all sucker punched me to my core! This was an emotional, visceral experience for me. Everything had happened so so fast!
I went through a time I called The Great Mourning! You can read about it HERE. I wrote about leaving StoneGable as I did my last “walk-though” of our empty home. Just so you know, the post is very sentimental and I cried the whole time I wrote it. Remember I told you I would be very real with you?
Honestly, I did a whole lot of crying. Ugly crying! You can read all the soppy details in the post above.
During that time I got up in the morning and literally cried all day as I was also purging 24 years of stuff in the basement and other areas of our home.
What do you do with 24 boxes of school papers and art and reports and achievement awards and more from your children’s years in school? Each box was neatly marked and all the papers neatly filed away? Still, 24 boxes! One box for each year! How do you get rid of them?
And how do you let go of all the trophies and glittery crowns your son and daughter had won over the years?
And who will want the furniture that won’t fit into the new condo?
What do you do with all the stuff? I certainly could not take it with me!
We will talk in length about how to purge and how to let go of things that are precious to you that just won’t make the cut and will be left behind.
From the time we signed the agreement we had a few weeks until StoneGable went on the market. So I had to make a lot of ruthless decisions about our “stuff”. Looking back it is such a good thing I did not have a year to mull over what I would do with all the stuff. UGH, that would have been unbearable.
At first, I asked my children if they wanted all their treasures I had so neatly stored away in our basement. A box of tutus and toe shoes, a box of baseball gloves and jerseys and so many more boxes. American Girl dolls and dress-ups. And guess what they said? No thank you! No thank you except the American Girl dolls and a meaningful baseball bat that are now living in my Tanglewood basement!
I decided to widdle down the 24 boxes into one and only kept a few things from my children’s school years. I also kept one crown, one pair of toe shoes, and a baseball glove and jersey. I gave the other things away and sadly the rest were thrown away. I did, for a few seconds, think about scanning their school papers but thought better of it.
We ended up calling a junkman and we negotiated on a price for all the stuff-now-named-junk in our home. Mel the junkman was happy to haul it away and of course, I cried! How could such beautiful and meaningful things now be called junk?
During the weepy daytime of letting go of precious things others saw as junk the nights were quite different.
Late into the summer night, I would lay in bed and think of all the things I loved about our Tanglewood house. It’s soaring ceilings, panoramic views, an open floor plan, and a first floor bedroom!
And I’d plan how I would decorate it and dream of a new kitchen. It would be a white kitchen of course carrying on the white kitchen tradition that started at StoneGable!
I decorated and redecorated Tanglewood in my mind every night and slowly began to think of this Villa condo as ours. I thought about all the Christmases we would celebrate there and how I’d bathe any new babies that came into our lives in my new farmhouse sink just like I did at StoneGable.
I began to see a new chapter of our lives begin full of new possibilities. This home would be our second forever home!
The days became less weepy and more productive. I was zealous about purging everything that did not have a purpose. And I tried very hard not to give in to bouts of tears and sentimentality!
Finally, StoneGable was ready. It never looked prettier! Even the gardens were resplendent with white butterflies that fluttered around us in circles as we walk through them picking flowers. Magical!
We had quite a few showings and our home was sold to the first family who viewed it. I was thrilled about this new family was moving into StoneGable. This lovely sweet family with young children. They would continue the beautiful legacy of life at StoneGable.
The house was basically purged of every bit of junk, things my children did not want, things others did not want, things I could not sell, and things I couldn’t give to a charity.
But there was a lot left!
Bobby and I spent much of our time split between StoneGable and Tanglewood. The painters worked for two weeks painting Tanglewood and the new rugs were ripped out of the bedrooms and hardwood was laid. Those were our two main goals to have done before moving into Tanglewood.
At StoneGable, I made so many decisions about the furniture that would go to Tanglewood and the furniture that would be left. If you have downsized and not gotten all new furniture for your new home, then you were probably like me, and found this process quite arduous!
In my mind, I knew what furniture and accessories would work but convincing my heart was a different story! How could I ever part with my dining room table? Or two bedrooms worth of furniture? These items and a ton more were beautiful and my style and still in amazing shape. How do you let that go?
I called up my BE RUTHLESS attitude and tried very hard not to be sentimental. This mental toughness really got me through selling and giving away the furniture I could not take to Tanglewood. I must admit, I think I’ll forever miss my dining room table. Every time I see a picture of it on the blog I get a bit wistful!
I had six professional packers come in and pack up everything we were taking to Tanglewood in just a few hours. We had taken everything from the kitchen and mirrors and pictures to Tanglewood before the packers came.
I’m so glad we made settlement on the Tanglewood house two weeks before we made settlement on our beloved StoneGable. This was precious time! We could have workers in the house all day and we could take a few truckloads of things to the Tanglewood house in the evening.
The packers came a few days before our StoneGable settlement and packed everything up and took it to Tanglewood. It was moving day! And we were moving in. Honestly, I really just went through the motions that day. It just felt so surreal!
I remember standing in my new great room/living room feeling numb. And I whispered to myself, “I moved into a tiny home”!
Let’s stop here. I’ll finish my downsizing story next week. If you have a downsizing story or a downsizing question please leave them in the comments! We are very interested in what you have to say.
Just so you know, it does get better. Actually, wonderfully better. But downsizing is a process both physically and emotionally!