Happy Valentine’s Day!
This week’s topic is one I suggested: If you had to get rid of most of your belongings in order to move into a smaller place, what are the things you would not be able to part with?
Almost six months ago, my husband and I sold the house we’d lived in for 30 years and moved to a condo. The move was necessary and probably a bit overdue. Knowing that any place we settled on would be smaller than our house, I started downsizing several months before we even began our search. I’d accumulated massive amounts of craft and sewing supplies, and as self-appointed family historian (translation: the one family member who doesn’t want to throw away letters and old photos) I had lots and lots of STUFF. The square footage in our new place meant that I had to get rid of everything that wasn’t on the main floor of the house. I sold and gave away everything I could, and when I simply ran out of time, I put a lot of things into a storage unit.
Once we took possession of this condo, I had to find places to put all the stuff I hadn’t parted with. I managed to empty the storage unit, but there are little corners of the condo that are still crowded and unorganized. My engineer brother is constantly bugging me about the need to clear things out. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot, and I have a long way to go.
I’ve mentioned before that moving my Mom out of her house and into an independent living senior facility was quite traumatic for all of us. There were so many things that Mom didn’t feel she could part with, and even now, after five years there are times when she’ll ask, “What happened to my (insert random cooking utensil, knick-knack, or item of clothing)?” And then she’ll be angry because we forced her to part with something that was near and dear to her – even though she hadn’t thought about it for many years. Anyway, I vowed to not do that to my children. So I’ve been continuing to purge, and not purchasing things I don’t need. Whenever I buy something that’s not consumable I make sure I get rid of at least one item to make room for it. But I know I’ll have to do more, because eventually someone will have to figure out what to do with all the stuff I still have, and it might as well be me.
So, if I need to downsize again, here are my must-haves, in descending order of importance:
1. Basic needs: a roof over my head, heat in the wintertime, clothing appropriate for the weather and the places I go, nutritious food in the fridge.
2. My electronics: my laptop, of course, and then my phone, my ipad, and my watch.
3. My photo albums. If I can’t have my people and my stuff, I want to have pictures of the times when I had them. I suppose that if I had to get rid of the albums, I COULD scan everything and put them into digital albums, (another reason why electronics are high on my list), but given a choice, I’d prefer to have the regular albums, despite their bulkiness.
4. One comfortable chair, one work chair and a table.
5. My instruments, if I’m still able to play.
6. A way to get to where I need to go (meaning I either need to have a car, have access to public transportation, or live in a place where everything is within walking distance).
I think I could be content with these. If I’m not able to go anywhere, I’d have to live vicariously, by watching other people and reading about them. The electronics would ensure I could do that, as well as allow me to communicate with others who aren’t with me.