A move to downsize is complicated - deciding what goes and what stays can be tricky. The luxury of a storage unit adds more complexity involving another decision - should it be stored because... well yes, just in case I might need it one day! The lackluster feeling for the old house made this job a mammoth task and despite my excitement to move, I was unable to get started on the job at hand.
The most notable advice I can offer in downsizing is to start way in advance and go through cupboard by cupboard, drawer by drawer and sort every-single-thing you own. Determine what you love and need, and which are the "just in case" pieces to store. Get rid of the rubbish as you go so to lighten the burden during the move. I procrastinated and severely regretted it, forced at the eleventh hour to sort, make decisions AND move led to a drawn-out effort that we are still clearing up today (not helped by the COVID-19 disaster).
My interior décor tastes had changed during the twelve years at the old house. The things I’d cherished and shipped across the Atlantic twenty years ago when I moved to the US were way past their loved-by date. I’d been ignoring them for years yet holding onto them… just in case! Finally accepting that I should look these chattels straight in the eye and let them go was liberating… it was also very dusty! At some point I clearly lost the ability or at least the inclination to dust! Let that be a red flag… if you don’t want to dust it, you probably don’t love it!
We hired movers who took beds to the flat and a few bulky pieces to the storage unit. Most everything else we did ourselves having the luxury of our business van, and well… not being ready! Whilst we saved money, we definitely didn’t save time… days turning into weeks and we’re still not entirely done!
We have little to no furniture at the flat, just four of my (still loved) leopard dining chairs, the other two went into storage along with the dining table (it’s too big)! Nanna’s sideboard (also too big), photos, art, garden furniture, urns and statues and various other “just in case” pieces are tucked away in our storage unit where I can go and play with my memories should I feel the need, or perhaps gradually do away with them, time will tell!
We had a garage sale to sell the things we weren’t keeping which included furniture, gardening tools (B was not planning on lifting another weed whacker for the foreseeable future) and when I asked him why he was selling the wheel barrow (which still looked brand new), he said that he had no intentions of doing any gardening for the rest of his life... hmm, I hadn’t noticed him doing much gardening for the preceding portion of his life!
Buyers could walk through the whole house and browse the wares which meant we didn’t have to cart everything out onto the driveway. We made out like bandits the first day, it was so exciting. We still had a lot of stuff leftover so planned on doing the same the following Saturday which was the beginning of the Corona Virus social distancing and stay-at-home protocol. Restaurants closed, and the world as we know it turned upside down. As a result, we didn't see a single person other than a couple of neighbors walking their dog! The old house remains like an abandoned garage sale. We're still moving stuff into storage although our momentum has waned, there is only so long a move can drag on!
We still have no furniture, whilst I keenly organized my new closet the furniture stores were starting to close. I bought a new headboard for the master bed and a pull-out cupboard shelf for my makeup after which all non-essential stores closed their doors.
I shall wait until the Corona Virus is behind us rather than risk buying furniture online… just in case, what if I don’t like it and I can’t send it back because they shutdown delivery businesses? In the meantime, our TV is on the floor, (Rigsby thinks this is for his benefit), we have only dining room chairs to sit on, a couple of patio chairs on the balcony and a few piles of stuff on the floor instead of tucked away nicely in a dresser. I write this post from the kitchen counter, which isn’t too shabby anyway!
One thing we do have in abundance is cleaning tools and products which B managed to acquire prior to COVID-19. We have the latest vacuum, a tile steam cleaner, a mini chrome shop-vac, every Swiffer Sweeper on the market, why?... because just in case! If he sees a cleaning rag in the color gray, I guarantee he will come home with it! So, whilst we have no sofa to sit on, we sure as hell can clean and we will never run out of gray rags, just in case there is dust!
On that note, there will be no dust because I love everything in this flat, and apparently no furniture for quite a while… it’s for the best, just in case!
There are affiliate links in this post which means I may receive a small percentage of sales made. The price is the same whether purchased via this website or at the store itself!
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
Enter your Email above and receive blog updates directly to your inbox!
Follow me on Instagram @aboveandbeblonde and see daily outfits and other fun stuff:
Use the search field to enter keywords to look up a specific blog:
Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50