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Downsizing

(87 Posts)
paddyann Mon 11-Feb-19 19:19:28

After much discussion we've decided to downsize.We dont need 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and it seems stupid to stay here when a smaller house would be much more practical.A friend says 55 is too young and 75 too late to do it so now seems about right After saying that how do you get the mindset for getting rid of "stuff" my huge collection of cookery books and CD's wont fit into a smaller living room and I'm loath to part with them .Any ideas on how to come to terms with parting with things you've had for decades?

EllanVannin Mon 11-Feb-19 19:26:44

Buy somewhere with a good sturdy waterproof shed for storage.

Though I'd brace yourself for items which won't fit when downsizing !

Iam64 Mon 11-Feb-19 19:29:05

We haven’t moved or downsized but we did put in a shower room downstairs in case stairs become an issue.
Clearing my parents house several years ago encouraged me to start clearing my own home. I find it an emotional process, photographs, books, treasured cards made by our children, letters (remember those).
I try to recycle, anything usable to the charity shops. Sorry paddynan, not much help - everyone I know seem to be making similar attempts to future proof or downside. I don’t know anyone who isn’t finding it a stretch to get rid of books China, keep crueset pots too heavy to lift these days.

Urmstongran Mon 11-Feb-19 19:31:07

Take photographs of items before you get rid if you think it’s going to hurt. It helps.

We downsized 9 years ago. The timing was good (we were in our late 50’s). No regrets at all.

Good luck paddyann

NfkDumpling Mon 11-Feb-19 19:48:34

We downsized 14 years ago when I was 59 and DH was 62 and moved near to the centre of a market town with everything we need within walking distance. It gave us time to make new friends and become part of the community.

It took two years of slimming down possessions in our old house first though. When in the mood we'd go mad and get rid of things. Then a few months later have another go. But we've still managed to have boxes in the loft which have remained untouched since we moved in! Then we had to decide what furniture would fit into the new house. I spent a long time with the new house plan and paper cut outs of tables and beds etc working out what to keep.

We don't regret in the least moving before we physically needed to and are very happy still in our new nest.

Susan56 Mon 11-Feb-19 19:56:20

I haven’t any useful advice to give but we too have made the decision to downsize,been talking about it for a while but only made the decision within the last week.We have decided to give ourselves minimum of 12 months to sort everything before we put the house on the market.

paddyann Mon 11-Feb-19 20:24:12

Thanks ladies ,I felt quite sad today when I looked at my CD's and though I wont have anywhere to house them .I'll start culling the cookery books tomorrow ,I'm working the rest of the week so it will mean I wont have time to do very much.I did offer my sons partner some but I think she thought I was criticising her cooking...lol

BradfordLass72 Mon 11-Feb-19 20:35:28

I had to downsize (several times in fact) and needed to get rid of some very precious things, including furniture inherited from grand parents and parents, but I let them go to Hospice, knowing the money they raised on them would help the dying.

Tangerine Mon 11-Feb-19 20:50:19

Once you start de-cluttering, you may find it cathartic.

Naturally, some things are far too precious to discard but I think moving is good for making you blow away a few cobwebs and really decide what you want and need and what you are just holding onto out of habit.

I downsized and got rid of many things. Never regretted it.

Lazigirl Mon 11-Feb-19 20:55:44

It's not as hard as you think paddyann and it's very liberating when you diverse yourself of "stuff". It's often the thought of it, but when you have managed to part with things you don't waste much time missing them. Save a few favourite CDs and cookery books and charity shop the rest. I felt the same about some of mine, but when I want a recipe I inevitably look on line, and rarely listened to all the CDs I've collected at different times. Happy clearing. Think of all the space you'll have.

HildaW Mon 11-Feb-19 21:02:32

We are doing this...we see it as the next adventure!
As to paring down the 'stuff'........ we did have a major sort out about 10 years ago and it made us be more careful about acquiring anymore stuff...its been 'new thing in....something old out' for a while now.
As to getting rid of major stores of things such as books and other possessions You do have to be a bit clinical. 1st stage is to go through what you have and honestly ask yourself.....'have I used/looked at this in the last 2 years?
If answer is no then pack it away somewhere like a spare room or attic. Once something is truly out of sight its amazing how quickly it is forgotten about. Give it a year then dispose of how you see fit.
Finding homes for the things we do not or cannot take with us has been seen as a bit of an adventure too. A few things have gone to auction...that was fun. Then donations to Hospice shop which is lovely to do. A few bits have gone on Gumtree and we have met some interesting people there. Have just handed over a couple of quite precious things to a local family who really appreciated them....was lovely seeing the children's reactions. There are very few things I really could not part with....photos, a few small baby mementos and some individual pieces of art and craft. Apart from that its just 'stuff' and whilst useful it has no real emotional attachment for me. Beautiful bone china left by one relative has been used daily...some bits broken but actually that old stuff is very sturdy. There is just no point keeping it all just to admire. Either use it or find a home for it. Its the people in my life I cherish not the objects.

janeainsworth Mon 11-Feb-19 21:04:49

I recently went through my old cookery books and cut out any recipes I actually use, and put them in files. I just kept a few of the actual books.
I now have a shelf of coloured ring files in the kitchen, soups in one file, salads in another, chicken in another, fish in another etc., and the recipes are all tried, tested and liked.

I also went through a great heap of recipes I'd cut out from newspapers and magazines over the years, but never got round to trying.

Some of them dated back to the 1990's blush

Good luck with your move Paddyann.

NanaandGrampy Mon 11-Feb-19 21:13:32

Why not storeallyour CDs digitally ?

We downsized from a big house to a small bungalow 15mnths ago and despite a huge declutter before we left we’ve had todo it twice more since we moved.

I don’t suppose we’re done yet .

PECS Mon 11-Feb-19 21:28:21

We moved about 8 years ago and though we intended to downsize are living in similar space. We did get rid of 1/3 of our books..but have since replaced them with others. confused
DVDs & CDs were easy to lose as now so easy to download for a re-viewing/listening
A good way to save some treasures is to get some framed to hang on the wall: e.g. a collage of kids handmade cards, favourite book covers , vinyl album covers etc! DH also chose four covers from his Private Eye collection to frame.. he sold the rest! I have seen people frame their DCs bootees!

We did decide not to put anything in the new loft but we do have a huge sturdy shed which is very useful but we are careful not to use it too much for 'just in case' items!

cornergran Mon 11-Feb-19 22:11:27

Lots of good ideas here. Yes, it’s a challenge but not an impossible one. I was 65, Mr C 7O when we made the move. Our loft took forever to clear, the rest of our home of 30 years was easier. Taking photos of things we let go of, taking the recipes we actually ate from books and putting them in labelled files and storing music digitally all worked for us. Books were reduced to those that felt important and those linked to my professional life, I was still working. Clothes were fairly easily paired down. The kitchen was straightforward, did we really need 36 dinner plates? Actually no! Much of the content of the garage and shed were an accumulation of ‘stuff’ rather than necessities. We were left with decisions about items with sentimental attachment. They were heart decisions. We did bring far too many boxes with us. Rented some self store until we’d renovated our new home, realised there was little in store we needed or had missed and then culled again. A smaller space works for us. Be brave, all will be well.

notentirelyallhere Mon 11-Feb-19 22:21:26

We downsized two years ago from a large 5 bedroom house to a much smaller four bedroom. In the end, it has proved a relief to shed possessions, things kept for the sake of it and without thought for the children who will one day be faced with having to clear our clutter!

It made us realise exactly what music we listened to and which books we had read and were remotely likely to read again. It also made us aware of how the digital world has changed our habits. We still have a hifi and a selection of cds but we listen to music now on ipods, Amazon Echo or computer. Similarly, many books are read on a Kindle and films watched on the computer.

I've also been one for keeping cards and keepsakes, souvenirs, boxes of photographs, cookery books, articles, favourite clothes now not worn and so on. I feel saved from the absurdity of it all now and glad to have had a massive clear out, I really don't miss anything. As has been suggested, you can always photograph things and take the process gently. I think the number of things we genuinely need to keep is, in reality, tiny and it's good to have reason to notice that.

Charleygirl5 Mon 11-Feb-19 22:42:08

I have an empty loft and a very tidy almost empty shed. All my junk and rubbish is in my house and one of these days I will make a start.

If I could come to grips with the amount of paper I would be more than half way there. As I have said before, file is not a word I recognise.

paddyann Mon 11-Feb-19 23:35:34

I got rid of all my books a few years ago when the local school library was burned down,we donated over 2000 books to them.Its great that many of the books I loved are still in use .Its just cookery books I have now as I tend to pass on anything I've read with the exception of maybe half a dozen that I wont part with.Leon Uris' Trinity,To Kill a Mockingbird,a copy of Our Town that I've had since I was at school. A signed copy of A Prime Minister on Prime Ministers by Harold Wilson and a couple more .I'll find it harder to part with a lot of my CD's many bought at gigs and signed by the artist Stevie Wonder ,Erik Bibb. Eddi Reader ,Hugh Masakela amongst them .No ornaments but tons of tableware and kitchen equipment ....where to start ?

PageTurner Mon 11-Feb-19 23:56:43

Hi Paddyann
Amazon as well as eBay sell zippered storage cases for CDs
Some are expandable to hold over 200 CDs or DVDs.
You just have to remove the disc from the plastic case, and keep the cover which has the song info. I didn't have a very large collection, but used the zipper storage cases when we moved 6 years ago.
Cookery books are a whole different story. I hate throwing books away.. I would save the favorite books and take photos of the recipes you want from the others and keep the photos on an iPad or other device. I take photos of recipes on my iPad, then save them for use later.
Moving and downsizing is a lot of work. We have done it 4 times in 52 years. Can't remember half of the stuff I used to have.

MissAdventure Tue 12-Feb-19 00:03:06

Do you have spotify, paddy?
You can make a playlist of every single album, and it will play radio songs based on them, so you get to hear new stuff.

paddyann Tue 12-Feb-19 00:35:53

I dont MissAdventure I really like taking a CD at random off the shelf and reading the sleeve notes I dont get the same pleasure from digital music.....old school .I have around 2000 collected over decades although when we were supposed to be moving a couple of years ago I gave my Jazz collection to a friend of my MIL,around 100 remastered fabulous albums .Then theres the massive HI FI and speakers that are about 4 feet tall I'll be buying a HIFI magazine to see if theres a one box option that will still sound good .The more I think of this the more I stress ...

Iam64 Tue 12-Feb-19 09:19:20

I prefer cd's and books to their digital counterparts. I'll never be a minimalist but I enjoy a bit of clutter - otherwise known as bits of ceramics that were grannies/mums, shells or pine cones the children collected, plus boxes of photographs. I've culled lots of photographs but there are so many of want to keep. Maybe I can start putting them into albums, or would that take up more room than the boxes under the bed?

midgey Tue 12-Feb-19 09:34:53

Perhaps selling your books and cds will help. You could use the money for something that might not have been possible otherwise! There a several sites and it is so simple with a smart phone, you don’t even pay for postage.

Madgran77 Tue 12-Feb-19 10:19:50

CDs - get an I Pod. I put all my music onto an IPOd and bought a docking station so can listen when I like - never looked back re CD throwing!

Nannytopsy Tue 12-Feb-19 10:25:37

Yesterday I finally finished sorting out all the recipes I have cut out over the last few years - huzzah! This afternoon I am at work but tomorrow I start decluttering the study. We too are moving nearer to family, hoping to go before Christmas, and have thirty years of stuff in this house. I have been doing the Swedish death cleaning thing for about 18 months but only very gradually. As they say, keep nothing that is not beautiful or useful - will the charity shop take DH then? grin Only joking!