Downsizing

            Lately, I’ve been in downsizing/decluttering mode. Maybe it’s that being retired and at home, I see all the stuff we’ve collected over the years. It’s not that we’re hoarders, there’s just a lot of stuff we never use. Beside our own stuff, we have an in-law suite attached to our house. My mother-in-law lived with us for 13 years. She’s no longer with us. She had her living room, bedroom, and dining furniture, along with all the cook ware, pictures, and knick-knacks that go with a house.

We’re not getting ready to downsize any time soon. In fact, we’re just getting our house to where we’ve wanted it for years. It would be nice to enjoy it for at least a week before we move. That being said, I don’t want to wait until we’re ready to downsize to dispose of all the clutter. You don’t realize how much stuff you’ve accumulated until you think about having to move it. By the time we’re ready to sell and move, I want to have that part of the process done.

Decluttering would be easy if it was just me. I’m not emotionally attached to any of it. There are a few pieces I’d keep, but between sales, donations, and trips to the dump, I could get rid of almost everything, then start over at the new house.

My wife has different ideas. Apparently, she doesn’t relish the idea of spending our final years in this house sitting on folding chairs in the family room, watching a TV resting on top of a couple of packing crates, eating from TV trays, or sleeping on that foam mat we used to use camping.

            We have agreed to part with some of it. There’s a large consignment sale being held in a couple of months that we’re joining in on. It’s an annual thing held in a former department store space. We’ll take the excess furniture to that sale. At the end of the sale, we can either take back what didn’t sell or donate it to certain charities. While I’m all for supporting charities, I hope everything sells.

Meanwhile, in an extra room of the house, we’re gathering all the small stuff we’re ready to part with for a spring yard sale. There are at least a dozen boxes there, now. More will follow. Most of them have enough space I can sneak other stuff in when no one is watching.

The real challenge will be going through my own stuff to see what I can part with. I have no problem wandering through the house and pointing out all the stuff I’d get rid of. Doing the same in my garage/shop—that’s a different story. I need 18 sets of pliers, 43 screwdrivers, many of them the same size, four or five sets of wrenches, ratchets, and sockets, uncountable drill bits, and all those coffee cans filled with hardware, some of which I can’t even identify.

How am supposed to get by with only one circular saw, reciprocating saw, or hand drill? What do I do with all those small pieces of board I’ve saved over the years because, “someday I might need a 6” piece of 2 x 4?” And what about all those half-finished projects collecting dust? Do I just throw them out after putting the time into half completing them?

Whoo-boy! Suddenly, this downsizing doesn’t seem so easy.

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