Written by Nicole Harrison
Moving is a difficult time in many people’s lives. Imagine moving after living in a home for more than 30 years. You have deep roots in your home and within your community. Your family grew up there, and essentially you’ve built a life in your home. All of your fondest memories and special milestones were made there. Could you ever say goodbye?
Byron and Jo Anne lived in their family home for 38 years. After raising their two children, they decided it was time to downsize and move into a condo closer to their kids and grandkids, which was just a few hours from their long-time home. I was able to meet Byron and Jo Anne during their recent move and chat with them about their moving and downsizing experience.
After decades in one home, it’s no t uncommon to collect both investment pieces and useless clutter without even realizing it. Imagine living in a home as long as Byron and Jo Anne did. For them, the most difficult part of the move was the de-cluttering and downsizing process.
“After living in our home for so long, getting rid of items we’ve accumulated over the years was the hardest,” said Byron.
I have a feeling most people in their situation would have to agree.
Curious, I asked them if it was difficult to say goodbye to their home they lived in for so long and created so many memories in.
“The memories we made weren’t attached to the actual house.” Byron said smiling, “The memories were more about the kids, their friends, and other family members. We still have the memories – and of course lots of photos! A lot of the furniture and pictures came with us.”
Byron told me the most difficult part of their downsizing process was decision-making. Determining what to keep and what to get rid of is always the hardest part. Byron and Jo Anne made a good team and worked together while making decisions on what to keep and what to get rid of.
“I would say we got rid of about one third of the household-type possessions. Our kids took some of them and we donated a lot to thrift stores,” Byron said. “A majority of the stuff of which we disposed were paper products like newspapers and magazines we’ve collected over the years. Also, a lot of it was the kids’ stuff we’ve collected over the years.”
Once Byron and Jo Anne listed their house, they started de-cluttering and getting rid of small knickknacks. They did their best to donate all the items they could before throwing them into a landfill. Throughout the downsizing process they remained sensitive to the environment. They were even able to leave a few of the larger items for the young couple who bought their home.
As we know, downsizing can be a daunting and emotional process. Luckily, Byron and Jo Anne gave one crucial piece of advice for couples who are looking to downsize. Start early. Start today. Start right now.
“Once you start thinking about downsizing, start weeding things out. We’ve been downsizing for years.”
It’s smart to go through your home a few times a year and clean out what needs to go and make room for new items. Even if you’re not downsizing, it will save you from living in a cluttered home.
Ultimately, Byron and Jo Anne moved to be closer to their family. They have always lived on a busy street, so locating to a quieter area was on the top of their list when searching for condos. They are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for them in their new home.
Have fun on your new adventure, Byron and Jo Anne!
Check out our recent downsizing blog for help deciding what to keep and donate: Preparing Yourself to Downsize.
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