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Those of you who have downsized,

Those of you who have downsized,

Old 06-12-2014, 05:38 AM
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Location: Rock Island, IL
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I did serious downsizing 3 years ago. My most used trick is to put wheels on as much as possible. For example. I have a 4x8ft sewing table (had it built since I moved here) It has a lower shelf and 6 wheels. I bought locking ones but the weight of it keeps it from rolling easily. At the short end of the table are 3 shelving units I have fabric totes stored on. I can easily roll the table out of the way to get to them. The area on either side is too small to work on both sides so I just roll it up to the side I don't want to be working on. Plenty of space. The base of the table is packed with boxes, pressing board, totes - whatever. I used old drawers and had one fitted under the top of the table. It's shallow and wide, Plenty of room for rotary cutters, pens, note paper whatever. There is a nifty little area behind the chimney about 4'x6' and I use it to store yard tools etc. I don't waste the space used to access it - I put a rolling cart there that holds cleaning supplies. Wheels make all the difference. If you can't put your own wheels on things, think about furniture dollies. They are made of 4 pieces of carpet covered wood with wheels on each corner. Great for moving heavy couches etc. I use mine for heavy totes etc. Roll the tote out of your way if you want to clean, work in a area or rearrange. I'm going to put some mdx board pieces on a few of these (get them from harbor freight on sale for about $9. I'm putting those shelves I mentioned on them for easy cleaning - painting walls, rearranging etc. Wheels are the answer. Even upstairs, I have a large cabinet my brother built for me with a copper top. It's 6 ft long and about 3.5ft tall. We put our television on it - inside are all the large kitchen items I couldn't part with like the food processor, wok, large casseroles. Put it on wheels. So easy to clean around - just rolls out. You can't see the wheels, there is a recessed bottom like on most wardrobes, nightstands. Had the wheels installed underneath so there is only 1/2" gap between the vinyl planking and the bottom of the cabinet. No one has a clue. I also get the wheels at Harbor Freight and pick up a couple of packs of their rotary cutter blades while I'm there. They call them carpet blades. They have worked well for me for over 2 years now. I'm not giving up my stuff till I'm ready. I also purchased a used porta crib for my scraps. It would work well for batting as well. Amazing what that holds and if I need to quickly move things off my cutting table I just pile it there so I have a clear table for a sudden project. You will find a way if you think outside the box a bit. Happy stitching
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:43 AM
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Location: Barnesville GA
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I downsized this last move because I didn't know until almost the last minute if I was going to have any place to put my things. I gave away baskets full of quilt fabrics and black bags full of other kinds I had collected and am now seriously regretting it. I have to rebuy lots of things and just don't have the money now. I know my circumstances were a little different than most but I would say be very careful of what you get rid of.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:51 AM
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Location: Southern USA
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If you open a closet in my house you will not find much of anything in it. Same with cabinets and drawers. Stored items are stored clutter to my mind. But my sewing room is the exception. I reason my house is already downsized so DH's shop items and my sewing items won't be extra stuff when we move, it will be about the only stuff.
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:07 AM
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This is what I would be afraid of. I think if you can not afford to replace items I would be hesitant getting rid of quilt stuff. I am a home maker but when DH retires and the kids have moved out I will need my stash more then ever. I have a box of calico too and so far I have kept it. I got it from other quilters who got rid of it. I already see my adult daughters enjoying 70 style stuff. Maybe calico will become like 1930s fabrics? Anyways I like calicoes. I would get rid of anything else in the house though. As for the 10 foot frame if you use it don't get rid of it but if you do not use it get rid of it. That is a big item. As for damaquilt, I am sorry you decluttered and are now missing items.

Originally Posted by damaquilts View Post
I downsized this last move because I didn't know until almost the last minute if I was going to have any place to put my things. I gave away baskets full of quilt fabrics and black bags full of other kinds I had collected and am now seriously regretting it. I have to rebuy lots of things and just don't have the money now. I know my circumstances were a little different than most but I would say be very careful of what you get rid of.

Last edited by Annaquilts; 06-12-2014 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:23 AM
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Downsizing always sounds great, BUT never do it fast (in a rush). It is always easier to keep too much, then weed it out later. With the cost of fabric today, you want to think about what it would cost to replace what your have. Then remember it will cost more in 6 months. What has worked for me (this time - have had to do it a couple of times for different reasons, but it's still the same - HARD, HARD, HARD), I divide into groups - KEEPING - NOT SURE - SELLING/DONATE. The items I'm keeping are packed and labeled (this way I can still sew, during the packing and moving process). The items that I'm getting ride of are placed into an OPEN box or boxes also labeled (this is placed in my sewing room), because I might still be adding or taking away before I'm finished. Now for the "NOT SURE" items, I try to place them into one or more of the large vacuum sealed bags(as seen on TV). This MUST stay with my sewing room so that I see all the items all of the time, this gives me time to think about how I feel (I can remove items I would like to get ride of, but I can also add items to the bags - they can be sealed and unsealed over and over again). If by the time my move come up and I still have stuff in the vacuum bags, I make sure to suck out all of the air (this makes them smaller and nice and tight). Then they stay with me, I can always have a fabric sale or I can trade with other quilters for items I want. Sorry this was so long, but I have gotten ride of things too fast before and was SORRY, SORRY, SORRY. So I would like to make sure your not. Good luck
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:25 AM
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WE downsized and stuck my son with some family things. Once we arrived at the new destination, we wondered why we didn't just sell everything but the family pictures. It would have been less expensive to just go buy the new furniture that went together in the new home rather than trying to make the old stuff "work." WE paid to move it, then we bought new and donated the old. WE thought we had it figured out, but didn't. My sewing/craft things came and I'll never get them all finished.
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:55 AM
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Location: St. Louis suburbs
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I am the same age as you. I started cleaning out my stuff a few years ago and this summer have really gone though everything again, a lot of work. I definitely would not give up my hobby stuff ! Last year we took about 15 trips to thrift stores to drop off excess stuff. I always have a bag nearby to drop the excess into, I also give to family.
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:37 AM
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Location: Hamburg,Western New York State
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When we downsized, I kept my fabric. Had two dumpsters full of accumulation and have not missed any of it. You can always have a 'quilter's' garage sale after you have moved and have decided what you want to keep.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:07 AM
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we went from a 3,600 sq ft sprawling home to a 1,700 sq ft townhouse. We had lived in the house close to 25 years. Getting rid of furniture and stuff was mind boggling, finally I decided that if I hadn't used it in 10 years it had to go and that included fabric, notions and gadgets. We have lived in the townhouse for 10 years now and I do not miss anything at all. (ok maybe I do miss some things, but not enough to replace them)
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:22 AM
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Location: Edenton and Raleigh, NC
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I purged my entire 4 br house when I retired then painted everything. Yes! I purged to the WALLS. Then I lost my husband and purged again. Unbelievably, I found, met and married a widower and moved out of state. PURGED again! I nearly froze in winter where we were living so we moved south. PURGED AGAIN. Now we live in a tiny fishing shack and I have just what I need in a house that requires very little maintenance. My living room is my sewing room, guest room's my fabric storage, old buffet is my storage for tools, backings, etc., front screened in porch is my raised big cutting table. I have never regretted purging a thing, even my mother's Singer 500 Rocketeer. The secret is to send your things where you know they can will be used and enjoyed.
I especially encourage you to get rid of any UFOs that you can part with. You can not imagine the relief I felt when those were out of my life and no longer my worry. Now I am in charge of what I own and my "stuff" does not own me. Also, begin recording in your handwriting what pieces/things you want to go to what friend or member. Or, if you can, go ahead and send them on their way.
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