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Thread: Those of you who have downsized,

  1. #51
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coopah View Post
    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.
    DH and I have already said we will not move furniture when we move. We will save enough to buy new by not using movers. And we certainly aren't going to rent a truck and move it ourselves. We are too old for that.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  2. #52
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    When I moved into my first apartment everything I loved fit into the back of my Chevy, lol. My last move took a large moving van and two burly men. When my kids are out and settled and I sell this house, I hope to fit what I need in the back of whatever car I have. Well, maybe a few car trips. Once you realize how much stuff you have and go through it, and keep what's important, necessary, and sentimental, what you keep becomes more cherishable and the rest ends up being plain old stuff.

    I too, put things out for free. Amazing how they disappear. Last summer I put out an old child's desk, a wooden microwave cart, and an old but working gas grill, with gas in the tank. My kids thought I was nuts - "Mom, no one is going to take that!" Wrong. Each at separate times and gone within two days. Love it!
    Nancy

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  3. #53
    Super Member sparkys_mom's Avatar
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    Wow! It is easy to see that this subject has hit home with a lot of folks. I'm one of them! Last year I helped my sister pack up the house she had lived in for 35 years. She and her husband were world travelers and art lovers. They were moving to a second home in Florida that they had already owned (and fully furnished) for 25 years. Talk about a need to downsize!! It was a real eye-opener for me. In spite of giving away thousands and thousands of dollars worth of furniture, art, china, and crystal to their kids they STILL had thousands donated to charity and still more to the dumpster. And still an unbelievable amount of STUFF got shipped to Florida.

    I came home determined to not let that happen to me. Of course it has been a year and I still haven't dealt with it but this thread has certainly got me fired up again. That and the fact that I know that in the next year or so I will also be downsizing and have been looking at prospective homes. I've already started developing a plan.

    1) Photograph china, crystal, and valuable collectibles and locate a dealer that will purchase them.
    2) Decide what furniture I will keep and what will go. It is hard to sell used furniture so the discards will probably be donated.
    3) Find an organizer that can help me identify what papers I need to keep and which ones can be discarded - then box up the discards and find a professional shredding machine.
    4) I'm retiring this year so most office type clothing will go straight to Goodwill.
    5) My stash is manageable but I will have to determine how to handle workspace in my new digs.
    6) I'm going to go back and read all of the individual posts in detail for any other ideas I can dredge up.
    Pat

  4. #54
    Senior Member mhollifiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricket_iscute View Post

    3) Stuff for homeless quilts. Frankly, this is the issue right here. I continue to make charity quilts, working on them every week. People keep giving me fabric, faster than I can sew it up. I get a lot of scraps, and have a whole big laundry basket of scraps washed, trimmed, and pressed and ready to go into string quilts. I bought an Accuquilt GO to make cutting faster for homeless scrap quilts. If I could give up this category of quilting, I could donate a ton of stuff to others to use for charity quilts. My house would look a whole lot better. I would have more time. I wouldn't have to pay to have it moved. I know all this, and I know there is very little thanks for all this work, yet somehow, I keep doing it. If anyone has thoughts on the subject, please feel free to post.
    Cricket,
    Most of my huge fabric stash is used up in piecing tops for Project Linus quilts. Others in our guild do the quilting, binding, labeling, etc. I make between 100 and 150 tops each year. Every January, I go through my considerable stash, organize, and separate stuff I didn't see a future quilt in for me or my family. Then I go to work using up the "charity stuff" some of which was really great fabric just not "us" anymore.

    So what happened? I began concentrating on sewing up the pulled-for-PL fabrics exclusively in my piecing. I ended up only doing quilts to keep for myself IF I did a mystery or took a class! That meant that the stuff I "LOVED" was waiting patiently on the shelf, and waiting and waiting, while I worked almost exclusively on "What was I thinking?" fabric that I didn't care much for or even disliked!

    The steps I have taken to combat this dilemma are to begin sending backs with my pieced top PL donations and outright fabric donations to our Project Linus efforts. I don't take anymore scraps. I can make more faster from my stash without all the effort of prepping others' scraps. I send orphans and little odd stacks of piecing to another Carolina "QB sister" who has charity uses for these so I'll keep sending to her as I accumulate. There are plenty of people with limited resources just aching to help in efforts like we support with little or no means to do so. Find them locally or on the QB and PURGE in that direction. Your homeless can have more help sooner by your doing so.

    I'd send this category TOTALLY out to others! Think of how you can use the unused charity fabric moving money to start your charity stash in your new home! Personally, I'd even get the WIPs in that purge. I'd start with all new stuff in my charity efforts in my new home. I have a GO and I love it but rarely use it. It can make you think that scraps can be handled effortlessly but the time it takes to get them pressed and ready for it can negate it's timesaving aspect.
    Holli
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  5. #55
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    do you have any regrets either way? For example, do you regret giving up too much stuff? Or do you regret not getting rid of more before you moved?

    We are getting ready to downsize, and I'm finding it really difficult to get rid of stuff. Last time we moved I just moved everything we had and didn't try to weed things out. This time I really only want to move the stuff we will actually use. My biggest quandries are over my sewing and quilting items -- quite a few plastic bins of fabric stash, many small plastic bins of "to do" quilt projects, my 10' quilting frame, tons of batting, etc.

    I remember once getting rid of all my black fabrics, only to then find the perfect pattern for using it. Makes me worry about getting rid of fabric, although I have a lot of calicos I can't imagine ever using in the future.

    Anyway, I'm just wondering what kind of advice those of you who have "been there, done that" might have for me. It won't be too long before dh and I are in our 70's, but we are active and in good health (so far).
    Edit: I should add my mil is 98 and still living in her home of 60 years. My dh is going to have his hands full cleaning out that house some day! Lots of knick knacks and bric-a-brac that are not our style. She did sell her old hats to a lady who runs a vintage clothing store......



    I am in the process of weeding out some of my fabrics bc i have used up so much room and like you, won't use them all.
    It will be difficult, but I'll pull out family projects first, THIS IS THE KEEP PILE (mountain, lol),
    then I'll have a mt-pile that are for me, hubby, gifts and just my favorites.
    I'll choose what to purge from what is left...however, I will not let go of any solids, backing fabrics,...you know, anything highly useful in various ways.
    I haven't started and i don't think it will be easy.
    I'll probaby "over-keep", but at least i will have made a big dent and that's a good place to start.
    My m sewed most of her adult life and then in later years became visually impaired.
    They moved and she got rid of all her sewing stuff.
    Then she went to blind school.
    Yup, she is sewing again and misses her stuff.
    I will be giving her...shhh! she doesn't know, a good portion of the "purges", but this has taught me to never-say-never.
    However, I am finding cleaning, and reorganizing the same things over and over is exhausting and getting silly, as well as annoying
    It is a blessing, to be a blessing !
    ~Quilters are warm people!!!~
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by citruscountyquilter View Post
    I spoke with a lady once who gave me a whole new perspective on downsizing. She had moved from a very large historic house into a condo. I commented it must have been hard to do that and her response was "oh no, now I am surrounded by my favorites" She went on to explain that she had so much of everything to fit into such a large house and when she moved to smaller place all she had room for were her favorite dishes, her favorite furniture and so on. I took a look around my big house and realized that most of the stuff was not what I would call my favorite and if I did pick out my favorites in each room I would have enough to nicely put together a much smaller place. So don't think of it as a matter of getting rid of stuff but rather keeping your favorites.
    What a great idea! Thanks, citruscountryquilter!

  7. #57
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    What a great thread! I am also a keeper - memories, things, family photos, and of course lots of fabric and sewing stuff. I've been making Linus quilts with some of the "dead women's fabric" that I've been given, but I love having plenty to choose from when I have an idea to make something different.
    I also watched Peter Walsh's shows, but I do not agree with arbitrary things like throwing out anything you don't use in a year or 6 months. Christmas only comes once a year, and there have been years we went away and didn't do a tree, but I'm not about to toss and rebuy things like that. I make it a point to use things like all my dishes by entertaining now and then. If I invite company I'm not going to put a paper plate on the table unless it's a picnic in the yard. So I can do a farewell party for a church member and serve 20 or 30 people on a variety of nice china with real cups and mugs or glasses. I enjoy having the leisure to be a hostess, so I'll wait some years before emptying everything out. But there were some great ideas here, like the favorites line.
    We redecorated our living room and office about 6 years ago and put all our 33 r.p.m. records in a dumpster after checking that there was no reasonable way to sell them around here. I figured we could get CDs of the old music, and we have gotten some, but not much of it is still available. We both really feel bad that we lost so much of our favorite Christmas music which is not around any more, and I miss those 1960s albums of Kingston Trio, Chad Mitchell Trio, Harry Belefonte, and so forth. Now I see you can buy a unit that will play the album and record it to create a CD or save the files on your iTunes account, but we didn't know about those at the time. But of course, it is just stuff, and some day we'll have to get rid of lots of it.
    Good luck in your move. It's hard to let go, but I'm sure it's freeing to set off to a new future.
    "The business of life is making memories. In the end, it is all we have." Butler Charlie Carson, Downton Abbey, season 4, episode 3, PBS.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntryquilter View Post
    We downsized 17 years ago & I have regretted it ever since. We went from a 4 bedroom/3 bath/4 level house to a 2 bedroom condo type dwelling. If I had it to do over, I would never move to a smaller home.
    I asked my in-laws if they regretted moving from their home to an apartment and then into one of their daughters home that had an in-lW suite, and they say "yes". They found themselves watching too much TV.

  9. #59
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    We upsized last August but got rid of heaps. 27 years. It was easier to dispose of things closer to the moving date. Early on though tears and indecision. Old house tiny and 90 years old. New house bigger and 9 months old when we move in. Some things don't "fit" in the new property. Luckily most of our furniture did. Regrets for disposing of some things only those that we were ripped of by a dealer posing as a buyer at a garage sale. Modern housing doesn't allow for displaying I.e no mantle pieces etc.
    9 months on sorting out some more things to go that don't "fit"
    Sewing stuff lots of things given away or sold, miss none of it. Kept patchwork stuff and glad I did. (Husband not so glad lol)
    Rattling around nicely in the new house but not liking the suburb much. Quiet means no one is neighbourly (gave up trying after being told we keep to ourselves here) getting use to social activities are all out of area. Both groups I joined "found" me after a fruitless search (who thinks of that when buying out of area where you currently live)

  10. #60
    Super Member ccthomas's Avatar
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    I think it is about stages of life, happiness, grieving, time of our life, health. Retirement is looming. As a teacher, I have started "pitching' as there are so much "paper, books, magazines, involved to stay current as an instructor." It has been a huge lift and brings happiness to let go this area. At home, I had started the downsizing, visualizing a smaller, one story house, when son 2, wife, and baby moved home. Daughter and grand-daughter may also move in. So it is hard to make plans. I donate to Good will, church and college sales, libraries, charities. I am living "day to day" and "getting ready" for "changes." No answers for anyone. I identify with topic. I thought "war" was "fearful, but "cancer" has been such a wakeup.
    Carol

  11. #61
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I am in the middle of downsizing right now. We just moved out of a 4000 sq foot house with LOTS of storage and we are remodeling our new 1500 sq foot house. Sigh... We had a lot of art and I have a huge stash. We have 3 bedrooms but no office or other space and not much storage. We decided not to have a spare bedroom so both DH and I could have our own rooms. We marked the furniture and pictures that we decided we could not live without, invited our family to lay claim to what they wanted and planned to have an estate sale. The family took so much that we did not need the estate sale. A couple of Goodwill runs got rid of most of what we did not want to keep and we had the rest put into storage. I did not get rid of much fabric -- we really did not have enough time for me to go through it. I will do that when I unpack. Hopefully everything makes it through storage. The pleasure I have is visiting the various family members and seeing the pictures and furniture that they took in their homes -- I smile when I see them. When we move in we may have to still get rid of things, but we will make those decisions later. Hope we don't have too many regrets.
    QuiltnLady1

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  12. #62
    Senior Member mhollifiel's Avatar
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    The matter of Christmas decorating items is an area where I purged everything. It is much easier and better all round for us to go where the children are for holidays. We don't have room for everyone here and they'd have to travel a distance and overnight at a hotel. No decorating for me! More time to quilt and do the Bonnie Hunter annual mystery if I choose.

    What's up at church and in town does the job of putting us in the holiday spirit just fine. And someone else has the job of putting it out and packing it up every year - not ME. LOL! If I feel the need to have something in the house, I'll buy a single poinsettia. That's inexpensive, easy to dispose of and is fresh and nice during the season. My mother hired someone to come in and decorate and then "un-decorate" every year. In my mind that's fabric money!


    Quote Originally Posted by Sandygirl View Post
    Your reference to Santa's reminds me of my Santa collection. When I married and moved into my DH house, I brought the Santa's with me. I have not seen my collection for about ten years. They are stored in the creepy basement. I would not go down there.

    We recently had the basement waterproofed, new windows installed and DH is cleaning and painting it. New lighting is installed. I now know where my collection is! But I have a feeling that no longer care about my Santas. I used to display them on shelves at my old house. Hmmmm....maybe after I unwrap them and dust them ff I will feel differently. Maybe not.

    Things are meant to move into your life then move on. I rarely "miss" stuff....except my old house! LOL! Loved my 70's ranch! (Newly remodeled when I moved). Sigh.....

    sandy
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  13. #63
    Junior Member gigigray032447's Avatar
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    Last summer we bought what we hope is our last house. For months I gathered up all the old family pieces/mementos that are part of my children's heritage and told them they needed to pick up their stuff before the move date. I went through everything in my house and gave to the thrift store or to someone who needed the things I didn't. Some things went to the landfill free corner, some things went to the street for pick up, and I brought with me only the things I really wanted. And I wanted all my fabric. The wonderful thing is that we didn't have time to put up shelving in the sewing room until this past winter. For months I sewed scrappy quilts, or unfinished projects, or fat quarter projects rather than opening boxes. Now, I have fabric only and not those pesky ufo's. And I love it.

  14. #64
    Junior Member gigigray032447's Avatar
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    By the way, we moved all our furniture to the new house.. As we moved in, it quickly became apparent what pieces wouldn't work. Between our three kids, they took every piece that we couldn't use.

  15. #65
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    I'm all about the downsizing these days!
    I can't believe getting rid of stuff is as much fun as I used to
    have when I got new acquirements.
    The size of my cracker box house is growing and I am one
    happy little mousie
    I haven't downsized much fabric though.
    I'm probably going to sell some of it.
    I would do it on here if I knew how.
    Some body or bodies would get super good deals, bc I am
    trying to do the same as y'all...keep what I love and purge
    what I can live without.
    It is a blessing, to be a blessing !
    ~Quilters are warm people!!!~
    cheese brings parties together

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  16. #66
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    "Clutter's Last Stand" by Don Aslett is a book I highly recommend when one wants to start getting rid of clutter (and/or downsizing.

    SO DO I
    It is a blessing, to be a blessing !
    ~Quilters are warm people!!!~
    cheese brings parties together

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  17. #67
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Hello, my nick is mousie and I "buy emotionally".
    I am much, much better now, and to be quite honest, I switched from buying
    tons of fabric to over eating! grr!
    It was cheaper and when it was past the tongue it was gone...
    didn't take up um, well...space ~
    sigh~
    Anyway, this is why I love the book mentioned about by Don Aslett.
    He doesn't just tell you how to clean or organize your house.
    He tells you WHY it got so cluttered and full in the first place.
    I had/have issues, but I am overcoming so many now.
    This lady completely purged and then became overwhelmed and she
    is coping with the anxiety by buying every fabric in sight.
    First, I was buying fabrics like that for when my husband retired and
    I might not be able to spend $$$ on fabric.
    Also, had this notion that i was going to make and sell stuff...too
    many health issues for that.
    I amassed such an embarrassing amount of stuff, it was, afterall
    the first time in my life I had ever "let go" and spent on things bc
    I just wanted them.
    My excuses were they were for other ppl, and that's true.
    I surpassed that amount a long time ago.
    Like-how many relatives and friends do i have? all the way back to
    Adam and Eve?
    This lady would do herself a favor before she gets really depressed
    about her spending like I did, and get to the root of why she needs
    to shop like that. I wish her luck.
    It is a blessing, to be a blessing !
    ~Quilters are warm people!!!~
    cheese brings parties together

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  18. #68
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    I had to downsize from a 2 bedroom apartment in a house built in the 1870's to the two upstairs bedrooms of a cape. I moved back in with my parents to help them and to save money. I had just started to get into quilting but I had the 2nd bedroom of the apartment as my quilt room. I regret the move still. I had to give up my beautiful brass queen-size bed for a day bed to have more room. Now I do love the day bed but look forward to the day when I can get a larger one. I kept all my fabric. I had a folding cutting table with I sold to a friend who was setting up her own quilt room so I knew it would be used. I do wish I hadn't sold it though. Now, the larger of the two rooms is my sitting/living area. The smaller room is my bedroom. I missed my sewing room so much that I am again reorganizing and downsizing so I can make the smaller bedroom my sewing room and move my daybed into the bigger room. This will make me tons happier. I do miss a nice tall wall where I can hang my design wall. Only 1 wall in the two rooms I am in is large enough but with sloped ceilings in each room it cuts the space. But I will make do. I did the three pile de-clutter, keep, donate, trash and it worked. Just realize that you will come across items that are sentimental and you have to decide whether or not to keep them. It's a question only you can decide. I also used the 3-year rule, if I haven't used it in 3 years donate or trash. Worked great for my clothes closet and other rooms. Just couldn't apply it to my quilting/cross-sticth stash. Oh well, no one is perfect!

    After I moved back to the house, I decided I didn't want to quilt anymore! I KNOW, HOW SILLY!!!! I held a fabric sale and told my quilting friends to come by. I think God was with my that day, no one bought much, and I only regret selling one fabric. My friends all laughed and said nobody quits quilting until they are dead!!!! The laugh was on me. A couple of months later I found a place with and open sew on Saturday afternoons and POOF! I was back into quilting and have not left since! I know when I am beaten! LOL!
    Last edited by Luv Quilts and Cats; 07-22-2014 at 09:44 AM.
    Luv Quilts and Cats
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  19. #69
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    post #67 was supposed to have a quote, but it didn't show up...
    It is a blessing, to be a blessing !
    ~Quilters are warm people!!!~
    cheese brings parties together

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  20. #70
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    well, a month after moving and getting rid of most of my stuff, the two things I find I am wishing I kept - my set of custard cups and a sturdy scrub brush. Time to hit the Dollar Store!!

    All the "sentimental" things I thought I might miss, I haven't given them a thought.

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