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Those of you who have downsized,

Those of you who have downsized,

Old 06-12-2014, 09:29 AM
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I am starting to do the same thing, with a move maybe in a year or so. My thoughts are to get rid of as much of the big bulky items as possible. I figure furniture I like here might not fit there, so I will get rid of a lot of it. Clothing I have tons of that I have started to weed. My sewing room will be the room that stays mostly in-tact, although with a move in mind, as I go through fabric for projects if I don't think I'll use it I am making a pile to move it out as well.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:52 AM
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Oh dear! We are moving in July but we are UPSIZING! Our present home is 1150 sq ft. 2/1. We are having a house built north of us in the state that is just under 1800 sq ft. 3/2 I am so looking forward to having more room. Our house always looks cluttered to me because of lack of space. We have gotten rid of some things and will not be taking most of our furniture only family antiques. Looking forward to new! My quilting treasures will go with us intact. I will have a room dedicated to a sewing room so I can spread out to my heart's content. I guess we are downsizing our stuff but upsizing our space! LOL
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:31 AM
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We downsized 15 years ago, before I started quilting. We had 2 garage sales and donated a ton of stuff to Salvation Army. We don't miss any of it. Since moving we have filled up our new and smaller home to the point where maybe we should move again. If you know you aren't going to use something like those calicos, donate them to a local guild. Or sell them on EBay. You won't miss them. Good luck.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:37 AM
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I am hoping to move to a different area of the USA within 18 months. I have started thinking about this issue; in fact, I am actively decluttering. I am willing to let furniture, clothing, and many other things go. In fact, I went through my books and gave away 450. There are two categories I am not going to declutter further: books and sewing/quilting stuff.

Regarding sewing stuff, I have several major categories:

1) clothing fabrics, patterns, and tools;

2) My quilting stuff (which I started collecting 15-20 years before retirement, knowing DH would have a tizzy if I bought it during retirement;

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.

A couple years ago, carpet bugs got into my wool and fleece closet and destroyed hundreds of yards of fabric. I do miss it and have often been sorry it's gone when I want to use it. It can't be replaced on a retirement budget. This makes me think I would also miss sewing stuff I let go. I think I would want to use something I just gave away. Plus, tastes change, and I might fall in love with a category again; I'm thinking of the quilter with calicos. I also continue to take quilting classes and generally can find a use for everything; this is handy when filling teachers' supply lists. I welcome any comments.

In short, I say do not give away quilting and sewing stuff unless you are totally sure you will not use it.


Last edited by cricket_iscute; 06-12-2014 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:10 PM
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I found it was not difficult to purge my stash and I am still at it when you have an organization you feel comfortable with. I wish I could have purged more before the move. I have found a lovely church that does have missionaries going to third world country so I know that my fabric donation will brighten someone else life.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:23 PM
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Down size I did, not sorry to have done that, if I don't have something to cook because I got rid of what ever it was, go out to eat.

Now, if we are talking only about fabric, keep it and buy more.
Have a great week.
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:04 PM
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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.
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:17 PM
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I had to downsize last summer and it wasn't easy. All my quilting stuff came with me with the exception of some magazines that I donated to interested QBers. I am very sentimental and it was hard to get rid of a lot of things, especially when I found I'd have room for some of it where I'm now living. The only items I regret getting rid of were all the Santas and other Christmas items I'd collected and been given by family and friends. So think long and hard about downsizing those sentimental items you have.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jillaine View Post
but we need the help BEFORE that step-- what's it going to take to shift the mentality, to become willing to let go? How have you handled THAT?
It isn't about owning, it's about losing. It's about going from the known to the unknown. You are changing your way of life and that can be unsettling. Not having something you once had is a loss, and it's hard to deal with. Sure, you can toss out a broken can opener or a couple of ratty towels and not blink, but when you're going through everything at once, it's overwhelming.

Approach it practically and rationally. Do you really need 12 serving platters? Will you really use that fabric you bought in 1972? How many plastic bowls should one have? Does everything Aunt Pearl gave you need to be in your home? Do one room at a time and leave your "comfort" rooms for last - your sewing room, your husbandís garage. Pick up each thing and if you don't love it or are indifferent, toss it, yard sale it, or donate it. Take a few days or a week between rooms, do them together if you both have an interest in that room. List what you will do with the furniture, appliances, things that are difficult to move or that you still need. If you store stuff in your basement, attic, garage, barn, or under your bed and you havenít opened the boxes in 3 years or more, unless you know itís those memories from your kids when they were little or your first doll, your college notebooks or electric hair curlers (I have those ), donít open them, just toss them out. Really. Save yourself, lol. When you start feeling stressed, stop.

A few years back I had 4 tote bins of fabric, which I whittled down and gave to the woman who bought my Babylock Esante, along with 6 books and various quilting and sewing items. As she drove off I had to hold myself back from chasing after her van, but three days later I was ok. I promised myself I would keep what I loved that would fit into one bin and use only that. Well, sometimes I find something new and fun and I have to rearrange that bin (aka squish) but have so far kept that promise. It really is a waste of $ to have fabric beyond what you will sew. I will buy something that I love, but only 1/2 - 2-1/2 yards, then I have to use it within 6 months or I can't buy anything else new. It keeps my stash reasonable, fresh, and avoids duplicates. And I don't feel guilty about spending $ I really don't have.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:14 PM
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Oh my goodness, I have my head in the sand right now. I have been sitting here reading this thread for at least 30 minutes--agonizing with each one of you--because that thought is in the back of my mind day and night--GET RID OF IT...DON'T BUY ANYTHING ELSE...NOTHING....and I hate the feeling, because I love to shop and spend money. But our house, my sewing room, and DH's shop are crammed full of my stuff. He has no problem whatsoever with getting rid of something that he bought and is now tired of. I simply cannot do that. I want to look at it, or use it, or move it, and I have to keep it because I might need it, or want it again soon. And sometimes soon turns into a year or two.

Speaking of "head in the sand" my kids all call me an ostrich. Can you believe that? I have spent the entire afternoon out in my sewing room straightening up fabric and re-stacking it onto shelves already running over. I just keep pushing one more little piece in; I have ladies coming over tomorrow who want to see my sewing room, and I just could not let them see it in the mess that it was in. If I would only put that piece back where it was when I am working on a new idea for a quilt.....

Good luck as you go through your downsizing efforts. Maybe you can pass one of the ideas that works for you on to me. I am trying to do it before my kids have to.
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