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Downsizing 102: Liberation ideology

Similar to "liberation theology" (a movement within the Roman Catholic church), but, of course, completely different. Rather than considering liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions, I am talking about liberation from old patterns, or, if you prefer, from caring what other people think.

And I'm not even 50 yet. (I heard that was a thing in your mid-50s, at least for a lot of women. But I digress.)

The thing about this upcoming move is that (as I've mentioned before, so I beg your pardon if this begins to sound repetitious), I am moving into a much smaller home, which is owned and occupied by my sweetheart. It is also fully furnished. We are getting rid of some of his stuff and some of mine. And some of our stuff has sentimental value. (More of my stuff than of his, actually.)

I have only recently figured out that the only sentimental value that actually matters here (at my house) is my own. That mirror that was my great-grandmother's and then my grandmother's and is now mine? That little table in the front hall with the marble top that belonged to the same grandmother? The two small oval mirrors in my dining room and the wineglasses that belonged to my other grandmother? Yeah, I'm attached to them. I am also sentimentally attached to my chaise longue, which may or may not fit, so we'll see if it goes, and to some other items that I bought with my own money along life's way.

The thing is, on a phone call with my mother last week, she started pointing out a variety of pieces that I "can't" get rid of. Like my dining room table (which may or may not go, incidentally - I love it, but we have to see if it can work in the Very Small dining room/area at the other house), and some pieces of bedroom furniture. Those pieces of bedroom furniture used to belong to her, you see, and they are "good furniture." It wasn't until I got off the phone that I thought about how those pieces ended up here when my folks moved from the Philadelphia area more than a decade ago, and how mom was going to sell those pieces at a yard sale if I didn't want them. (My folks got new bedroom furniture, you see.)

Part of her worries are based on my sweetheart's age - he's nearly 19 years older than I am - and her thought that I might regret disposing of stuff if he exits this earth ahead of me. (Which is NOT the plan, by the way. We plan on having 30 or so more years together and then getting hit by an asteroid. Together.) But it has occurred to me that, should the unthinkable occur, truly, I wouldn't regret not having stuff, since I will have had time with my sweetheart. As Lisa Patriquin says at BeingOrganized101.com, "Love your life, not your stuff."

Anyhoo, it has occurred to me that I don't have to follow her advice (gasp!), and that I need to be true to my own self.

And then today, in an article at Houzz.com, I found an article called "Tips for Moving Into a Smaller Space that provided me with this helpful information about any pieces that my kids might want, although they can't take them right now:

If you have younger family members who want something but have nowhere to store it, it's your call how you handle it. If you are planning to rent a storage unit anyway and money is not an issue, you could (generously) offer to store the pieces for them for a certain amount of time. But it is not your responsibility to act as a warehouse for other people's stuff — if you want everything off your hands now, just say so. Maybe another relative will step up and offer a garage corner.

The thing is, even a small storage space would cost about $2,000 between now and when Maggie (the younger child) gets out of college, and there's nothing here that's worth that expenditure. So I will keep the antique tea cart that was my great-grandmother's and that my mother gave to Sara, and we will store stuff if we can, but otherwise, I'll be leaving it to the kids to find storage space until they can claim whatever goods they may want.

It really is liberating.


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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
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kellyrfineman
Nov. 15th, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)
I think that's what I'm figuring out myself - the difference between sentimental value and guilt. Also, the difference between keeping something just in case my kids decide they want it, versus keeping the things that I need and that make me happy. If they really want it, they'll figure out how to plan for storage.
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aprilhenry
Nov. 23rd, 2013 02:58 am (UTC)
This is not really related (although I am struggling with downsizing my parent's stuff) but my friend from high school Sheila Schmitz is the editor of Houzz!
kellyrfineman
Jan. 7th, 2014 01:39 am (UTC)
That is so cool! That site is awesome!!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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