Since January 6, we have moved from an (almost) 5,000 square foot house to an (almost) 2,000 square foot house. We do not know where we want to be longer term, so we rented a house fifteen minutes from where we lived for (almost) thirty-six years to give us time to figure that out. We have committed to being in this new house for thirteen months. Now that I have packed, moved out of one house, and moved into another, I may not want to ever leave this new house.
We left almost 4 acres and moved into a house with a yard the size of a postage stamp. We left a neighborhood where the houses and yards were so large that we rarely saw our neighbors unless we connected while walking, and moved into a neighborhood with sidewalks and walking trails, where our neighbors stop to chat when they pass in front of our house. After spending two weeks in our new home, my focus is no longer on what we gave up. It is now on what else we need to let go.
Managing a 2,000-square-foot home is easier than managing a 5,000-square-foot home. There is less to keep up, less to clean, and less to maintain, unless you are trying to put 5,000 square feet worth of stuff in a 2,000-square-foot space, which is what I have been trying to do. While we sold or donated about one-half of our furniture, I held onto most everything else. Most of the china, crystal, and sterling. All of the photos, boxes, and bags of them. Most of the books. Most of the accessories.
Bed linens and pillows for beds in 6 bedrooms, moved to a house with three bedrooms. Wrought iron furniture from a large patio, stuffed onto a patio intended to only hold one table and 4 chairs. Many chairs that were used for seating our large Thanksgiving gatherings, were put in storage in the new house where they would never be needed. Christmas decorations for three large trees were moved into storage in the new house that will only have one tree.
There is more, but you get the drift. Trying to stuff a lifetime of stuff from a large house into a much smaller house. It obviously can’t be done, so I am forced to make some hard decisions about what to keep and what else to let go of.
But I have let go of the resistance to this change, and am embracing this new stage of our life. While I will always miss our home we left and many things about it that I will probably never have again, I am finding that this change provides some gifts I had not expected. As I continue to unpack boxes, I will also unpack the many emotions that accompany this change. I will share how this new change is changing not just where we live, but how we live.
Isn’t that the way life is, from letting go and grieving, to finding joy in unexpected places?
Congratulations 🎉 – you have the best outlook! I bet you won’t miss the “stuff”
I so miss our Aga, and hope to have another one someday. Thank you for your warm words, dear Bonnie.