Our Big Move is a Big Transition. While the emotional shift is something I’ve blogged about (links here: what I will miss, good bye Cincinnati), the physical shift has really taken over my life the past few weeks (and the reason for my absence from the blog-o-sphere). Something I am becoming more and more aware of: Space. Or more specifically, the of lack of space!
Our house in Florida was more than partially furnished. We lived there for months at a time and it had everything we needed. It had lovely artwork on the walls, decent wine glasses, good knives to make dinner, and clothes for all the Florida seasons (hot, really hot, not so hot, and 3 weeks of winter).
I knew we were downsizing, moving from 2200 sq.ft. with a full basement to 1900 sq.ft. with no basement. We did attempt to downsize in Ohio, getting rid of furniture and donating/selling/tossing stuff, but still moved down 13,000 pounds. That is a lot of stuff! Yes, some was planned replacement – my Ohio dishes, pots, and flatware were preferred to Florida’s. There is the family memorabilia and the important papers. There is all the hobby stuff; hubby has many hobbies and lots of stuff for each one, but I have hobbies, too. There is hubby’s (Enneagram 5) belief that you never know what you might need, so we have things in duplicate, triplicate, quadruplicate (is that even a word?).
Here are some crazy things that are just mine:
- Why do I think I still need “work clothes”? I moved high heel shoes, pants, and jackets. I keep thinking I’ll re-purpose those items into a Talbot-like day look. And every day I put on shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops.
- Why do I keep the 30+ retirement transition books I read in researching for my own book? (Yes, my book is still available on Amazon – link here). I’m certainly not going to re-read them now!
- Why do I keep work memorabilia? My patent plaque, the brand-of-the-year statue the team allowed me to keep, the signed going away posters, and various team gifts are really just “dust collectors” now! Even my framed diploma and fellowship certificates are really meaningless at this point in life.
- Why do I keep boxes of crafting materials – yarn, wire & beading stuff, paper, glass, and fabric? I keep thinking I’ll do “something with it” but never do.
- I have two big boxes of “things I’m going to sell on E-bay someday”. I have three boxes of costume jewelry that is dated and my last work (beautiful leather) briefcase I will never again use.
- I have a full shelf of various baking pans, a kitchen-aid mixer I’ve never used, 15 platters, a punch bowl, and 36 party wine glasses. Hubby refused to part with folding card tables because you never know when you might need them, so we have 4 of them, plus 12 chairs. Will I begin to entertain to use all of this?
- I have more than 10 throws (it’s cold up north), 15 polar-tech tops, 3 piles of sweaters, 8 cold-weather jackets, 25 pashmina shawls (a whole range of colors), and 6 pair of jeans – for those 3 weeks of winter.
I’ve spent 6-7 hours every day now for 2 weeks unpacking, sorting, and trying to fit things in. I’ve made 3 full carload trips to Goodwill (another one planned). I’m selling things on-line, including a chair I love but it just didn’t fit. I really, really need to review all those crazies above and de-clutter more because I look around and everywhere I look it is piles and piles of stuff.
And I’m terrified to begin dealing with the artwork. Our artwork is almost all one-of-a-kind pieces, many purchased on our travels or at the art shows we love to go to (and plan to begin again, now that things are getting back to normal). I used to joke that when I ran out of walls in Ohio for artwork, I bought another house for the walls. Our new house has an open floor plan and lots of windows. That means it has very few walls. And that is being positive… our living space (open area encompassing kitchen, dining, living room, reading nook) has literally one wall – others are all windows! I consigned a number of bigger pieces of art in Ohio, knowing they wouldn’t fit. But having to choose what to put on those very few walls will be such a hard decision! And then, what do I do with the rest? (There’s no place to store them either.)
Space. It’s become my focus – closet space, kitchen cabinet space, bookshelf space, space on counter tops and tables for ceramics and glassware, and wall space for artwork. Hopefully, once space is dealt with, I can switch from unpacking mode to living mode! Space is my final frontier – boldly go and deal with it!
Picture Credit: Me, first sunrise as full-time residents! And yes, a morning visitor at the gate.