Moving Update – space is the final frontier

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.

24 thoughts on “Moving Update – space is the final frontier

  1. Oh my goodness. I am just now getting caught up with some of your posts – have been off of here for awhile. And boy, did some of these things resonate~! I got rid of a LOT of work clothes and most of the work shoes. I laughed when you had the vision of a daytime Talbot’s look – I feel the same – but I wear the same types of things as well, shorts, a tank top, Fitflops or Birkenstocks. I also have an issue in that I’ve gained and lost weight, so have MULTIPLE sizes..Yikes. I have gotten rid of things as well, but it is endless! Also – the art. I ended up with a lot of my parents’ art but most of it isn’t my taste. I am slowly making decisions about it, but hard. Best to you as you settle into your life there. – betsy AKA selfhelpsunday

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    1. So nice to know someone else is a Talbot-wanna-be! As I sit here once again in shorts, a tank-top, and flip flops. It’s going to be in the 90s again – that’s my excuse. Yes, I’m looking at all the clothes I moved down and asking myself “why?”

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  2. Interested to know – did the work clothing make the trip to Florida? The crafting goodies? I hope so on both accounts. The work clothing can be accessorized for date night. Or lunches and brunches with your new friends. And the craft supplies…I bet you will get settled and start crafting again. Hope those things are still with you.

    I keep looking at my dress slacks and wondering why I am hanging onto them. But there’s church. And I am trying to make myself get dressed everyday or part of everyday since I spent the Covid year in yoga pants.

    Hugs!!

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    1. Yes, some work clothes are still in the closet. Crafting supplies as well. I’ve been told to wait a bit on getting rid of more clothes to see what I end up wearing here. But I think my “uniform” of shorts & T-shirts is gonna be where I end up!

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  3. Hi Pat! Progress! I realize it isn’t easy but when you DO get through this (and you will!) you will feel so much lighter ! And I have a practical suggestion for all your pictures and paintings! When we downsized we had the same problem so my husband decided to hang some of our in the garage. Yep, our garage is covered with art! And you know what? Whenever we drive in and out of our garage we get to enjoy them all…and sometimes more than the one’s hanging in the house. I highly recommend it! Good luck on everything else and I/we look forward to hearing more about your new home when you get a chance. ~Kathy

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    1. I chuckled about your garage perception. That’s been filled with Tim’s toys and there’s not a wall in sight. Ours isn’t really a “garage” as there is no car in it (never was, never will be). It’s really a massive man cave, with one small section for my kitchen overflow (platters, baking stuff, and holiday things).

      We have not tackled the hanging art work yet, but I’ve found homes (or put in go-away pile) for most of the ceramic and glass things that sit on shelves. I’m sure I will let everyone know the outcome of this artwork challenge when we get through it.

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  4. I love your heading above. Oh, those work clothes. I got rid of so many, yet I still have about six suits hung on hangers that I haven’t worn now in the seven years since I retired (well, maybe one of them worn once to a fancy restaurant), and worse: about ten fitted shirts, never worn and still in their original plastic hanging in the same closet. I can’t seem to part with them; there’s an innate symbolism about them which still clings apparently. So there they will sit for a few more years apparently. But the work ephemera? That’s easier – I have very little of that left thankfully. It’s a process, Pat. Don’t rush it! 🙂 – Marty

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  5. I felt this to the core, Pat. My day is coming, and just thinking of it has me overwhelmed. You are doing it though, and I suspect when it is done, you will feel lighter and more free. You give me hope that I, too, can downsize to one decluttered home.

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  6. I feel your pain….recently my husband and I down sized from 3 homes to 1. Also I retired after 31 years of a successful insurance agency (entire office required liquidation) which had excessive amounts of awards, team sponsorships and mandatory record keeping. Solution was a storage unit which is now full and half a garage full of boxes…exhausted to say the very least!!
    Maybe tomorrow….after yoga class I’ll feel like tackling more but very unlikely after all “what’s the rush?”
    Good luck and just remember you’re not alone!

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    1. Rita, good to know I am not alone. I’m really trying to avoid the storage unit as too many folks say it’s just a black hole that costs money. The garage of course is also full of hubby’s toys. I tackled files yesterday and have 3 more boxes to deal with… tossed at least a box worth of stuff. Yes, paid to move and then tossed! I thought 2 houses to 1 was tough… 3 to 1? Unimaginable.

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  7. I think we married the same man! Haha! When we move next year, it’s actually to a bigger house which does nothing to help with that! I relate to your dilemma. It’s hard to let go of things that bring back good memories of accomplishments and fun times. The art struggle is REAL! I sometimes rotate art, because I just can’t let it go. I’ve managed to get rid of a lot of things through resale on Poshmark (especially business attire). The idea of repurposing and making a little cash was motivating. Good luck with the unpacking and sorting!

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    1. We contemplated rotating the art, but that assumes we have places to store the things out of rotation (and that they fit spaces similarly). I’m not sure how it will go, especially as hubby is less likely to feel comfortable in giving things away. We have not even talked about when we will do this aspect of unpacking! We are both dreading it.

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  8. I understand the artwork dilemma. When I moved, I kept some of my favorite pieces even though they didn’t fit the new decor. They were kept under the bed!! But I couldn’t part with them because I loved them and they represented my enjoyment in finding just the right things for my house. After a few years, I finally was able to let go. I think we have to do these things at the pace that works for us emotionally. You’ll know when it’s time. However, there’s only so much space under the bed!!!

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    1. I chuckled on the “under the bed” comment – that space has already been claimed! A friend has a lovely sofa bed that she says is really comfortable and I wondered about getting a similar one for our guest room, which would make the room feel so much bigger. (That room doubles as my “office”.) But then realized I would loose the under-bed storage! I do think we will be using the 14′ ceiling height we have to create a large grouping of art (versus a single focal point) … a new approach for me.

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  9. My first thought is, “take your time!”, well, if you have a place to keep the boxes. My second thought is, “rent a storage unit to keep those things that you just can’t part with like your old work stuff.” Then my third thought was, “but why?” LOL
    Downsizing is really hard. I had not one but two storage spaces when we moved into the apartment. I brought all of that back to the house when we moved back into a house but honestly I’ve never touched most of the things in storage then or now.
    There is something oddly freeing about letting go of all of that “stuff” once you’ve gotten over the “but what if I need that” stage.
    Anyway, I know you and you will get it all done and all organized!
    Miss you already!!!!!

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    1. Candyse, I got to the “but why” pretty quickly, too. You do realize that all this stuff is in “your room” – I should send you a photo and then you’d be like, “get rid of it girl!” Tim, of course, is still totally in the “but what if I need that” stage. 🙂

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  10. I can’t even imagine what it was like to pack all that stuff and then agonize over where to put it when you unpacked. I’m very grateful that I don’t attach value to physical items and I own very few things that I wouldn’t want to part with. Owning stuff can be such a burden when it gets beyond our control but I’m sure you’ll eventually sort it all out. In the meantime, think of all the people whose lives you are blessing by giving away (or selling) things you don’t need, but things they’d be so excited to own. Good luck with it all and congrats on the move. x

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    1. Leanne, An interesting phrase “attach value to physical items”. I never would have thought I did, but I do. Monetary value and emotional value, both. I’m working on the “blessing” of giving things away… it’s helpful to me when the recipients say thank you…. and more have recently. And it felt genuine, too.

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  11. Oh Pat, I feel for you…and all that is happening.

    I thought I was pretty ruthless with my giveaways to family and charities when we moved from Sydney to retire on the coast. I did, however, keep some items of sentimentality e.g. from my late Mum….but in saying that the only things I regret giving away were some books.

    Yet at the time, I thought they went to those who would love them. I had no problem over time with clothes as I had done a lot of that before we moved – had retired a few times. Then, in the time we have been here I have lost weight so needed new clothes over time.

    There is a sense of shedding life as you/I know it when doing all this but also if you can don’t do it too ruthlessly just to make space. Live with it for a bit. Learn to let go of it more slowly if possible.

    That said, I have found that my husband is much more of a keeper of stuff than I ever knew. Hence a cupboard in this rental place is full of boxed textbooks from Uni he has finished…..

    Denyse

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    1. Denyse, I knew hubby was a keeper of stuff, and his stuff is easily 3X mine. I tried to just focus on mine and my challenge is “living with it” makes the place look messy. I’m never going to have a House-Beautiful home, but the clutter is more than I can deal with. And I refuse to get a storage unit… might as well just throw it away (versus throwing the money away to never touch it/see it). To note, writing it down in a blog has made me put some things in the Go-away pile! And I’m panning of doing more of that – I have a list. LOL.

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