Downsizing for dummies One

Downsizing  can be daunting. Moving house anyway is often stressful, but downsizing includes jettisoning many loved objects acquired as we’ve drifted through our lives in order to fit into  (new, smaller) available spaces.

Downsizing

You can read more about the above image and article  here.

My husband and I (both in our eighties) decided we did not need a two-storey house, extra bed- and living-rooms and a study. Time to rethink where we live and how to get there.

Our road to a new lifestyle hit a bump when a stranger we met in a lift on our way to view an apartment for sale eyed my husband and me up and down. Then  she asked if we were planning to invest or move in.

‘Cheeky bitch.’ I thought. ‘It’s none of her business.’

 

‘ We’re downsizing,’ I said.

 

‘You’ve left it a bit late, haven’t you? I would have thought that at your age…’ she said.

Until then we hadn’t considered we were ‘too old’ to downsize. We simply knew it was time.

Until then, also, we didn’t know there were rules about age and moving house. Next time we need to make a decision, we’ll read the instructions about how to age more closely and try to follow them, instead of carrying on like a couple wayward kids. You’d think we’d know better, at our age!

Her comment made me think (again) about the move and whether it was a good idea. It is! It will be even better when we re resettled.

Our reasons for downsizing include

  • We’ll have more time to play. There will be less cleaning, maintenance and gardening. I love homemaking and we both enjoy gardening, but now they feel like chores that sometimes overwhelm us.
  • We will possess less, including an extra car, so we’ll have fewer things that require our attention.
  • Ageing in place,’ a concept espoused by the Australian government for managing care of the ageing population, appeals to us. Older people who age in place live their lives in surroundings they they call ‘home’. A smaller house makes this easier for everyone.
  • The decision about where we live belongs to us, rather than our kids deciding what should become of us as we grow older.
  • It’s a sobering thought that there is a high probability that one of us will  die before the other. It we are already in a smaller place, the survivor will be set up with viable options to continue living in a comfortable, familiar home.

Frivolous reasons for downsizing AT OUR AGE.

  • Change and new adventures beckon.
  • We fancy living and participating in a vibrant community rather than in suburban sprawl or a retirement village.
  • Our plans include short walks to the shops, cafes, church and bookshops. Trains nearby will take us to Perth city and its art gallery and museum, the Alexander Library, the Fringe Festival, theatres…
  • We can literally lock up and leave, instead of organising for someone to water garden or returning to dead plants.
  • Someone else will rake the leaves and bark from the box trees on our verge.

What better reasons exist for a couple in their eighties to move to greener pastures?

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15 thoughts on “Downsizing for dummies One

  1. Yes! to all that. And I love your picture of the community you will move to. I can already imagine your short list. As one who has downsized many times, only recently to upsize (just a little) to a slightly larger apartment, not because I really needed more space, but because it is more secure (in the same house) I think it is a very valuable process. No need to rattle round like two peas in an empty pod, you can fit comfortably like spoons in a draw (not sure about those images). Happy moving, when it comes.

    • I have watched you downsize a few times, Christina, and your move to your present home has been an inspiration for me. You have blazed the way and I’ve learned from you, about making new homes and settling so happily into new communities. I do long for that. Thank you for your kind wishes.

  2. Oh, Maureen. Thank you for this. It’s incitful, sobering, joyful and exciting all at the same time. Much to consider instead of pretending things will be just the same in another 10 years time! Good luck, and looking forward to seeing your new home, with envy.

    • Deborah, thank you for your endorsement of my post. I find thinking about ten years time almost impossible but I do like to play with the idea of next year and the one after. Our new home will be quite different from anything I’ve ever contemplated, except that John and I have had some pretty awesome holidays in Europe, living for a few weeks at a time in apartments which we loved. This might be one long holiday.

  3. Maureen my girls helped us downsize. Almost every item was held up “do you want this, do you love it, do you need it. Hesitate for a second and it was in the garage sale pile! I need them to come and do it again as we still have cupboards of things we haven’t used since our move two and half years ago!
    Exciting times ahead for you and John. Love and best wishes for finding and settling into your new home! Xx

  4. Maureen I love your posts precisely because you don’t do or say the ‘expected’ things ‘for your age’. You do things that makes sense to you – and why not?!
    Your thoughts about not being limited by age reminded me of a video I saw recently on Facebook – you may have seen it, too – of a 97-yr-old man who is a sprinter, having taken up running aged 95. It’s a fabulous film clip to watch!
    All the best with finding your new home.

    • I saw that film clip, Fiona, and loved it and was inspired. I am lucky to have had some wonderful role models for the journey of ageing, and hope to go on as I’ve started. Thank you for your kind wishes for our new-home search.

  5. Sounds like the perfect time to make this move, Maureen. Why move earlier when you didn’t need to? Leave it as late as possible, I say! Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures in your new home!

    • I think so, too, Louise. I am so looking forward to a new lifestyle, hopefully a bit less busy with tasks that have somehow lost their impetus to make us happy and more space for play and creativity. I think those two are actually parts of a whole, and I have missed them lately.

    • Thanks, Miriam. I imagine there’ll be a lot to write about our move, our new home and lifestyle. Hope to keep writing and taking photos for a long time yet.

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