So we prepped the house to sell. We hired a cleaning company to clean and stage the house while we were out of town. The “and stage” message apparently got garbled, as chairs were left on top of tables, and things were not staged. And the house was opened to realtors and potential buyers, while we were still out of town. Our realtor called us and took the house off the market until we could get home to re-stage things.
In the meantime, our house sold in one (1) day–we were expecting it to take at least a month to find a buyer, especially so late in the season. Suddenly, we needed to make new living arrangements, down-size and move in less than 30 days, so we could turn the house over to the new buyers.
We found a 3 bedroom townhouse in Centerville, closer to Lee’s office, that we felt would work. With the help of a lot of friends, we were able to move in by the end of the month. We ended up having to lift some furniture up over the back deck, as it wouldn’t fit through the stairwell to get it up to the second floor or higher. Brownie had an office in one of the extra bedrooms on the third floor while Lee used the den on the first floor as his office.
OK with the living arrangements taken care of we needed to then liquidate 35 years of stuff we’d collected especially the contents of Lee’s woodshop. This was very difficult for us and there were several people who got great deals as thousands of dollars worth of tools needed to find new homes.
We also managed to get rid of most of our outdoor furniture and still ended up with a very full single car garage on the first floor of our townhouse.
We also had to deal with 3 trailers and 3 cars. We managed to sell 2 of the 3 trailers and the 3rd one which was being made into a camper trailer ended up being donated to an organization called Christ in Action to be used by a Missionary Couple who actively go to disaster areas working recovery.
We had 3 motor vehicles. One was sold outright to a friend – We ended up using it while we in Fairhaven, MA at the Shipyard. Lee’s commuter car – a convertible Hardtop Miata was bought by a collector. Finally Lee’s Diesel Excursion ended up being bought by another family who were in our Lord’s service. They drove all the way from Michigan to PA to get it.
Once we had the vehicles taken care of we were able to liquidate the remaining items via craigslist and then the rest went to Salvation Army, Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity Restore.
So in less than a year, we went from living in a house capable of easily housing 8 people with all of its contents down to a 47′ sailboat. Downsizing was not easy. We are all attached to physical things and when forced to figure out what is truly important can be very liberating.
At the end of the day it’s worth thinking in terms of if a match were to be dropped into the middle of your possessions, what are the ones that you would be truly devastated to lose. Those are the ones that can’t be replaced – they are the ones that contain your memories – pictures, recordings and family heirlooms.
Everything else is replaceable and you can do without them. Don’t be afraid of downsizing!