Last week was huge – I finally closed on the big family house. It was a long, difficult last month with repeated trips to remove and deliver unwanted and unneeded stuff. A local charity received a windfall and drove away with an entire moving truck full of furniture and household goods. I was relieved to see it all go to a good home. I am so glad that I no longer have to care for a large home and keep track of all of the stuff associated with it.
I am one week away from closing on the sale of the large family home. This has been quite a process. I made the decision to sell in February, moved out in March, then hired a contractor to do some renovating to put the house in better selling condition. That work took two months. The house was on the market for almost three months. After one price drop, one failed negotiation and one scam offer, I had a contract with a legitimate buyer in late July.
My siblings and I are trying to encourage and help our mother move out of the Florida house where she has lived for twenty-five years and relocate to a senior independent living community in Virginia. (Truth be told, most of this burden has so far been on the shoulders of my oldest sister.) This is not an easy task but it should be done. Our Mom no longer drives and currently lives alone in a rural Florida community with poor health care options and limited senior resources.
We all have heroes in our lives. Maybe a teacher, a mentor, a parent, or even a child fits that bill. I have several. I must confess, I like strong women and many of my super heroes are just that, strong women. I’ve learned a lot from them and I still do. Maybe you can benefit from what I have learned.
I have been writing about my continuing downsizing efforts. It’s all come down to this: My house is being listed on MLS today and is officially on the market. My Realtor put a “coming soon” sign in the front yard last weekend. Following that, and before it was listed today, she showed the house five times to different buyers. One seemed very interested but no offer so now the house is open to all lookers. I just received my first text message requesting a showing this afternoon. (Scheduling is automated now.)
One definition of “legacy” is “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.” As baby boomers age, we think about our personal legacy, don’t we? I’m not referring to passing money or property to our kids. I’m talking about the intangibles, i.e., how will we be remembered when we are gone?
I’ve been busy this week getting rid of stuff, again. Early in the week I found a local non-profit that was willing to pick up some large pieces of furniture that I didn’t use: a sofa bed, chest of drawers, television, sectional sofa, and coffee table. Wow – did this open up some space in my house and my life!
I took another car-full of stuff to Goodwill and the dump today. As usual, it gave me another little “downsizing high.” I enjoy the realization that I am another car load closer to being able to move from this big house. Do you get a rush from freeing yourself from stuff?
According to the title from a well-known Thomas Wolfe novel, You Can’t Go Home Again. This sentiment is often brought up when we reminisce about the places where we grew up, our “family of origin” home. Sometimes we think that life would be better there, that we would feel more secure or more loved. I thought of this today while watching a local theater production of “The Trip to Bountiful.”
I have too much stuff in a house that’s too big. No big news there. Many people in my situation would hold garage sales and/or “moving” sales to get rid of a bunch of stuff all at once. I think garage sales are a poor investment of my time. I’m not ready to move so there is no point in opening up my house to a bunch of bargain hunters for a moving sale. Instead, when the mood hits, I take a few photographs, write a few words and “boom”, I’ve got stuff listed on Craigslist. So far it is working great, even for things I own that are not mainstream.