So many questions! 1) How do you KNOW what to throw away? 2)What happens if you toss something and need it again? 3)What kind of storage containers do you use? 4) How do you know the size to get? 5) What are you actually “storing” for? 6) What do you do with things you want your family to have? How do you know what they want?
These six questions came to me this past week. These are all personal questions….all depending upon who and what you are as to what you are willing to let go of how, why and when. Because I do something a certain way is usually done because I have watched others do things and have screened their ways to help form my ways. Nothing is ever set in concrete. When I see something that is a better way, I go for it!
I will only relate to you what and how I am doing things now. This is my last apartment, I presume, that I will choose on my own. So at my age, and many of you who read my Blog are in my age bracket, meaning 75 to 85, we have shared many portions of living even though we have not known each other, but our ways would have been somewhat similar.
I ordered a new chest this week and it has arrived and is waiting to be put together. I have one of the same style that I purchased but it is 60″ wide. There is not room in Assisted Living apartments here on campus for it. It has 6 drawers, 3 each side by side. The one I purchased has 5 drawers straight up. This will allow more room which is at a real premium in Assisted Living Apartments.
I purchased four Sterilite storage bins that set on top of each other, The size is 17″ D., 14-3/8″ W., and 10-1/4″ H. 27 Qt. size. One is for sheets/pillowcases. One is for towels, and so on.
What do I need now when I have no place to go but to Assisted Living if the Lord so chooses that way. I need two sets of towels. Two fingertip towels. That is one of the new bins. Another has one set of sheets and various pillow slips. I have one set of summer sheets and one set of flannel, PERIOD!
There is the holiday storage bin. It is a bit larger. It has two Christmas IDEALS Magazines in it, One baggie of ornaments, candle lights for my two windows, and two fingertip towels for Christmas time. There are several keepsakes in there. I tossed everything else. Space is decreasing – not increasing. For comparison sake, in “other times” I had 9 apple boxes of holiday decorations, on a long shelf in the garage. Different, isn’t it!!!!
Your general rule of thumb, when down-sizing, should be to lay the things out on the bed and sort them. (All linens first. All towels next. Etc.) Keep only what you “need” and that is generally two sets of everything, i.e., sheets, towels, etc. Never throw something away unless you have not used it during the past year, excluding holiday items.
I purchase all of my shoes online – most of them are used. Some never worn. Some worn only a short while, maybe a week or two. My arches collapsed more than two decades ago. Because of all the screws in my feet it is very difficult to break in new shoes. It is easier if I can get a pair that has been worn only a few times. I order SAS shoes on Ebay. If people have purchased SAS shoes, they have paid a 3 bracket price for them, so I know they have taken care of them. I purchase brown, black, blue, taupe, both in a tie shoe and a slip on. You are able to see them on Ebay. Many people ask about Amazon. I do not like the way they lay things out. I prefer the simple way of Ebay. Right now I have 12 pair of shoes, but when I move again, there will be 3 pair of shoes. How do I know that!!
I watch ladies now in their mid 90’s have trouble getting their socks and shoes on and have to have help. When you are at that stage variety is not what you need, comfort is what you need. Right now I have the mind to decide what one I want, so I am enjoying shoes that match or blend with the color I am wearing. But I have in my possession shoes for the “now”, and shoes for “when needed”. In my mind down sizing has been done with my shoes even though I have many pairs to use right now.(Clear as mud? Thot so!)
The same goes for clothing. Where I have 3 pair of black slacks (one for every day, one for Sunday and one for summer), I will have 1 pair when I move again. However, I have 3 pair of Alfred Dunner Jeans and they will go with me. So variety will be there and yet controlled. SPACE WILL DETERMINE THAT FOR YOU – YOU WILL NOT DETERMINE IT FOR YOURSELF.
I hope this has enlightened you who are down-sizing. Throwing away is not always easy but it is the thing to do when the right time comes.
As old like I am, I find this to be a very convenient way of down sizing and yet living with the present. Decisions don’t have to be made later – they have already been made.
You asked about giving things to your family. I strongly recommend that you give what you want a person to have while you can enjoy seeing them receive it and at times, even use it.
I gave my youngest g’daughter my china, sterling, and silver. One Christmas Eve she and Tyler invited me for dinner. It was candle light and I felt right at home as I sat down with them. So many, many times I had set our table for guests just as Lia had set it for me. I will never forget that evening. You see, I have the memories of “other times” with my husband and of the “now times” of my life enjoying a g’daughter with something that I had for so many years.
You asked about knowing what they like/want. Don’t dissect. Whatever you want them to have, give it to them with a great deal of love attached. They may give it to someone else. That is their choice. It became “theirs” when you gave it to them. Your ownership ceased when you gave it.
Make your own memories. It is worth it all and you will never be sorry for where you have been and the way you have been because it has brought you to where you are today.
The tomorrow that you thought about yesterday has arrived today and it is a very good day for each of us. I am sure you have many things that you cherish. You have many things that are good for you but not the best for you. That is an area that is entirely, completely, personal and only you with the leading of your Lord can handle that with less stress and the quietness of your spirit within.
So……….many blessings – – mega blessings – – – – – – for you!!!!