What Should You Keep When You’re Downsizing?
Downsizing from a large house to a retirement community can be confusing and overwhelming. The two lifestyles are so different and it can be hard to imagine what all the changes will mean in day-to-day terms.
Let’s look at how one person, we’ll call her Lois (not her real name), decided what to take from her kitchen. Lois loved to entertain, and she had all of the supplies to do it, and do it well. Her dining room cabinets held multiple sets of fine china, plus serving platters, holiday plates, and chafing dishes. Her kitchen held a wide array of cake pans, pie pans and cookie sheets, a sizable collection of stainless steel cookware and several sets of flatware.
One of the reasons that Lois was moving was so that she wouldn’t have to keep up with cooking three meals a day. She planned to eat dinner in the community dining room.
The Challenge of Downsizing
But even though she didn’t have as much energy, she knew she still might want to entertain sometimes. If she didn’t take any of these supplies with her, would she be giving up cooking and baking for the rest of her life? On the other hand there wouldn’t be room for most of what she had. The kitchen and oven were small and the area for the dining table in her apartment was tiny.
But what about her great-grandson’s birthday? She had wanted to bake a cake for him like she had for each of her other children and grandchildren. There wouldn’t be space enough for a party in her apartment, but the community had promised her that she could reserve the private dining room for special occasions. In that case, the community chefs would cook the meal.
What about Thanksgiving? She had always made that big Thanksgiving dinner. But her daughter had been offering for years to take over the annual family gatherings; maybe Lois could actually let her do that.
The Downsizing Solution
When she thought about it, she realized that what she liked the most was sharing time with the people she loved. And she could still do that without having to exhaust herself with days of cooking before the event. Maybe she could still bake a cake for her grandson in her new apartment. Maybe she could bring a pie to her daughter’s house for Thanksgiving.
In the end she decided to move just four place settings, plus her coffee maker, toaster, a couple of sauce pans, and a frying pan. Plus she brought her cake mixer and her cake pans.
It was hard to leave all those things behind. But Lois took comfort knowing that her things would be used and loved by other people for their family events. As it turned out, the next Thanksgiving, she still got to help cook, but she did it in her daughter’s kitchen with various family members pitching in. She still got to eat from the holiday plates. They looked just as cheerful in her daughter’s dining room as they had looked all of those years in her old house.
If you are planning a downsizing move, it can be challenging to say the least. Give Moving Forward Inc. a call, we can help with all the details and make your life and your move so much easier!
**originally published 7/25/10