Thursday, December 18, 2014


Downsizing with Tiny House Nation: The Charm of Home
Do you ever think you experience things in life as a test? There have been many changes in the past year and there will be several more in the next two coming years.  It seems there is a plan in place to see what I am really made of.  I am sailing along, the water is fine, and then wham; here comes change.  It is funny how you can take things for granted.  In a heartbeat the kids grow up.  The family changes. What seemed liked endless days of happiness turns into constant states of busyness, and then suddenly you are forced with bittersweet choices. Your parents age and need to be closer to you for help. Once the child, you are now reversing roles with your parent.  How did that happen?  

Downsizing was an enormous reality for my Mother in 2013. She had lived with her Father, my Grandfather, for 17 years and on his passing last May she downsized and moved to a home close by me. My Mother can be a challenge any day of the week, but really as her daughter I had to step in and help her. Sometimes the reality hits you right in the face and your staring at a large property that is just of no use anymore.  It becomes so smart to downsize.  It just becomes the obvious choice.  When I went to help Mom move it was amazing the volume of things we had to sort through. My Grandfather was a gifted man with so many hobbies and a love of so many things.  Sorting through his personal items was a humbling experience.  A man who had a lifetime devoted to his wife and two children.  In everything he had you could see the love and great care he generously gave to his family.  I found myself speechless; I am beyond speech, staring at receipts for school workbooks for his two daughters from 1957.  What on earth makes a person carefully tuck away every record of the lives he so gingerly watched over?  He was a man who felt responsible and cared for others on such a deep level that there was a reverence to the things he saved. 

Downsizing with Tiny House Nation: The Charm of Home
   There was a time remembered of that day and that event that meant something to him.  Knowing that you matter to an individual like that is a love like no other.  So downsizing becomes a time to move forward.  It becomes a slow and steady goal.  You know it is for a better outcome.  Life is going to get easier.  Downsizing can give you a regained sense of freedom from things.  Less things means more time for what really matters.  Downsizing has been a catharsis for my Mother and unexpectedly also on me.  I now have a perspective I hadn't stopped to mull over before.  They say with age comes wisdom.  I say with downsizing comes a lesson, in many ways, of what is really important in life.


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Laurel Stephens said...

This is such a moving post, Sherry. I love how you look at the challenge of downsizing, and you taught me something today about the reasons people collect the little things they do, things that may seem inconsequential to us. Thank you.

Betty from My Irish Cottage Home said...

We have had major changes in our lives for the last five years and when I thought it could not get worse it has. Another change and in a few months we may have another. I take one day at a time and deal with it. We have downsize in parts of our lives during those times because we had to. One day I would like to because we want to. We do learn alot when life challenges us don't we.

Teresa said...

Beautifully written!

Nicki said...

What a sweet post! I think the world of men who are good and devoted fathers, and you are very lucky to have him as yours! Yes- I've always been a fan of downsizing and "less is more." I hope the process goes smoothly for you and your mother. Thanks for sharing!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Yes, downsizing is a major change and not always welcome. However, When my mother was transferred into a Nursing Home, things arose that I never knew existed and it has taken a year to get her affairs in order. It's a very long story, fraught with heartache and other trials, but she is where she needs to be. And now she is close enough that we can visit her any time we want. I have learned a lot in the process. Thanks for sharing, Sherry.


At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Bravo for you for helping your mother. It is sometimes hard to get them to part with things. I try to encourage my mother-in-law to part with things that are just clutter (very little success) then I come home and reduce a lot of closet clutter. At least I'm going to leave my daughters with very little to get rid of... Hopefully!

Heaven's Walk said...

How well I know how important downsizing is, Sherry -- and how quickly life can force you to make that decision. I spent months going through my parents' things. Each paper, each shirt, each dish I touched, I wondered why they had kept it...if they had used it...what I should do with it. Many things I kept because I knew they had meant so much to them. It was a difficult task, but also quite a blessing. The memories surrounded me, embraced me, and lifted me up. This Christmas season, as I lifted some of their tree ornaments from an old box, I felt their love. Growing old and facing the stark realities of life is definitely not easy...but if we can do it gracefully and lovingly, we are blessed.

xoxo laurie

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This was such a thoughtful post! I lived close to my Mother for all my life till she passed away a few years ago. I knew she saved a lot of things-- she was very frugal. When I had to clean out her house of 60 plus years i felt overwhelmed at first but little by little I was able to do it by selling, donating, recycling and saving a few things myself as keepsakes. I fully understand being emotionally attached to some items in life but I now am much more discerning on what I save!

Anonymous said...

I am very touched by your post. As I recently lost my Mother who had so many mementos that meant the world to her dating back to the 1920's. It is heartbreaking to have to decide to give things away that you know were important. I had to move my disabled Brother from her house and move myself twice this year so I know all about downsizing. My Brother moved to a small one bedroom and so did I. Downsizing is so necessary and the relief that it all finally brings once its over. From my Mom I kept two plastic bins of her personal items, her jewelry, teapots antique books she loved, all the family Xmas items and photos, a set of antiques and let everything else go. I simply had to make the hard decisions. Those items were carefully chosen over a period of 5 years during which time I decided to wait until 5 years to make any hard decisions on getting rid of her things. I felt her spirit cheering me with each step. I have gone from having to close out her home with two large storage sheds, to one small apartment with zero storage. Once a downsizing project is complete its a very good feeling. Especially when we do it thoughtfully with care for everything that meant so much to our parents.