Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Are We Making Progress?

     Into every retiree's life comes a little decluttering. As I mentioned in my April 29 post, we have put our house on the market with the idea of moving on to smaller digs and perhaps sunnier climes. The real-estate market must be pretty hot these days, because we've already received a solid offer.

     That's good news, right? Except now we're in a panic. Did we really mean to do this? Where are we going to relocate? Everything is moving too fast for us old stick-in-the-muds.

     But we have started to pack. Here's what our basement used to look like:

From this

     And this is what it looks like this morning:

To this

     Tell me we've made some progress, please. Here's a view of my so-called tool room from a few weeks ago:

From this

     And this is what it looks like now. We've made some headway, don't you think? Although, as you can see, for some reason we've still got a baby gate from 20-odd years ago.

To this

     I might show you pictures of the upstairs, except B won't let me because she says it's too messy. Um ... I'm not sure I'll ever be able to show a picture of the upstairs, because I have a feeling it's always too messy.

To this
From this
     On another completely different subject, did you hear that they want to change the name of Budweiser beer? They're renaming it America. Does that seem as boneheaded a move to you as it does to me and B? They've been building this brand for a century, and now they're going to throw it all away?

     On the other hand, maybe it's just a plot by the great public-relations/media/advertising complex to get us talking about the product. And we are talking about it. The way they got us talking about Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. But ... are we really making progress?

23 comments:

DJan said...

Yes, you've made progress, but there is so much still to go. And nowhere to move it all, that's what would scare me! I don't drink Bud but use it in my garden to snag slugs. Seems perfect to me. :-)

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Looks to me like you and B would have benefitted from one of those decluttering classes the retirement homes are giving. I have a feeling that where ever you land you will never open many of those boxes.

gigihawaii said...

We went through the same thing back in 2014 when we decided to rent out our master bedroom and bath. So much to discard and donate.

Cindi said...

Tom, are you going to bring most of that stuff with you to your new home?
For us, other than personal keepsakes, Mr. Salvation Army and Mrs. Estate Sale reaps the benefits. We're taking practically nothing with us when it's time to leave. Oh, and yes, Ms. Garbage Container will be parked in our driveway. We can't wait to toss away all this clutter. UGH.

Anonymous said...

I see some empty shelves, and a lot more floor space, so you're doing good. I've completely decluttered my house, and am staying put. I thought I wanted to downsize to a condo, until I looked at more than 20 with a realtor, and every single one had music/noise blaring from the other tenants' windows. In my 20's, I probably could tolerate that, but in my 60's, no way. So, no thanks. Peace and quiet is paramount to me, so I'm staying in my house. I wouldn't want to deal with an elevator each time I entered or exited my house, or a communal mailbox, etc.

retirementreflections said...

Your pictures do show real progress!
We retired this past June and moved into our new home and new city (and returned to our home country after being overseas for 14 years). My company provided a very generous shipment container, and we already had a full storage unit in Canada. We did a fair bit of downsizing of our belongings then...but said that we would do a major re-haul after we were in our new home for one year..so we would have a better idea of what we needed and what we didn't. As our year is almost up, I am all ears to any great decluttering tips that you, or your readers, may have.
Donna
www.retirementreflections.com

Tom Sightings said...

There is so much still to go? Please say it ain't so! And Dianne, nevermind that wherever we land we will never open many of those boxes -- many of those boxes we've never even opened since we moved in here nine years ago! Anyway, thanks for all the encouragement as we keep on consolidating and decluttering.

Olga Hebert said...

Just looking at those pictures gave me mild heart palpitations. Good luck.

christina neumann said...

I know a lot about decluttering and minimalizing( just saying since I've done so much!!). A couple of fun books are the Don Aslett books. They're kinda quirky but he really started this decluttering idea as we know it, in the 90's. I found his books at a used bookstore and they really are a hoot. Try and find them soon so you can 'more easily' get rid of those boxes you've never opened. Also, Flylady's site is good. I used her ideas when I first started decluttering @ 5 years ago. Of course, the Marie Kondo book is all the rage. I like some of it but all.
you'll get there...just keep sorting, throw our, keep, donate.!!!

Rian said...

Keep up the postings. I'm taking notes. Although we aren't quite ready to make the down-sizing move, we have been here for 30 years and have tons of closet and garage clutter. So I'm starting the process now... before the decision has even been discussed seriously. However, even when I just begin to think about it, I'm overwhelmed.
And my neighbors did the same thing as you, put their house on the market before finding a place to move - and it sold. They were in the same dilemma. Rented until they actually found a smaller house in a retirement village. They seem happy with the move.

Celia said...

OMG! This is exactly what I did two years ago and my house sold in ONE DAY. The for sale sign wasn't even up. Then there was the mad dash to find the new place. I cheated. I put a lot of stuff in storage, rented an apartment and took a little time. Not too much as things are selling so fast. I was lucky, a former neighbor told me of a condo that was being sold but not listed. I went right over and the seller and I made a happy bargain that her bank and my attorney handled. I still panicked at times. I'm very happy with my move. Good luck, the right place is out there.

olynjyn said...

We are cleaning out my mother's home since she passed the end of February...she was always a meticulous housekeeper and had downsized from a 4 bedroom farmhouse. Many household and kitchen furnishings, plus clothing are being donated to a woman's shelter to help battered women who come there with nothing get a start to a better life. The clothing helps to get employment and begin to take steps to independence. We feel good about helping folks who leave a terrible situation with nothing and can take steps through donations to making a better life for themselves and their family.

Wendy Roth said...

just loving your transition story. but not very much stuff in your basement or your tool area.lots of people would love to have such a cleared space before decluttering. 15 years ago my girlfriend and her husband sold their 4 bedroom, full basement house and were having a yard sale 2 days before moving out. My husband and I went over to help with the sale to find her in the kitchen gently wrapping dishes and labeling boxes. nothing else in the house had been packed. the basement was so full of stuff you couldnt walk. the hardest job we have ever had was packing for her, with her wailing we were putting anything and everything in boxes and not sorting things. we got them packed and out in two days and she still has packed boxes from then. So now I am a clear clutter addict and my husband clings to everything he has. He even has a t shirt from high school which would fit one leg now. 6 years ago our neighbors offered to buy our farm and we got a bidding war going with the man on the other side of us. My husband took another job in another state and we had 3 weeks to find an apartment 3 states over and pack and take to a local auction contents of horse barn, garage, and outbuilding. we had to get rid of the tractor and truck and old car my husband was saving his dad had left him. but i loved it. oh the adventure. best of luck with your new adventure. And i suggest you read the book The Oregon Trail, about two brothers traversing the trail a few years back in covers wagon pulled by mules. Stories of settlers making theme out west. The best book I have ever read. Now thats moving.

Stephen Hayes said...

Erma Bombeck might have said it best: "War is hell, but moving is worse."

Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com said...

Hey Tom! Congratulations for selling your house so quickly and on your progress. And no, it doesn't really get any easier even if you think you have a lot of time to sit around thinking about it! Deadlines can be very useful. And trust me, moving all that stuff you aren't sure you need isn't worth it AT ALL. Far better to donate or sell and be done with it. Meanwhile, the rest of us are enjoying your experience. :-) ~Kathy

Anonymous said...

Living in the pacific northwest where micro brews are king and queen, I shudder at BUD because bud here is recreational marijuana and BUD is for the yahoos who enjoy Donald Trump..I get a kick out of your column, I would hire someone to get rid of our crap, we got rid of a lot a fellow helped us and we recycled until we wanted to scream and rest was taken away by people who wanted to make some money from a place that gave them some cash, they are regular people at the food pantry where I cook, clean and my hubs helps me to get good sources of protein to them, I shop with our own money and the people who come thru have very little and need food to work in excess of 60 hours a week, with tiny babies and some don't even have their mates/husbands/wives to boot!

Barbara said...

Dumb move on Bud's part. I don't like things to get renamed: buildings, streets, dollar bills, beer. Maybe that's just because I'm getting older and I like to recognize things I know.

On the move subject, congrats and yes, it does look like your making packing progress. I know move before last when I sold my house and moved to an apartment, it took me at least three different walk throughs as far cleaning and decluttering went. I recommend that. First wave you get rid of what you know you don't need. Second wave you get rid of what you want but know you don't need. Third wave you get rid of things because you are tired of boxing and carrying and just want this packing business to be over. Worse thing anyone does is pack it all and say I'll go through it at the next place. Nope. No a good thing but you'll have to do it the way that works best for you. Fingers crossed.

Tom Sightings said...

Wendy Roth ... how did you know?!? I started reading The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck about three days ago. I'm up to the part where they visit the Brown Agricultural Museum and see all the windmills. We're thinking of making a trip along the Oregon Trail, maybe next year, except instead of three mules and a wagon, our prairie schooner will be a 2014 Acura sedan.

Janette said...

We have been here a year and are still getting rid of stuff! Green Drop is your friend!
Moving was an excellent decision for us. I wish we has rented first---but it is still good!

Kailani said...

You've made great progress. My retirement is a couple of years away, but I read The Art of Decluttering, and dozens of black trash bags later, and many Good Will receipts, all the clutter is GONE. Good luck with your downsizing! We'll be moving to AZ when I retire; can't wait for even more sunshine than southern California provides. ;)

Douglas said...

First, define "progress." The I will submit just one word: Trash!
That is, it is best to just haul everything off to a junkyard or landfill... except B's stuff, of course.

Jane said...

I received a post that said they followed the advice to get rid of anything that didn't bring joy, so they threw out all the vegetables and bills.

I offer my house cleaners stuff I don't use and they are thrilled.

Karen D. Austin said...

I had a "too fast" experience, also. I listed my house on a Saturday at the end of this April, hoping to sell in the REPUTED average time on market (45 days) and close 30 days after that. That Monday (two days after listing) we had 5 showings, two offers, and the winner of the offer requested that we vacate the week before my "ideal" move date. GAH! All my best to the both of you. I didn't downsize my stuff enough to match my smaller house, but at this point, I'll have to sort through the remaining stuff on the flip side. I look forward to seeing a pre-approved part of your new house.