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Old 03-29-2015, 08:05 AM
 
Location: CT
3,461 posts, read 1,856,983 times
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After reading another thread on downsizing, it called to mind the emotional struggle of leaving things that are familiar behind and letting go. I thought I'd put this out there to learn how some of you handled this transition in your lives.

We're going to be moving out of state in a couple of years, and we have to sell our house in the next year or so and begining to purge. We've been here 30 years, our kids grew up here and we had our careers here, it's our home and it holds lots of memories. Everything we touch reminds us of a moment in our life, that's what makes it so hard to let go. Even little things left behind by the "kids", remind us of the days we all enjoyed together as a family. This is the hardest thing I think we've ever had to do, we'll be leaving this place where we were all together, it has a personality and a familiarity, like saying goodbye to an old freind for the last time. But the "kids" have moved on, we are finishing our careers, and the neighborhood is slowly evolving, and so are we. We go through phases and at every phase there is change and we make new memories and experiences. Although we both look forward to our future but letting go of our past is tough.
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,125 posts, read 9,086,149 times
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Snowtired, I read your post and thought how sad it must be to go through this after wonderful years in a house you loved and enjoyed. Loss is a very big thing in life, and it seems to get worse as we age, when we start to lose not only things, but people too. The only saving grace is looking forward to a brand new life, in a brand new place with the challenges (and frustrations) it brings. Yes, you will be tested. Yes you will be wishing you could stop time and go back. But, nevertheless, you will be challenged to find your way in this phase of your life. Take heart. We have all been there. It is a phase and you will pass through. Best to you. Barb
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,357 posts, read 10,346,234 times
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wow-30 yrs in one house.


My mom had to do that too. She and Dad built it. I was 1 yr old when they moved in.

Neither of us kids wanted it-I lived in PA by then, and my sister in TX. Neither of us wanted to return to NY.

I think what made it a bit easier for her (and I hope, when the time comes for you) is that the family that bought it had 2 daughters, both going to the same school my sister and I had gone to. They let her visit occasionally too.

It won't be easy letting it go but, as PhxBarb said-look to the future. You will have had your time there. Time to pass the house on.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:32 AM
 
8,204 posts, read 11,918,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
wow-30 yrs in one house.

My mom had to do that too. She and Dad built it. I was 1 yr old when they moved in.
My parents at 87 & 82 are still in the same house I grew up in - - - 58 years and still going. I think that is one reason I haven't been able to get them to move to something that would be easier on them. My wife and I, on the other hand, have lived in 8 residences in 35 years, so moving and downsizing hasn't been as big an issue for us.
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:15 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
My parents at 87 & 82 are still in the same house I grew up in - - - 58 years and still going. I think that is one reason I haven't been able to get them to move to something that would be easier on them. My wife and I, on the other hand, have lived in 8 residences in 35 years, so moving and downsizing hasn't been as big an issue for us.
Yup, that is the same for us. We both have lived in the culture of moving up in residences within the same area. We had 6 residences including 4 homes before we transplanted. Our last one was 23 years. That included two apartments and 4 homes. Of course all of this was a function of a growing housing market and home appreciation.
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:46 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,846 posts, read 18,867,840 times
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You don't have to get rid of everything at once. Just separate things out. Take the obvious give aways to charity like the Salvation Army. Then have things that you know you want to keep (you will probably winnow those down later) and a section for the in betweens.

I found that it helped to have a friend with me saying,"do you really need this?" My first instinct was to keep everything but with someone else there it made sense to listen to her and get rid of some of it. It's very difficult. It doesn't seem to matter much if you've lived in one house or dragged everything with you every time you moved. There is the house itself that holds memories though so that's one difference.

A very old lady long ago told me something I have never forgotten: "Life is like the chapters in a book. One chapter ends and another one begins." I'm seeing that for myself now, there definitely are stages. Think of the new stage and what you might need going forward. Just grit your teeth and get rid of a lot of the stuff from the old stage. You'll be surprised that you won't miss it in your new stage.
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:23 AM
 
1,831 posts, read 2,599,001 times
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I totally get it as we were in a very similar situation. Had lived in our house for over 34 years, it was new construction so we watched it being built, and raised our children there from birth. A LOT of memories. One thing I did, as much for me as our boys, was put together what I called our house book. Spent a fall after retirement before we got real serious with downsizing and went through old pictures, back to the days of slides. Scanned and picked them, starting with pictures of the house under construction, then various remodels, pics of kids at different ages, pets, various holidays in the house, family visits there, general outdoor pics, etc. and used one of the photo services, think Shutterfly and had it made into a book, one for each kid and one for me for presents at our last Christmas in the house. I used the old song, "Our house, is a very, very fine house..." as the opening. I think it was as cathartic for me going through that process than anything else.

Someone mentioned feeling better knowing another family with kids was moving in. I have that half way. The young couple, with a baby, bought it because they did not want a "starter" home but one they would live in and raise their family. I liked that idea. Now, if they had just not been so "first time buyers" paranoid picky and then two months after they bought it they took down a huge grove of native hardwood trees making the backyard bare. Apparently they are also first time over paranoid parents who worry about everything for their baby. I have had a hard time letting go knowing it's their place and they can do what they like.

You will survive it. We are still making connections in our new location. I think that's a lot of it too, trying to define what you want and how to find those new places, people, things, to start putting down some roots.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:05 PM
 
26,591 posts, read 52,313,328 times
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My 101 year old neighbor recently passed and she lived alone the last 21 years since her husband died.

Quite a lady and sharp as a tack...

She has one daughter with Grandchildren and all live far away so I was helping the family.

They selected a few things like albums, family papers, something that came West by wagon train to keep...

In the end... 98% went to a consignment center after a Saint Vincent donation and they said it was best... nothing really antique... just regular furniture like two bedroom sets and similar.

Funny thing is my neighbor was fastidious about keeping the home in perfect condition... new roof, upgraded HVAC, perfect landscape, had the floors refinished etc... all done so her daughter wouldn't be burdened with a home needing repairs...

Home sold quickly for a new neighborhood record and I kept an eye on things until it did... did a walk through every night after work...

Off topic... why is it Realtors and their clients can't lock a door or fail to turn off appliances???

So at least one Mom was working hard to lighten the burden for her daughter...
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:17 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,183 posts, read 2,857,897 times
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I think you have to live in the moment. Yes, the memories are genuine and precious - and you have them. Time just marches on.

I liken it to going back to my hometown - I left 39 years ago. There have been times I've visited and wanted to stay - and then there were times I wanted to run to the airport screaming - I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

And my oldest sister lives in the house we all grew up in..... NO airconditioning and she uses trucked in oil for heat. Lordy.


My life has changed. And so will yours.

I still have a fondness for the place - but it has changed and so have I. I no longer have the desire to move back there - because my life here is so full.

But yah, I get it. Growing pains.
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:59 PM
 
Location: CT
3,461 posts, read 1,856,983 times
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Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful comments, one can find a lot of wisdom in these pages if one is willing to look and listen. Seems the main theme is to move onward and cherish the memories, and we will. The thing I have to get through, its not the stuff itself, it what the stuff reminds us of and we hold that forever, the stuff brings us no closer to the past.
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