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Anatomy Of A Downsizing ~ The Countdown…

Yesterday, the pictures began coming off the walls. It’s hit me. We’re really moving.

Until then, my world was simply chaotic. Closets, drawers and cabinets look the same when they’re closed whether they’re stuffed with stuff or empty. When you strip the walls, when the family photos come down, then you really know you’re moving.

That’s what Marty and I started doing last night.

There were a few casualties…

That lamp you see above took a tumble. The lampshade was damaged. I never cared for it anyway. It can be replaced.

Now, my real fear is finding what I want when we begin the process of unpacking everything one week from tomorrow.

On Friday, we visited our lawyer and signed all the papers. Now, we wait for “the closing” tomorrow on our new home, a condominium townhouse built in 1971.

This house “will close” next week, after the painting is finished at the new place. Yes. Every wall will be yellow. “Citron” is the colour. Lemon is my favourite flavour.

This was a happy house and the new one will be even happier…

In eight days, the movers will come ~ four of them with one truck ~ to dismantle this place we’ve called our home.

Our “dream home” for nine years. Our first home. (Next month, we celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary. The “tin” anniversary.)

In one week, the movers will finish schlepping ~ “carefully, I hope” ~ not only the furniture, but the mountain of boxes we’re erecting in our living room.

Day-by-day, our Mount Stuff is rising wider and higher. And even now, I’ve forgotten which books are in what boxes and where all my cutlery is. We’re living with four of everything. And you know what? It’s enough. That confirms my mantra ~ one of them. …

To know you have enough is to be rich…

I’m beginning to wonder why I have two sets of everything.

Enough to feed a family of 12 and their friends. And that’s after I gave my sister a set of turquoise and peach Fiestaware, two sets of cutlery and sundry other things to my stepdaughter. She’s moving into her own place the day before we move into ours.

When you marry in your 50s and 60s and it’s your fifth marriage ~ my second and Marty’s third ~ all those wedding gifts, all that accumulation of  stuff you forget you had, stuff you never use, stuff you rediscovered when you start emptying cabinets…

Our living room is no longer a “living” room…

This, after I do not know how many trips to Goodwill. If this shock downsizing hadn’t been such a stunning surprise ~ I found out I had to sell this house on May 14 ~ and I wasn’t teaching and blogging (please forgive my sparse writings this month) and my subsequent emotional rollercoastering, I would have planned a great garage sale.

This way, though, I’m giving things to my family and friends. Clothes that no longer fit me are a perfect fit for my closest friends or their daughters or my stepdaughter. Furniture that won’t fit in my smaller home is finding its way to the homes of others or their kids. And books … many of ours are also wending their ways into the hands of my niece, Phoebe, an avid reader and other friends who show an interest in our collection. They’re friends ~ my books ~ and it’s fun to see them go out into the world and engage other minds and hearts and souls and spirits and imaginations.

What I cannot use or give away goes to the blessed Goodwill.

I cherish all the memories in this house…

They’re intact. The dinner parties and New Year’s celebrations. The “Oscar” fetes and Passover Seders. All the people who’ve shared the cheeriness of this place. The intimate coffee chats at our kitchen table, which will become our only table. Our dining room table, as our new kitchen is so small, there’s no room to “eat in.” Maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe I won’t resort to eating my anxiety and frustrations and boredom away.

Dear Margarita Tartakovsky at Weightless, please forgive me. I am working on this. Honestly. Your extraordinary blog is part of my regular diet. But it’s been a lifelong battle and I’m struggling with awareness. Dr. Bob, my psychiatrist, and I are working hard on this together right now. I’m not gaining too much weight. Yes, I confess, I do weigh myself. One day, I long to throw that scale away.

But there are other things going on right now. Big things. Huge. And he says I’m coping well. Considering.

Is that so bad? I  don’t think so.

Continuing this week…

Anatomy Of A Downsizing ~ The Countdown…

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

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APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2010). Anatomy Of A Downsizing ~ The Countdown…. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 11, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Jul 2010
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