Does It Stay Or Does It Go, that is a question I’ve asked myself lately. No, I’m not cleaning my closets of last year’s fashions for something new and trendy. I’m deciding which items to keep as my husband and I start the process of downsizing from a large colonial home in New Hampshire to a smaller open concept house in Florida that is less than half the size of our present one and doesn’t have a basement.
Moving is something most of us have done at least once in our lifetime, some of us multiple times, and we know it can be stressful. While it is feasible to pack up and move an entire household, it is not necessarily a wise choice. If you want to take everything you own to your new address, each item will have to be carefully wrapped and boxed for shipping. That can be expensive, as moving costs are determined by the total weight as well as the distance of where they will be delivered.
If you are about to make a move and are freaking out about all the stuff you have accumulated over the years, you are not alone. You too have probably been asking yourself, “does it stay or does it go”. With limited space in our new house, I’ve had to ask myself lots of hard questions and thought that I might share how I’ve decided on what will be moved into our new house and what will be going into someone else’s home.
Does the style of my furniture go in my new home and will it fit in the new rooms? In my case, while most of my furniture looks very appropriate in my 1730’s farm house it would look out of place in tropical Florida. I have decided to reuse and adapt our 8 foot long pine dining table and hutch as they will blend in with the new style but we’ve bought upholstered chairs to replace the painted rush seat ones we have used in the past.
Can I buy new items instead of moving what I have? Old mattresses are bulky as well as heavy and it doesn’t pay to move them. The same can be said for large sofas, ours is not only too big for our new house, the style is also wrong. A smaller, lighter colored sofa and new mattresses have been bought and delivered to our new home.
Have I used it in the past year and will I need it in my new home? When it came to my dishes, this was a hard decision. While Florida living is considered a casual lifestyle, I’m taking all my china and crystal to our new house. Even though some dishes might get used only once a year, our family and lots of friends live in Florida so I think I may be entertaining more often. Besides, I reasoned that someone who blogs about food needs to set a pretty table when having guests over for a meal.
Do I have a place to the showcase the collectibles and personal mementos I’ve accumulated over the years? I’m sentimental and have boxes in my basement of things I couldn’t bring myself to part with in previous moves…old newspaper clippings of past achievements, mementos from travels and photos taken with people who don’t even look familiar now. Remembering that this is the first time in ten years that I’ve opened the boxes, I’m looking at each item once more and then tossing out most of them. Antique collections that can not be displayed properly will be sold.
Is this item of use to someone else? I’ve taken loads of clothing to the charity, Goodwill. Some pieces that I had saved for a special occasion but didn’t wear still had their price tags on them, others were just a “smidgen too tight” and will now be worn by a woman they fit perfectly. A few designer items and suits will be going to a local consignment shop where someone may love their stylish good looks as well as I did. Finally, barn and yard sales are a very popular way to get rid of furniture and other items. I’ve been successful with the ones I’ve held and you can read how to organize your own here. I advertise on Craigslist for all the items I have put in my barn to sell. I think it is a good way to have people see your furnishings without having them into your home.
We decided to do what you might call a pre-move. I packed boxes with dishes, cooking utensils, linens, etc. that we didn’t need at our present home. We arranged to have two containers delivered to New Hampshire and loaded them with the packed boxes and small pieces of furniture.
The containers were then picked up and shipped to the company’s warehouse in Florida. Once we had the closing on our new home, the containers were delivered to the house and we hired a moving service to unload everything. In less than two hours, all the boxes were in the proper rooms waiting to be unpacked. I’m happy to say that by careful packing, everything made the move in perfect condition.
With a few new pieces of furniture, dishes and linens, we can now stay at our new house when we go down to Florida for a visit while we wait for our farm to be sold. In the meantime, I’m focusing on getting our New Hampshire home ready to go on the market. Household and personal items are being carefully scrutinized and only what we absolutely love and think we will use often will be moved south. What keeps me going with so much to do…I know that by decluttering, hopefully our house make a good impression with prospective buyers.
Will it stay or will it go? In the end, some of what I love will be staying in the homes of others around New England, while I will be starting a new life with just a few of my treasured possessions going with us to our new home in Florida.