Does It Stay Or Does It Go

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.

Everything Must Be Carefully Wrapped And Packed For Shipping
Everything Must Be Carefully Wrapped And Packed For Shipping, China In Newsprint And Bubble Wrap

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.

The Pine Table And Hutch Will Go To Our New Home But The Green Rush Seated Chairs Will Be Sold
The Pine Table And Hutch Will Go To Our New Home But The Green Rush Seated Chairs Will Be Sold

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.

The New Hampshire Family Room Furniture Is Large And The Wrong Style For Florida
The New Hampshire Family Room Furniture Is Large And The Wrong Style For Florida
A Smaller and Lighter Colored Sofa Is More Appropriate For Our Florida Home
A Smaller and Lighter Colored Sofa Is More Appropriate For Our Florida 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.

Villeroy And Boch Chine Ready To Be Packed
Villeroy And Boch China Ready To Be Packed And Shipped To Florida While The Mahogany Sideboard Will Be Sold

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.

Collection Of Antique Blue And White Plates
Collection Of Antique Blue And White Plates

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.

Clothing Will Be Sent To Consignment Store
Some Of My Clothing Will Be Sent To Consignment Stores

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.

Two 6x7x8 Foot Cubes Packed And Ready To Be Moved To Florida
Two 6 x 7 x 8 Foot Cubes Packed And Ready To Be Moved To Florida

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.

Our Florida Home
Our New Home In Vero Beach, Florida
A Sneak Peak At The Partially Furnished Florida Great Room
A Sneak Peak At The Partially Furnished Great Room

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.



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196 thoughts on “Does It Stay Or Does It Go

    1. So true, Mad Dog, I’ve certainly been busy. Thank you for your wish, hopefully it won’t take too long to find a buyer for our home in New Hampshire.

  1. We, too, are moving–from a five bedroom, three bathroom 1921 Arts and Craft bungalow to an open concept, three bedroom and two bathroom home. I am finding it quite a chore to decide what to take, what to sell and what to donate. Some of our artwork won’t work–alas! Hopefully it will all come together in the end.


    1. We can certainly relate, Bonnie as we make our lifestyle changes. It is not easy choosing what to leave behind in a move. The artwork is especially hard as what we have collected for our 1730’s colonial certainly doesn’t go in our tropical home in Florida so I know what you mean. I’m sure your new home will be lovely when you are all settled in.

    1. Hi Gary, Thank goodness we can look back at photographs with fondness at the possessions that gave us so much pleasure over the years we had them. 🙂

    1. It really will be a change for us, Jane and I appreciate your nice wish. I hope that the restoration of our home will influence the next owner to continue to care for this historic treasure…it is almost 300 years old but in wonderful condition.

  2. I’d do the same thing. I wouldn’t part with my treasures or loved dishes but I would be ruthless with other things. If I haven’t worn it a year or used something in the past 2 years, it’s out. I moved with way too much stuff and it took us a year to get rid of it all. I can’t wait to see your new house once you’re all moved in and settled.

    1. Hi Maureen, It sounds like we are similar and have learned from previous moves. Most of what I couldn’t part with in my last move and has been in my basement for 10 years will not be heading south. Although it will be a work in progress for some time, I’ll definitely share more photos of our new house once we have made the final move.

    1. Oh I hope you are right, Grace. While I’m not looking forward to when I close the door on our lovely old home for the last time, I am looking forward to our new adventure in life.

  3. As someone who has (and still seems to) moved a lot I so agree with you and have a very similar approach. It’s hard but it’s all about embracing the new life 🙂 I love those blue plates, I have lots in England (they’re old but not antique). They’re all mismatched but co-ordinating and we use and enjoy them every day!

    1. So true, Tanya…it really is about embracing a new life. I love the antique blue plates I have collected over the years, most of them are actually from England. 🙂

  4. I have to admit I was a little sad when you said you were moving, as I wouldn’t get to see your beautiful old colonial anymore. But your Florida home is lovely. It is so light and bright, looks relaxing. Good luck with the move.

    1. Hi Lori, I’m happy that so many people like our old colonial home. It is unique and one of a kind and it will be hard to let it go but a new adventure awaits us. I’m glad you like the new house, it is such a different style for us but typical for Florida. Thank you for your nice compliment and wish.

  5. You are so organized and methodical making moving sounds so easy, I would be totally freaked out and paralyzed just thinking about what needs to be done.
    Your new home is gorgeous and the landscape is beautiful.Did you do the landscape design also?

    1. Hi Norma, Moving is never easy…stressful is more like it but I am really trying hard to be organized with this move and so far so good. Thank you for the compliment about our new home. Yes, I did meet with the landscaper and walked the fields to pick out the palms. I told him we were too old for tiny palm trees, I wanted big ones…it gave him a real laugh. 😀

  6. How exciting for you! – I know how stressful a big move like that can be we moved form Seattle to Florida just almost 5 years ago and it was a big adjustment. Good luck with everything

    1. Shelly, how did you make the decision of where to move in FLA? I’ve been looking at Naples, yet wonder how the transition from a Seattle climate (or me in VA) would work in FLA. Thanks. Diane

      1. For me it was for my job, but I was able to travel to the Orlando area many times before making the decision as part of my job so I knew I was going to be happy with the general area and climate. However we rented when we first moved and that was really great – it allowed us to settle into Florida life and figure out what we really needed compared to what we thought we needed. For instance before I moved I didn’t think a heated pool was necessary or a screened in pool enclosure, once we had lived here for a while I came to understand the different things that worked best for us so when we bought our house I was not only sure I would love the location I knew what features the house needed to have to take advantage of this brand new lifestyle

    2. Thank you for your nice wish, Shelley. A big move like we are doing can indeed be stressful but I’m trying to stay on top of everything. We lived in South Florida for years but Vero Beach is new territory for us. We are looking forward to the new adventures that lie ahead.

  7. Hi Karen,
    Love your new look in Vero.. I am in town (hutchinson island) to furnitre shop. So far no luck..would you mind telling me where you purchased your sofa and oillows? That’s the look I’m looking for..
    Good luck with your move..
    Molly (,

    1. Thank you Molly, for your nice compliment. We went up to Melbourne, Florida to Baer’s Furniture to buy some of our furniture as there wasn’t much else around. I hope that helps with your shopping.

  8. Oh Karen, I feel your pain. As we have moved towns, we haven’t moved states, particularly states at opposite ends of the spectrum!!! I’m just nervous reading this post 🙂
    I do hate seeing you leave the farm house as I love the house and the rich history—but those winters. . . .
    Our current house, which we built, is now much larger than we need and as it sits on 5 acres of land that needs lots of constant care, we’re getting a bit old to bush hog, and keep up— the thought of once again packing up, tossing out, boxing, wrapping, sorting. . .does play out in my head. . .
    But it sounds as if you have gotten this down to a science and I applaud your organization!!
    Here’s to a happy and safe move!!!!!!
    ps—I’ve got a few errant pieces of that china of yours left over from things my sister-n-law spread around 🙂

    1. Thank you for your kind thoughts, Julie, they are very much appreciated. When we moved from South Florida to New Hampshire 15 years ago, I never thought I would someday be moving back to Florida…as a matter of fact I stated that I never would. I hate to leave our beautiful home and orchard but it too involves lots of work. Our house sits on over 8 acres and the orchard has almost 300 trees to take care of so I know what you mean about constant care. I’m trying to be as organized as possible and perhaps this post will help others if they too have to make a move.

  9. Karen the hardest part for me would be plant material. How are you coping with leaving those behind? I have heirloom peonies and daffodils that would never live in FLA. Quite a quandary.

    1. Diane, The way I see it is that everything I pass on to others will hopefully give them as much pleasure as I have had from them. 🙂

    1. Thanks Diane, nice post. I’m a collector of beautiful things and thankfully not a hoarder like some people become. It is hard deciding what to keep in one’s life and what to let go of but it must be done every so often. 🙂

  10. Congratulations on the grand move, which is exciting and stressful at the same time. Last year we moved about 6 miles from a house to a condo. Fortunately, we had the time to make many of the decisions who mentioned. Then again, moving a long distance with a drastic climate change is another story. Keep smiling!

    1. So true, Frank. While it is very exciting to have a new house to move into, the packing up of our possessions is stressful. Like you, we once moved to a house two blocks down from where we were living. It was nice to be able to take a car load of boxes at a time and then have a small moving van just move the big pieces of furniture. This move is certainly more challenging and I’m worried…I hope I’ll be ready when the interstate moving van pulls up to our house for the upcoming move.

  11. Oh wow, What a big change for you Karen. I absolutely love and wish to see more of your farm home. It has also been such a treat to come to your blog and see pictures of it. You must be very excited about your move to Florida but I am sure you will miss farm life too.
    Best of luck with the move and I know the right buyer will be along just soon enough to buy your incredible farm. I know I would beg my husband to buy it if we lived closer.
    Have a great day.
    🙂 Mandy xoxo

    1. Hi Mandy, It really will be a big change moving from our large colonial farm house in New England into a much smaller house in tropical Florida. You are right, we are excited about what lies ahead but will certainly miss our home and friends. I appreciate your lovely wish and compliment about our home. I hope that we sell our farm to someone who loves it as much as all my readers seem to do…thank you. 😀

  12. Wow – that sounds like a major task, and you’ve done most of it already. While you’re at it, would you mind decluttering my place as well? 😀 This was a very inspiring post, Karen, because I realise my decluttering is on a muuuuuuch lower scale and I feel I should be able to get it over with more quickly. Thanks for this kick in the butt – I’ll get cracking this week, when I have four full days off!
    Happy moving!

    1. Thank you Kiki, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and appreciate your nice wish. Good luck with your decluttering project…I will be thinking of you as I work on mine. 🙂

  13. Aw !!! I loved your house ! I never saw it in real life but it looked like a really gorgeous and lovingly tended ‘home’ as well as a house ! I am ‘missing’ it already ! But you obviously have super duper reasons for moving to Florida and I wish you all the best, lots of happiness, health and fun! As for possessions … clutter is not a good thing … but nice possessions are vital to our serenity in the home:
    Looking forward to your Florida based posts now ! 🙂

    1. Thank you for your sweet words and wish, Jo. We have loved every moment that we have lived in our house…only five other families had lived in it before us. Hopefully our restoration will give others a chance to appreciate its history. I enjoyed the article about wanting to keep all the treasures we collect over the years, they are what turn a house into a home. 🙂

  14. This is so exciting! I moved from a small 1-bedroom apartment to a much larger 4-bedroom house and I still feel like I have too much stuff (I have no idea how I managed to pack so much in my little apartment!). I don’t even have kids yet, so I can’t imagine how much crazier it’s going to get. Moving to a smaller home is such a good excuse to get rid of stuff you never use. Your new home looks beautiful!!


    1. Hi Sues, Each time we have moved in the past, it has usually been to a larger home with plenty of space for everything we owned. Now we will only be taking what we love the most and will work in our home that is not only smaller but such a different style. Thank you for your nice compliment, we do like the way the new house is turning out.

  15. What a big job! But it can feel really good to de-clutter. You’re obviously having to get rid of many things and my only advice is not too get too carried away and if in doubt about something put it aside for a while. Good luck with the new home. I’m sure it will be as beautiful even if smaller because you are so good at interior decoration. Will look forward to seeing more photos but meanwhile best of luck and hope all goes smoothly.

    1. Thanks Kay for your wish, advice and your lovely compliment about my decorating. Yes, I have put some things aside to decide if I would be keeping them or not. No one seems to want china and crystal anymore and I’ve gone out to our barn and retrieved a few pieces of them that I was going to sell. They now are waiting for me in Florida. 😀

  16. I feel your pain, Karen! When we moved from Kittery to Tucson, we went from 2800 square feet plus a basement, a full attic, and a barn with an attic, to 1600 square feet with no basement, attic, or garage! It was quite the pairing down! Good luck – looks like a wise move! David

    1. Hi David, You do know what we are going through. With our basement and garage, our home is 7700 sq.ft and then there is our barn. Our new home is just over 2400 sq. ft. and the garage is way smaller. Lots of pairing down so thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

  17. I know too well the headache and stress of moving having moved countries before. Even the move from Texas to Colorado was a pain, I moved a 5 bedroom house in 5 days, not easy. So, I do know why you are going through. Wishing you the best of luck and congrats on your new home, it’s beautiful!

    1. Hi Nazneen, I can’t begin to imagine what it is like when you move across the ocean to a different country. You certainly have lots of experience in moving and I appreciate your nice wish and compliment on our new home…thank you.

  18. I know exactly how much work this is only I wasn’t nearly as organized as you. Since we were downsizing into a smaller house locally, I was able to pack and move somethings that I wouldn’t have if we were moving long distance. Since I was able to do this, I unfortunately have a basement full of boxes waiting for me to go through once again. Oh, I’ll think about that tomorrow.Your new house is beautiful. Good luck on selling that lovely farm.

    1. Oh I can relate to a basement full of boxes, Karen…its been 10 years of out of sight, out of mind where I was concerned. As I go through them now, it makes me all the more convinced that you just have to let some things go. Thank you for your wish and nice compliment on our new home.

  19. My…that’s tons of work, Karen. Your new home looks lovely!
    All the BEST with the move, Karen!

  20. I found downsizing to be overwhelming and emotional. However, we did our move in less than 3 months. Good luck with everything. Seems like you have a good handle on the transition 🙂

    1. Hi Ingrid, Any woman that can go from a house to a 31 foot RV and be very happy is my hero. When I think about keeping something I really don’t need, I will think about what you did. 😀

      1. I must admit, I still have two large storage units full of stuff and once or twice a year I go and visit. Hubby laughs as I give all my stuff an air hug. The plan is to eventually buy a sticks n bricks, but I can’t seem to find a location. The search continues 🙂

    1. Hi Ksenia, Thank you for your nice wish. I’ve really tried hard to be organized with this move and the pre-move of some of the items was very helpful. At least we don’t have to stay at a hotel and eat all our meals out for weeks at a time when we have to go down to Florida.

  21. Such wise advice, Karen! It must be so hard, but you are organized and being so thoughtful about the move. The cherished furnishings and dishes that you bring will make your new house feel like ‘home’ very soon. Imagine your yard with palm trees swaying in the breeze! So nice! ♡

    1. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post Dawn, I hope that readers might be able to use some of what I’ve learned from past moves. You are right, what goes to Florida will be pieces that we have enjoyed over the years. We are taking the chandelier that hangs over our large pine dining table, it has been in many of our homes and will make the new one feel like “home” as well. Thank you for your nice comment. 🙂

  22. Wow — what an adventure; what a change! I wish you all the best in your new home.

    It took me 6 years to downsize to the place I wanted to be. It was a long process of letting go of things I thought I needed, but then never used.

    1. Thank you for your wish Tracy, we are definitely heading down the road towards a new adventure. When you realize that you haven’t used something in years, you know it is time to pass it along to someone else.

  23. Moving is such hard work. You seem to be making an excellent job of co-ordinating everything. And your post contains excellent advice for those contemplating a move. Good luck in Florida Karen. 😉

  24. It is hard parting with things, but the thought that someone might go in a charity shop or to your sale and buy your xxx and love it and use it and never want to part with it is consolation I think! A fresh start will be invigorating. Good luck with the house sale!

    1. You said it very well Cathy. Even though I will miss some of what we are going to be leaving behind, it is a consolation knowing that someone else will enjoy them. Decorating in a new style, having a garden with different types of plantings…it is all going to be part of our new adventure. Thank you for your wish, I do hope we have luck in selling our home.

  25. Downsizing is a lot of work! As stressful as moving is though, I am always glad that it gives me the opportunity to divest myself of clutter and finally throw things out, sell them, or give them to charity. There is something really liberating about having less. Good luck with the move, Karen! Your old home was so lovely, but your new house looks beautiful too! And will be even more so once your all settled in!

    1. Hi Daisy, Thank you for our wish. I appreciate your nice compliment not only about our New Hampshire home but also about our new house. You are right, it will become more comfortable once we get moved in and can really make it our own.

  26. I did exactly what you have done several years ago and love it that I downsized. I asked all the questions you have and in the end it worked out well. Your new home looks lovely.

    1. Thank you for your encouragement out downsizing, Jovina…it is much appreciated. I’m glad that you like our new house, it is very different from our present home. 🙂

  27. Great advise Karen, I can be quite a saver….. so this year I’ve been working on clearing out some of the extra stuff I have accumulated. Sounds like you have a tried and true system. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Your suggestions have been very informative. We are about to begin the downsizing routine. Over the years, we have moved nine times, but as you suggest, it is amazing how much stuff one can accumulate during the intervals.

    1. Hi Darryl, I was hoping when I decided to do this post that it would be helpful to others that might be making a move to a smaller place. No matter how often you move, it is still stressful, especially when you have to decide what to leave behind. Good luck when you make your move. 🙂

  29. It’s always hard throwing things out! In my case because of laziness. 😉 We made a major move a few years ago (from Florida to St. Louis) so we got rid of a ton of stuff then. Somehow we seem to accumulate stuff, though — and it’s a bit puzzling, because we’re really not into stuff. We’re not planning a move, but we’ve been making a real effort to weed through things and get rid of them. We have a lot of paper records — we’ve been scanning all of those (with backup in multiple places, including the Cloud) so we throw out pounds and pounds of paper. Anyway, I feel for you — it’s tough making some of those decisions to discard things, isn’t it? But it’s so worth it in the end! Good read — thanks.

    1. You are so right, John and throw out we have. I’m very much into recycling, reusing, donating, giving to friends, and selling but we had a big rolloff dumpster that was filled with things that no one would be able to use. Stuff and things, I have a lot of it and yes, I really don’t know how it accumulates…it must happen while we sleep at night. 😀

  30. You have some great insights into the moving process that I’m sure will help those of us moving in the future. I enjoyed this and I love the sneak pics of your new home.

    All the best!

    Jane x

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Jane, they are very much appreciated. I do hope this post will help others that will be going through the moving process. I’m glad that you liked the sneak pictures of our new home. We have a long way to go with decorating but at least until our home is sold, we can go to Florida and not have to stay at a hotel. 🙂

  31. Oh my, I can just imagine all the work and decisions that are involved in deciding what to leave behind and what to take to your new home. However, you are doing a wonderful job and trying to stay on top of it. Good luck Karen and soon this all will be behind you and you will start your new life in sunny Florida.

    1. Thank you Gerlinde, I do feel I’m making progress with our move but there is still so much to do. I appreciate your nice wish…we are definitely looking forward to sunny Florida. Would you believe the high on this rainy day, the 1st of June, was only 49 degrees.

  32. How exciting! And what a massive step! It cannot be easy to part with so many of the treasures you have accumulated over the years. At the same time I imagine that evaluating each piece, means you have the chance to truly feel your appreciation for the things that surround you. Wishing you joyful and stress free packing!

    1. Hi Afra, I enjoyed your lovely sentiment and wish. Yes, I’ve enjoyed revisiting some of the pieces that we have collected…they have brought back nice memories. Now they will become part of someone else’s memories.

  33. We will be building our down-sized home soon, and so have been in the same process of reviewing and culling. It is a process, ultimately a liberating one, but it does require a lot of time, patience, and objectivity. Wishing you much happiness in your new Florida life!

    1. Hi Nancy, It seems that there are a lot of us that have decided that downsizing makes sense. You are right, the process is not easy but the result can be gratifying. Thank you for your wish, we are looking forward to our new life in Florida. 😀

  34. I’m glad to see you are keeping your dishes. I would have a hard time parting with those and picking just a few favorite. Love the light and airy couch you picked! A few new items really do need to fit just right in your new house!

    1. Hi Sandra, I’ve tried selling a few of my dishes but couldn’t find a new home for them. One of my neighbors said that it was because people are using paper more often. Their loss is my gain, I’ll keep using my pretty plates and enjoy how nice they make my table look at mealtime. I’m glad that you like the new couch, it does seem to fit in with a Florida house.

  35. I am feeling better since I read you are from Florida originally or at least you lived there before. I remember moving from the Midwest to California… really stressful. When I got here all my furniture looked out of place and the wrong colors, and too heavy looking. I slowly fixed that, but it was a valuable lesson.

    1. Hi Madonna, Yes, my husband and I lived in South Florida for a long time. Our children live there, just a couple hours south of Vero Beach where we are moving. When we were looking on the internet for houses for sale in Vero, we could tell all the people who came from up north or the midwest. As you said, their furniture did look out of place for a warmer climate. We will be keeping some of our furniture but mixing it with new pieces…hopefully we will end up with a nice look.

  36. Just typed this once and it vanished!!! Moving is a pain!
    We have moved way more than average!!! My guess is 5 homes in the UK before moving to Rhodesia. Nine there before moving to South Africa. Four homes in RSA before we moved to Bophuthatswana for 3 years and one house only there. Then back to RSA and two homes before moving back to the UK. Two more before finally coming to rest in France. The say, never say never but I am only moving out of this house in a box! This is our 24th house!!!!! Good luck Diane

    1. Hi Diane, I’m so sorry that your first comment disappeared. It appears that Blogspot, Blogger and WordPress don’t always play well together…my comments have disappeared into thin air as well. I appreciate your taking the time to rewrite your comment. You have to get the golden ring for the most homes with 24…we have only had 12 houses and I thought that was a lot. I said that the house I designed and built in Key Largo, Florida was going to be the one that I died in…that was four houses ago. I also said I would never move back to Florida and here I go back again…so yes, never say never. 😀

  37. Such a difficult decision, but I am glad you’re being so practical and philosophical about it. It’s amazing how material things almost become part of us because they have played an important part in our lives at some point. I admire your determination and positive outlook on life and focusing on your future life in Florida and what would be sensible to keep and what must go.

    We will be facing a similar predicament next year, when we are hoping to sell our house in southern England to move to Spain. We will have to be even more radical, as we expect to live in our motorhome for a while. We are considering putting some stuff into storage (pictures, books and the like), but I am hoping to give most of our furniture to our son, who is in the process of leaving home.

    Best of luck to you both with the move and enjoy the sunshine. I am with you on that one. I simply can’t stand these long winters any more.

    1. I appreciate your kind thoughts and wish, Fatima. You are right, the long winters are hard to take and warmer climates beckon. It sounds like you have a good plan on how to accomplish your move to Spain. Darlene, another of my readers recently made the move to Spain from Canada.

      1. I am in touch with Darlene as well, through her blog and FB. She seems to have settled down really well and hopefully I’ll be able to meet her in person, as she’s moved to the area where we want to retire too. Small world! 😉

  38. Karen, I know you will not have problem selling your beautiful house. With the severe droughts out west, people are soon going to be moving eastward! Who wouldn’t want to live in beautiful New England! Hopefully you have shoveled the last snow you will ever have to!
    You have done an amazing job of sorting, wrapping and packing. I would hate to have to “downsize” my dishes…they are all my favorites!
    Have a great week.

    1. Hi Marigene, I hope you and others are right about us not having a problem selling our home and shoveling snow for another year is definitely something we don’t want to do. I had to smile at your comment about dishes. I actually thought of you and your wonderful collection when I decided that I was going to keep the majority of mine. Thank you for your compliment and wish.

  39. I can so relate to this having just moved to Spain and into a much smaller place. I had to go through everything. Like you, I saved a lot. I got rid of so much and what I couldn´t take with but just couldn´t part with I gave to my kids and grandkids. So these things are still in the family. We didn´t move furniture for obvious reasons but most places, like the one we bought, are sold furnished. I took my china as well. Your new home looks lovely!

    1. Hi Darlene, It appears that many of us are making a move into smaller places. The end result will make life easier but the process getting there takes a lot of thought and parting with many things we have collected over the years. It is nice that you were able to give much of what you had to your family. Thank you, I’m glad you like our new home.

  40. So many difficult decisions to be made. Of course, you’re organized about the packing and shipping but deciding WHAT to take is the challenge. Your new Florida home looks amazing.

    1. So very true, Boleyn. This week I’m focusing on all my travel papers and books I’ve collected over the years…most is going. I’m glad to know that you like our Florida home, it is totally different from every home we’ve had before.

  41. Very nice review, and a peak into your before and after. I’ve done many moves, a few ‘international’ moves. A couple with expert help and a couple with no help. Nonetheless, in every case, went through “Does It Stay Or Does It Go’.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Fae…I’m happy that you enjoyed the post and photos. I’m sure you know exactly what I’ve been dealing with preparing for this move.

    1. You gave me a real chuckle, Johnny. Yes indeed, the thought of props for posts I do about my recipes has come to mind more than once in this decision making process. If you were here helping, I’d probably send you back across the pond with a big box full to lighten my load going to Florida. 😀

  42. You’re so organized and these are great tips for moving…something I dread doing again, but have not immediate plans. Still…can I hire you when it’s time to deal with all of this? 😉 Good luck with selling and moving. Your new home is lovely, as is your old one.

    1. Hi Betsy, Going into a smaller home with an open concept is a real challenge so I’m really having to be as organized as I can. I appreciate your compliment and wish…hopefully it won’t take too long to sell our home.

  43. I love your moving tips, although for financial reasons I’m not replacing my sofa bed and a few other larger-ticket items when I move in the coming year. Then again, my move will be from Connecticut to Massachusetts — less millage. The sofa bed can eventually be re-covered, but I have to decide if I want my dining table to be the one I currently use (more of a large breakfast table) or the really nice cherrywood dining table my parents left me. The latter comes with a full set of pretty, but very very uncomfortable chairs, also cherrywood. Right now I’m leaning towards taking the cherrywood table with my un-matching but comfortable Sears oak chairs — but then I think about the breakfast table, which matches these better… Conundrums! Anyhow, enjoy your new home!

    1. Hi Goats, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post and the tips on moving. Since your move will only involve a short distance within New England, I can see why you will be keeping your sofa bed. The decisions on what we keep for our new home can be hard…good luck with your move.

  44. It’s never easy. Good luck with everything. I know you’re going to make your FL home fantastic regardless of what you take or leave. 🙂

    1. Thank you Kristy, for your nice wish and comment. We are anxious to get settled down in Florida and finish decorating our home.

  45. I can feel your pain! Although we didn’t move across country, just to another house in the same town, we downsized from a 5-bedroom 3 bath 2000 sq.ft. house to a 3 bedroom 2 bath 1400 sq.ft. house. We sure donated or threw out a LOT of stuff in that move! We had a sectional couch only three years old that we were able to repurpose by removing one of the sections, thank goodness. You seem to be a very organized person, Karen, and I bet your move will continue to move along smoothly! 🙂

    1. Hi Kathryn, I remember that you moved at the end of last year into a home that you remodeled. I hope all the dust has settled and you are loving it. I appreciate your words of confidence on our move.

  46. Moving can be difficult at first but I find it exhilarating once I get there and move in…we have begun to downsize here just because we moved in 10 yrs ago and still did not use so much from the old home…we moved into the same sq footage a half hour away the last time we moved, and still much did not fit as the way the house was laid out was different from the original house. Good luck!

    1. Hi Donna, I agree with you…even if a room is the same size, furniture and art may not work in a new home because of the layout of walls and windows. Thank you for your wish.

  47. What a stylish and beautiful home! I know moving is difficult but you will feel much “lighter” when it is all finished and you are comfortably ensconced in your new abode!

    1. Thank you Kelli, I appreciate your compliment about our new home…definitely a different style than what we’ve had in the past. We are looking forward to when the rest of our belongings can be moved south.

  48. Methinks you will be very content once it all ‘has happened’! . . . go slowly on yourself until that has been . . , methinks we all have been there and have suffered and felt we has done the wrong thing. Well, if so, let it be!!!! Your new home looks ‘like you’ – what else can I say ? I think you will be very happy!!

    1. I appreciate your kind thoughts, Eha and I think that once this move is behind us, we will be very happy with the new life we are creating for ourselves. Thank you!

  49. I know how awful moving is. I recently had to move five times in two and a half years. I nearly had a breakdown. It looks like you are organised and moving ahead in a very orderly fashion. I do love the look of your new home xx

    1. Hi Charlie, Yes you do know exactly what I’m going through. I bet some of your boxes never got unpacked before they needed to be moved again. I’m glad you like the looks of our new house, we think we will enjoy living there when we make our final move. Thank you.

  50. I’ve had to make this decision a few times in my life. We currently have our chosen items from South Africa stored in a container waiting to be shipped to Florida. I hope I chose wisely, but time will tell. 🙂

    1. I’ve thought about you often, Sylvia as I’ve been going through this process…even down to the piano which will not be making the move with my other things. I know you will be so happy when you make the permanent move into the home your husband is remodeling and your lovely treasures can be shipped to Florida.

      1. Thanks so much, Karen. We’re in South Africa at the moment, and will be arranging for our ‘stuff’ to be shipped over soon, probably arriving in October. 🙂 All the best with the sale of your house. xx

  51. I am so indecisive. I’m glad it is you and not me that has to make all those decisions… WOW!
    The new place in Florida looks amazing. I know you’re excited!! 🙂

    1. If you ask my husband, he will tell you that I’m very indecisive as well. Thank you for your compliment. We are excited about our new home…hopefully, it won’t take to long before we make the final move.

  52. I’d rather take a beating than move but looks like you’ve developed a decision making process to make it much easier. Are you taking all of your Christmas trees?

    1. Your question about my Christmas trees gave me a laugh…you know me well. Here in New Hampshire, the entire second floor of our large garage holds all my trees and hundreds of ornaments. Unfortunately, there is no place to store my trees at the new house. Do you think anyone will be looking for Christmas trees this summer when I start having my barn sales? 😀

  53. Oh I love your farmhouse! That’s just my style, but your new home looks really fabulous as well. Good luck with everything. We made our last move 11 years ago. It was a good cleansing!

    1. I totally agree with you about our farmhouse, Mimi…I’m very much a traditional girl. Our new home is very different in its style and landscaping but sometimes a change is good. Thank you for your wish about the move, it is very much appreciated.

  54. Well, my dear, I am going to try this again! I wrote a rather lengthy reply and WP would not let it post……..perhaps I was tooooooooo windy…… The moment I saw your post a song popped into my head : “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and it has been playing there since.

    I am so very impressed with your organizational skills! Moving is such an emotional journey that remaining rational and making “good” decisions is so very difficult. I shall miss your beautiful and charming New England home; however, I look forward to this new chapter in your life and the discoveries that await you. Your home in Florida looks so warm and tropical and full of open space and light. I am sure there are many, many things you will miss about New England……..the massive snows from last year, not being one of them. But I know you will miss the changing of the Seasons, as that is what I miss the most.

    Now you can join the rest of us Leaf Peepers as we make our sojourns into New England the Fall. Sending you the very best of wishes!

    1. Oh Tin Man, I’m so sorry that your first comment disappeared…I don’t think it was because of its length. It happens to me often when I’m making comments but usually with people on Blogger or Blogspot. Anyway, thank you so much for taking the time to retype your very kind comment. It makes me happy to know that so many people like our New England home and will miss seeing it on my blog. You are right, we will miss the changing of the seasons, especially the beautiful fall foliage. One day we will be called “leaf peepers and “snow birds”. That song has been in my head since I started writing this post. 😀

    1. I have to agree with you Richard, life is indeed good even if it is filled with lots of hard decisions. New adventures are always exciting and a great way to keep life interesting.

  55. To move house is such a difficult thing to do. We moved from a rented apartment to our own house 3 years ago & it was nerve racking! Good luck with it all! xxx

    1. Hi Chris, I’m glad you like our new home and appreciate your compliment. It is easy to accumulate a lot of things we like but a lot of work when we try to get rid of what we don’t really need. 🙂

    1. Hi Susan, I agree with you about Vero Beach. Our son used to live in Vero and after visiting him over a couple of years, we knew that if we ever returned to Florida, Vero is where we would make our new home. 🙂

  56. Excellent decision process Karen. Although we don’t have any immediate plans to downsize just yet, I know the time will be coming and it’s probably best to start the “does it stay or does it go” process while we’re in good health and have the time. I just have such a hard time letting go of any old memorabilia and boy does that add to clutter. That and my husband is one of those collectors – not things of value, just knick knacks that catch his eye.
    Your new house looks lovely. It’s quite a change from the farmhouse though.

    1. Hi Diane, Our thoughts were similar to what you are thinking now…do it while you are in good health. We felt it was time to downsize to an easy keeper home in a gated community where our yard would be taken care of for us, leaving us feel to travel whenever we want. Thank you for your compliment about our new home. It is a huge change from our historic New England farmhouse but sometimes change is good even if it means letting go of little things we have treasured. There is so much we want to do and places we want to explore. 🙂

  57. Such a daunting task! But you’ve done so well!!! I wish I was a neighbor and I’d happily purchase some of your no longer needed treasures. But I really should be purging not buying. Good luck with the transition 🙂

    1. Hi Liz, I’m sure I have something you might like, wish you were my neighbor. I’d pack up a nice box of treasures for you and then we could spend the rest of the afternoon talking about what we were going to cook for dinner. 😀

  58. Hi Karen, I know exactly what you mean! Though my situation is a little different as my husband and I moved due to his work and it’s only for a few years. I couldn’t decide whether the items stay or go with us to the new place. Hope you are loving it in your new place!

    1. Hi Jasline, It must be hard when you have to move, knowing that it is for only a short while and then you will be moving once more. Even though we only spent a few days in our new home, we like it…thank you. Looking forward to when we can make our permanent move to Florida.

  59. We have not moved in 18 years so I can only imagine how much work it has been for you. What a change in style! I love the look of both homes, both very comfortable and inviting. Blessings to you as you sell and transition to your new place.

    1. Thank you for your lovely thoughts, Judy. You are right, our new home is radically different…from construction, to landscaping, to decor. Once our favorite things are moved down, I’m sure it will start to feel like home. We will miss beautiful New England and our farmhouse but are looking forward to our new life in Florida.

  60. Oh I’d love to downsize but finding the right house is so difficult. You are so brave downsizing and moving so far. I wish you luck and look forward to reading about your adventures in Florida. 😎

    1. I appreciate your visit, Caroline. Last summer when we started looking for a new home, I had lots of questions and doubts about downsizing. As we start the moving process, I do know it is the right thing to do. While our new home may not be perfect for everyone, we think it will fit our lifestyle and allow us to do more traveling. I’m happy to know that you will be following along on our new adventures, thank you.

    1. Thank you Raymund, I’m glad you like the looks of our new house. They call Florida, the sunshine state, although it certainly does get its share of rainy and stormy days. 🙂

  61. My house seriously needs decluttering… Maybe I should move? Just joking, but I still remember the last time we moved I managed to throw away so many unused items… Your post is very inspiring! I’m looking forward to seeing how your “finished” new house will look like!

  62. Thank you for your compliment Sissi, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. Isn’t it amazing how many things we buy, then put away and never get around to using. Moving does cause one to declutter one’s life to a degree. It will be nice when we make the final move and put in items that will make our house feel like a home. 😀

  63. It is so much work moving…and you are sure doing a great job Karen, so detailed and care…I like your new home…looks beautiful!
    Good luck on the move Karen!

  64. So true, Juliana. Moving entails so much work, from planning the logistics to the actual move…I can’t wait until it is all behind us after we make the final move to Florida. I appreciate your nice compliment about our new home and thank you for your wish.

  65. I applaud you, Karen! I’m such a pack rat and would bring everything with me lol. So sad to hear you’ll be selling the farm. You and your husband put so much loving work into restoring and updating it it’s like losing a piece of the Back Road Journal. However, I’m sure the Florida “back roads” ahead have some fun stories for your to share with us 🙂

    1. I so understand you Ruth as my basement is filled with things I shouldn’t have brought with me from Florida up to New Hampshire. Knowing that they have been boxed up for years was a sure sign that I needed to get realistic with this move and only take what I absolutely love back to Florida. Your thoughts about losing a piece of the Back Road Journal has kept me up many a night. I’ve worried that I might lose a lot of my readers when we move from our home in New England. Hopefully, you and my other readers will enjoy the new “back roads” that lie ahead of us. Thank you for your sweet comment. 🙂

  66. Great tips Karen. When we sell our Florida house this Winter, I will keep it all in mind. I have some Florida art that you might be interested in. LOL.

    1. Hi Penny, I’m glad that you think the tips might be helpful when you sell your Florida home. Yes, I’ll definitely have to change our artwork. I don’t think my large painting of a cow in front of a New England red barn will fit in with the tropical decor of Florida. 😀

    1. Thank you Southern, for your nice compliment about both of our homes and your lovely wish. We too think our New Hampshire home was special and will miss it a lot but we are ready for a new adventure.

    1. I totally agree with you Lorraine, moving can be very traumatizing…I’m just trying not to let it get the best of me. So far so good but the big move is still ahead of us. Thank you for your lovely compliment about our home, it has been my pleasure to share a little of it with my readers.

    1. Thank you Lindy, for your nice wish. Hopefully everything will go well and we will be able to move into our new home before too long. I’m hoping that life will be as good in Florida as the one we have enjoyed in New England. 🙂

  67. Karen, I can relate to this change more than you will ever know. Up and moving from US to Japan and only being able to bring with us 700kg of stuff was a wake up call. You know really it is only stuff. You will have a new life in Florida and make new friends and none of them will care if you have your stuff, they just want to meet you. Let go of the stuff and you will feel free… Best wishes!!!

    1. I so appreciate your comment, Bobbie. In the days, weeks and months ahead, I’ll keep thinking about your very kind and wise words…thank you!

    1. Hi Paul, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your lovely compliment about our home and how I have decorated it. You do indeed have a daunting task ahead of you and I wish you all the best in your move. Hopefully it will go smoothly and you will find the new home of your dreams. 🙂

  68. I’ve moved A LOT but it’s never easy… as you know. Recently I was seriously thinking about moving to Florida & being a ‘snow bird’. However, once my perennials began appearing. I changed my mind. I guess I’ve worked to hard on all my gardens in the different places I’ve lived & had to leave them to have the heart to do it again. So, I’ll put that plan on hold… I am planning to get rid of a good amount of the stuff I have here… in the cellar… in the barn… and in the attic. I know it’ll be hard but I really need to do it. And you’ve inspired me !! (I, too, am sentimental. I plan to ‘pretend’ I’m moving into a smaller place and that will help me to decide ‘what stays and what goes’.) I’m so very impressed by your organizational skills and your new home is already looking warm and inviting! ; o )

    1. Hi Cecile, I’m sorry to have taken so long to get back to your comment. I do know that it is all too easy to accumulate “stuff and things” when we have a basement, attic and barn. I’m happy that this post has inspired you to get rid of some of what you are not using. Thank you for your nice compliment about our home in Florida.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, Yes we do have a new adventure ahead of us and in a beach town that will not get snow. The “stuff” certainly does accumulate over the years and now I’m having to find good homes for what I can’t take with me. Thank you for your nice comment and I apologize for taking so long to answer.

  69. It sounds like you’ve stayed objective with your furniture and whether or not it fits with your new house in Florida. New Hampshire and Florida are very different – I hope everything gets settled for you soon!

    1. Hi Meg, Sorry to be answering so late. I have really had to be objective with my furniture…while being perfect for our colonial home so much of what we have just wouldn’t look good in a home in a Florida beachside community. Thank you for your nice wish.

  70. Karen, Every time I buy something now I remind myself that I have a huge house full of things that will have to go in a few years when we are ready for the next move. We have moved many times but this will be our first downsizing. At first your post reassured me that with the proper organization, patience and ruthlessness I would be fine, but then I read the comment about the Christmas trees and suddenly I’m panicking again. One of our little attics is so full of Christmas goodies that my husband refers to it as the North Pole. Your new house is so bright and fresh. Now that my kids are out, I’m ready to go too. Linda

  71. Hi Linda, Each of our previous houses was bigger than the last and this downsizing is a first for us as well. Your comment gave me a real laugh…I have a little bit of the North Pole too…a 27 x 23 foot enclosed loft on the second floor of our garage that is strictly for my Christmas trees and ornaments. Thank you for your nice compliment on our new home. 🙂

  72. Oh my, first the lake house and now your beautiful farm. New England and Florida each present wonderful but different adventures! Moving can be such an emotional time and leaving your beautiful farmhouse and grounds will be sad but leaving the work of maintaining such a large home and eight acres will be nice. I hope Florida is good to you!

  73. You have such an impeccable taste for interior design, Karen. When I saw the photos of your New Hampshire mansion, I thought, “What a pity to part with such a gorgeous place!” But then, when I saw your new light and spacious Florida home, I immediately fell in love with it. I imagine a silk robe and walking barefoot on that cooling tile floor. No more heavy coats and boots!


  74. Karen, I’m right in the midst of “will it stay or will it go” this very minute. Our house here in the mountains just sold and we’ll be merging this furniture with an already furnished house in south Florida. We are leaving much behind, but the good china has made every move with us since we married over 45 years ago, including going on a freighter in the Atlantic Ocean to a tiny private island cay in the Bahamas. So I guess it’s used to it and so am I. Your task is much larger than mine because both of our houses are smaller that yours. I admire how you’ve handled everything and so pleased for you. Maybe we can get together one of these days…

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