a moving story

August 07, 2022


We are not moving, but our neighbors just did and this is a story about their move. My lovely friends have lived in their beautiful home for almost 40 years. It was a big house with many rooms and a lot of storage space including a basement and an attic. When they placed their house on the market they were totally unprepared for how quickly it would sell and how fast they would have to move out. And to make it worse, in their 40 years of living in their beautiful home they had never decluttered. You can imagine there was a lot of stuff to deal with and since they would be downsizing, a lot would have to go. First call was to the kids but they did not want anything. This is not supposed to be a shock to us parents with adult children. It has been hammered into our heads again and again so let’s just get it once and for all—our kids don't want our things. We may put a sentimental value on something, but that probably means little to anyone else. It's not to say younger generations are not sentimental, they are just sentimental in different ways and don't seem to have attachments to stuff as previous generations did. Also, they don't have the same taste in home furnishings that we do. This means they likely don’t want our furniture, rugs, or china sets, and in fact will take little of anything we offer, unless it's something like a spatula and they happen to need one, and if you're still not sure about this, read this article from Forbes. They hit the nail on the head.

But back to my friends--with a time bomb ready to explode they hired help and were able to get through their entire house by their deadline. However, it was extremely stressful, so much so that my friend had to be hospitalized twice during the process. Moving is stressful enough no matter what, but there is something we can do now to make it easier, even if you don’t plan on moving for twenty years. So right now, if your house feels a bit too crowded, then don't wait until a move forces you to prune, prune now! If you begin that declutter journey right now you'll have years of enjoying the benefits of owning less (and I'm not talking about becoming a minimalist because I would hate that too) and profit from knowing that everything in your home is something you want and love and actually use.  And moving day, even if years from now, will be an easier venture.

I'm happy to tell you that my friends are happily nestled into their new home on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. Life is definitely good for them, but she shudders when she recalls the moving experience and as an aside, my husband was overwhelmed by what they went through. I assured him that our moving story, whenever that happens, will be different, no doubt chaotic, but perhaps less so? Fingers crossed my friends. But right now I do know that I can open our drawers with no struggles, I see empty space in the cabinets, and when I open a closet, there is nothing falling onto my head. I'm not a declutter or organizing expert, just an ordinary person with the very first world problem of owning too much and not liking it. I'm pretty proud of what I was able to achieve during my declutter journey of the last few years. I took the slow but steady route and you can read about it in these posts:

I said goodbye to grandma’s china in this post.

I binge cleaned and then and tackled my paper clutter. 

I continued my cleaning binge, including sentimental items here.

My last binge cleaning post tackles the kitchen and includes great organizing and money saving tips.

Generations of photos and family memorabilia were also tackled.

How I'm nibbling away at my stash and making it more manageable

I decluttered my Christmas calendar and holiday chores so I could enjoy my holiday!

So you've decluttered? Here are some tips to help stop you from accumulating too much stuff again.

I also decluttered my digital life. Why I Gave Up Social Media, and I've never regretted it.

Sewing Room Tour with tips on how you can create your own creative space and keep it decluttered.

We couldn't let our friends go without a goodbye party. The pictures above are from our neighborhood going away party we threw in our backyard. Our neighborhood parties are always casual, always potluck, often last minute, and always very fun. We don't organize the food or drink and it always works out, but as with any typical potluck, we bring whatever we like to drink, plus more to share, plus a dish to share. The host supplies the plates and cups, and this neighborhood expects paper and plastic. We had a beet salad, an Indian rice dish, chicken kebabs, meatballs, cucumber salad, brownies, and so much more. It was quite a smorgasbord. Someone brought chips and onion dip and it was devoured! We were all exclaiming about how we never have chips and onion dip anymore and why not? It's so good! We had an exchange student from Italy at our party and he might have thought our food selection was a bit alarming but I know he had fun. When visiting another country it's so fun to see how the natives party, don't you think? 😉 I put out nuts and a bowl of cherry tomatoes and made tomato bruschetta that was gone in a flash. I also made flower arrangements for each table of course. I grounded them with huge magnolia branches then filled in with zinnias, dahlias, shasta daisies, and cosmos. The night got chilly, and for the late stayers, I was happy to give them my knitted blankets and shawls. That alone is a reason to keep knitting! 

Happy Sunday folks, 


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  1. I, too, am done with the social media influencers. I am not going to make them rich. Hopefully, I can wean myself off IG, but not yet. FB is gone and the store ads. Thank you for your inspiration.

  2. Good article, Kristen. The Forbes article was right on. I think I will start donating some things.

  3. Wise words about decluttering, as usual. I wish my mother and mother-in-law had taken your advice, because it all has to be done at some stage and better to do it yourself.

  4. Kristen, your story is so true and after reading your decluttering notes, I too am following your lead! Lovely flowers too.

  5. Hi, Kristen! I read this a few weeks ago but reserved comment until now. It had to really sink in for me. Having just gone through the experience of settling my parents' estate (it's been 3 years, but it seems like yesterday in many ways), it really hit home. I had to force myself to just take photos of things and give them away or sell them. There was no way we could bring all that here to our home. I had to make myself realize that a lot of it was important to them, but they are no longer here to enjoy it. There was no need for me to hang onto it for the sake of just holding on. It broke my heart to see all their beautiful possessions go up for sale in the estate sale, but it had to be done. Times have changed. Our children don't want all our "stuff" as you pointed out. What we held dear is not necessarily what they enjoy. I've noticed the trend moving in that direction for about 20 years now. I live for me, enjoying the things I enjoy and hoping the good Lord sees fit to leave me healthy enough to dispose of it all on my own terms.

    All that being said...this was a beautifully written post, and the party looks to have been a 3-pointer! Best wishes to your former neighbors, especially to the lady who had to go to hospital with all the stress. I hope they are quite content and enjoying life on their own terms...even if it is with less "stuff."


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