FAMILY: Downsizing – Taking a Look at My Family’s Heirlooms | ShesIt

Trends and Down Sizing

 

It’s interesting that it is two years ago, right before Halloween, since my husband and I down sized our life. This involved selling our family home, packing and moving and downsizing to smaller digs in a townhouse.

 

Selling and moving involves knowledge of trends and finally dealing with “stuff.” I do not know anyone who doesn’t have “stuff” and is holding onto it. Much of this stuff, you will never use or miss. Many of us seek to simplify our lives. Downsizing helps with that.

 

I recall the last family celebration in our prior home was Rosh Hashanah. After this meal, (“The Last Supper”) every dish, silver was washed and wrapped and put straight away to a box. It really meant a new chapter was upon us. I will spare you the mishagas, the agidah, of selling and moving. I will leave it to the stuff we had to sort through, deciding what to take what to toss.

 

This is everything in your home. This prompted me to ask, what do we need? What do we take?  Need is a weird thing. We need our dishes, but do we need all the stuff we accumulate that sat in our basement for years? While these decisions are difficult, they are very cathartic. 

 

To sell the home, we had to make it as empty and impersonal as possible. Taking down pictures was another sign of leaving. It was harder to replace all things brass which was once in and now not. This was with brushed nickel. We did not want to absorb the cost to replace our tan and white checker board tile that came with the home. My kids roller-skated on this floor. Not even a scratch to this stubborn floor. We had to replace appliances with stainless steel as much as possible. We had to paint the walls a greyish color. I predict brass and beige walls will return per those marketers who “decide” these things for us.

 

As a side note, I had to go back to my prior home to retrieve something that was sent there at which time these lovely homeowners gave me a tour. OMG. All that ceramic floor was gone and replaced by a lovely greyish wood. Walls were various shades grey. The kitchen was spectacular. They painted our cabinets a clean sparkly white, and redid the counters, which were brown granite to the all mighty quartz and the backsplash which were my favorite colorful Mexican tiles to crisp white subway tiles.

 

It was a very different space. This was the opposite of what I did. It is now pristine and shiny. I couldn’t be happier for these adorable parents and two little girls that my home is truly now their home with their names on it.

 

So, we moved, we did it! I did it, and if I could do it, trust me, so can anyone else. Moving and downsizing is huge. I can’t imagine anyone saying it is a cinch. Now I had decisions to make in my new home which was 18 years old and needed some updating.

 

I kept some things regardless of trends: My mother and mother-in-law’s ornate brass mirrors, my mother’s probably almost 100-year-old cabinet for special dishes. They are kind of antiques. They are worn in a way, but that’s their charm.  

 

I used many of our pictures from the old house. We changed a few light fixtures. We painted the walls a blue gray. This was a compromise to appease my love of blue, while the requisite color was/is grey.

 

Anyway, our new abode is a little bit of modern and maybe old fashioned too. Speaking of air looms, here’s a picture of something our son made in high school in sculpting class. This is our guest bathroom. I look forward to passing it down to other family members as the newest heirloom.

 

As for trends and the ever-present desire to look fresh and modern—beware, that it is changing now. If you redecorate or go on an all a new clothes shopping trip, you are contributing to the economy.

 

Mind you, if I had unlimited funds, I’d update the bathrooms and kitchen in my current abode. They are good enough, and I am living a less cluttered life.

 

Speaking of trends, I just seriously went through my clothes and purged items which were too big, (yay) and even never worn. They have moved also, to Goodwill.

 

As we mature, if you will, we realize there are times when we want to be “in Rome and do what the Romans are doing.” And there are times to make our own rules.

 

For your perusal however, here are links to the new fashion and home décor trends.

 

You can look up the fashion and décor trends for 2019. Decide what will make you happy and comfortable. I suppose this is a metaphor for so many decisions in life. Are you feeling inspired to downsize now?

 

Beth

Beth grew up in Camden, New Jersey and majored in Education and History at Rutgers University and later obtained a Masters in Family Therapy at Drexel University. She’s married to her husband of 41 years with two young adult children—a daughter and son—who both work in NYC. She loves movies, Netflix, books, history, linguistics and exploring the human condition. From her extensive background, she’s accumulated many stories and lessons and looks forward to shaping the conversation.