|Judith Whitehead lives in Amherst New York( A suburb of Buffalo, N.Y.)|
and has worked in the ophthalmology field of medicine for over 30 years.
My husband and I built our home about 15 years ago; it was our dream house and had every amenity that we could ask for. We have a theme in our home – French country rooster – and I have spent many years collecting items that have charm and appeal to decorate our home right down to the custom tile in the kitchen and artwork and collectibles.
Our children were teens when we moved in and they enjoyed our home as much as we did. I still enjoy looking at all of the personal gifts people have given us to add to our special collection, and I love the street and location just as much as the day we moved in.
But if I fast forward to today, I see the same home filled with “stuff” in every room but a half-empty house because our boys have moved on to start their own lives. They visit often, but their rooms have turned into storage areas. Our basement is also full of possessions they left behind and claim to have no room for.
My partner is a pack rat, and although I prod and plead, he still insists on saving his treasured mementos and piles of records and valuable papers that he is sure he will need to refer to some day.
However, now that we are in our 60s and need to pay for lawn care and snow removal services, we are beginning to ask ourselves: Why do we continue to live in this large home?
My favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon is to watch the shows on HGTV – “Property Brothers,” “Love It or List It,” etc. – dealing with staging your home for a quick sale.
When I think about selling our home and dealing with all of its contents, I become overwhelmed.
My husband and I have begun checking out some of the new developments in our area. They are going up at record speed and are designed with baby boomers in mind. They are fairly pricey and allow for living with the minimum staples of furniture and belongings, but they have no room for storage.
Even with my annual large garage sales, I don’t seem to unload enough stuff to make a difference. At some point, we must reconcile to the fact that we won’t be able to stay in this home forever.
A nice one-story living space would be welcomed; the stairs in our home seem to feel like I am climbing a mountain after a nine-hour workday.
I know I am in good company among friends and family, because we all seem to be asking ourselves the same questions and having the same discussions. We empty nesters find ourselves roaming in a half-empty house.
I have also spoken with people who have taken the plunge and downsized their homes. They do agree it was a monstrous task, but they are glad they did it. I applaud them.
Perhaps it’s time for a reality check. At this point in my life, I need to start making things easier for myself.
One of these days, when the time is right, my husband and I will meet on the same page. Whether it will be this year or next, it will happen. And when it does, I will be the house on the block holding the largest lawn sale ever.
And if that doesn't do the trick, I’ll rent the largest dumpster available.
This blog also appeared in the Buffalo news on 01-14-15;
Check out this hilarious YouTube of a woman laughing on her cell phone;
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