Downsizing -- pros/cons?

Rivet2000 - I’m in central Texas. If you happen to be in Santa Fe we could do a house swap!


Very courageous to sell before buying, @Rivet2000 and @newpreironic . We sold first and then bought. In part, we had/have a pretty particular set of requirements: 1) need land and zoning to build a studio (or have an outbuilding that could be converted into a studio with electricity and water); 2) a view; 3) enough bedrooms for me to have an office and still be able to have people visit; 4) was in the metropolitan area; 5) was a short distance to a town center; and 6) was affordable. We looked for six years before finding something that met our requirements. If we had had a couple of million more to spend, we could have met requirements 1-5. Similarly, it would have been easy to meet 1-3 and 5-6. But, we didn’t want to risk not being able to find a place as both of us love our work and don’t plan to stop.

I haven’t been to Sante Fe in a while, @newpreironic, but one of my close friends lived there for a number of years. All of his neighbors seemed to come from NY or elsewhere. It was really beautiful but I have a sense that Albuquerque might actually be more vibrant. My father always wanted to retire in Albuquerque.

Speaking of Downsizing. Have any of you ever had to deal with a parent wanting to downsize their belongings. My Dad passed away 4 years ago. Mom has been trying to giveaway anything and everything. Here is the rub she won’t throw anything away. She is hoping someone will take the items.

Dad used to record movies onto dvds. She probably has like 800. Unfortunately no one wants them. I am not local so I can’t help with getting clothes donated. She has done some, but for some reason she still has some. The house isn’t messy. It is just stuff she doesn’t need any longer. I don’t want her to have garage sale. I don’t want to advertise that she is an older woman living alone.

I am tempted next time I am in town to load up the SUV and make a run to pitch some stuff.

She is just from a different time.


Maybe she can donate the DVDs to a church or school? They may have use for them. I’m surprised she can’t donate the clothing to a shelter, Goodwill, Salvation Army, church, etc.

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My mom had a steam mop that stopped working. They get plugged up and stop working. She had my husband try to fix it. He couldn’t and she was going to donate it. I ordered her a new one for >$50.

It’s infuriating. People don’t want your old broken junk

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I have to say that when I helped my dad down size, I white lied about some things, took them, and then tossed.


I’ve been doing this for years. It was so much easier to say Thank you and toss the item when I got home. Sometimes I had to hide some of the “gifts” from H as he wanted to keep much more than I did.


Me too! Since my Mom died, Dad has been cleaning out a variety of things. I smile, say yes and put it in my car. Throw it out the minute I get home (though appropriate things do get donated).


Yes, my parents moved down from PA last year and moved in with us for about a year. They lived in an 1800 square foot house much of my life and were going to move in with us temporarily into a small in-law suite. She got rid of what she thought was a lot, but it filled the area in our house plus a 10x10 storage unit stacked 5 high + furniture. They just moved into an 1,100 sqft cottage. It came furnished, so all of their heirloom furniture is staying at our house. She’s quickly realizing there isn’t enough room to keep everything. What’s good is after a year in storage, she’s realizing some things weren’t as important as she thought. They have a lot of “stuff;” not heirlooms or sentimental things, just “stuff” mom thinks she may need. Service for 12 in 3 different patterns, lots of pretty paper products, etc., mostly things she bought since retirement. We’re slowly going through everything again, but being in a new place with room in cabinets and closets has her realizing she actually enjoys the breathing room. Time will tell if it remains that way :crossed_fingers:I’m having to take a firm stand that it isn’t coming into my house; we don’t have storage here.


For years, my DH went to visit his parents with our van…and no other people. He filled it with that extra stuff and we “dealt with it”. None of it ever came into our house!


My MIL is downsizing. She also has lots of stuff. She claims that a lot of her antiques, art, and decor are extremely valuable. They well may be, but I don’t like any of it. Our house and design sense is more on the modern side, and her stuff would totally clash even if I had a place to put it. She seems a little offended that none of us (her grandkids included) want any of it. She doesn’t want it be sold-she wants it in our houses because a lot of it came down through her grandparents/parents. DH has put his foot down and said we are not storing any more of her family heirlooms (we’ve been moving a very heavy brass bed from house to house because no one wants it and his mother refuses to have it sold or donated).

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I always feel that it is only “valuable” if you really like it.

It’s definitely a generational thing. So many of our parents were born/grew up in the depression and as adults wanted “stuff”. My mom was the exception to this (though not my dad) and my MIL has a house crammed with “stuff” no one really wants/needs.


I will probably give the antique couch and chairs away in the future, but maybe not until my mom passes. She was so happy to give them to me, but she never asked if I wanted them. She even had the chairs re-upholstered. It’s not my style at all. Honestly they kind of creep me out a bit, and it’s all very uncomfortable. Growing up my mom had porcelain dolls sitting on them, so that’s all I can see. My living room looks like my grandmother 's house growing up. My husband isn’t too happy about it either. I think my aunt or cousin would like to have it, maybe? With everything they’ve been through over the last year, i just don’t have the heart to tell her no right now.


My mom had some really good “stuff”. Unfortunately I haven’t the room to keep everything.


Tough situation. After my father-in-law’s parents passed away, he brought a lot of their furniture and, “art” (which is a lot of really old, framed family photos in sepia - like large oval frames) into his and mil’s home. Their home to me became very mish-mashy in terms of style because of that. Most of the antiques did not incorporate well, IMO. There are some barrister bookcases and a drop-down desk that both work fairly well, but there are way too many of those little corner, stacked, open shelving pieces with twisted legs everywhere. Just enough space on each shelf for one, “thing,” which is also a bunch of junk to me and creates more dusting. Idk if she battled fil on taking his parents’ things or not, but now that he, too, has passed, I would ditch a bunch of it. Idk if my sister-in-law wants any of it or not. She has a lot of antique things herself. Again, too much for me.

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That’s another thing…

I would have loved an offer of used furniture when H and I married at age 23 and did not own a stick of furniture between us. But by the time my parents passed I was in my 60’s and getting rid of my own stuff!

(note: I am thankful to have had my parents that long)


I would put their stuff I a box labeling what they are, you can throw away afterwards without going through them.
I just threw away or donated something my MIL collected when she was in Hong Kong, I think my sister gave it to my husband when she came here.

ShawD is moving back to our area this summer. Per @FallGirl, two different friends of ShawWife’s with whom ShawD has very close relationships are giving her their excess furniture (per this thread, a win for all concerned).

ShawD has a wonderful, warm, ebullient personality and unbelievable social skills. Both of the friends above offered to let her stay in their houses and a third friend also offered to let her rent her apartment. More surprising, ShawD broke up with BF a few months ago and, without solicitation, the ex-BF’s mother has offered her an apartment (telling the current tenants that they need to move when their lease expires) nine minutes walk from her new clinic (which the company is opening after they heard she was moving to our area). A fourth friend is trying to set up a date with their medical student son (who also happens to be extraordinarily handsome and very nice). Not sure anything will happen on the latter front, but prospective future MIL is already contemplating the excellent genetics of the future offspring. (She is hilarious).


Congrats to your daughter, @shawbridge . Sounds like she has a great choice of where to live and a lovely young man to ease her transition!

Would ShawD be interested in a long-distance relationship with my ds2, who is long on personality and potential? :purple_heart:

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