With 36 years of marriage under our belts, my husband and I are in the process of downsizing and we just moved to an apartment. That brought back memories of the first time we lived in an apartment back when we were newlyweds.
Bob was active duty in the Navy at that time and we lived in Jacksonville, Florida. After living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from the age of 12 until 21 when I got married, Florida was beautiful, but the heat was a shock to my system. But, it didn’t take me long to adjust to the warm weather and soon I came to love warmer, more balmy temps.
That first apartment was just a basic apartment. One bedroom, big walk-in closet, one bath. Small dining room, small kitchen and medium-sized living room. It was on the first floor. We had a small cement patio that looked out onto a pond that was surrounded by grass and bordered on one side with trees. It was a nice view, especially in the fall with the color on the trees. Ducks wandered freely around the apartment complex and it was fun to look out the window and see the ducks swimming or waddling around the grounds.
I loved walking to the pool in the summer months. And every night after dinner we went for a nice stroll.
One thing that apartment didn’t have was all the “stuff” we have since accumulated over 36 years.
The Navy saw to it that we moved a “few” more times and over the years we bought or rented several houses. With each move, we acquired more and more “stuff.” Each new house offered a new corner here and a new corner there to be able to add stuff that we thought was necessary at the time. Our houses grew as we went from being a couple to a family of four.
The last house we owned had five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Soooo….after being married for 36 years, we had a house filled with lots of “stuff.”
But, now was the right time to downsize. At first it was hard to put things in the “get rid of” stack. Gradually it got easier and easier. Now, I love finding stuff to get rid of. Feels good. Makes you feel as if you have lost a few pounds.
First, we create a “get rid of” stack. Then we start breaking that stack down into categories. They get marked as either “Donate,” “Sell” or “Throw away.”
The big step is to actually get rid of the stuff.
We pack up the stuff marked for donation and bring it to whichever organization we chose and bring it there. Next, we take the stuff marked to throw away to the dump and then we try to sell the other items. If it doesn’t sell after a certain period of time, it becomes a “donate” item and we donate it. In the end, the stuff I thought I wanted is gone and it makes me feel good.
The first time we got rid of stuff I felt as if I wanted to skip through the house. It’s so rewarding to look around the house and there is no clutter.
And now, we will settle into our new apartment, with less “stuff.”