Joan’s Journey continues as she works on downsizing from her large condo to a senior apartment. This post focuses on her struggle to go through her children’s childhood items and decide what stays and what goes. She recruits her children to help her through this emotional process. Read an excerpt from her latest post below.
Reminiscing About Days Past
To be precise, my daughter’s high school and college belongings were the items of closet downsizing on June 5, my birthday. My fabulous daughter flew to Baltimore from San Francisco for my birthday weekend. From Friday to Tuesday we saved or eliminated clothes, shoes, high school and college books and notebooks, stuffed toys and mementos, a sleeping bag, and most importantly, boxes of photos.
My adult daughter has lived in San Francisco for 13 years. Yet, as we worked, at least five coats and 12 pairs of shoes with countless pairs of socks emerged from the bowels of her closet. As we sifted through the various items, we felt like we were on a journey down memory lane. “Remember when I bought this blue mini-skirt for a high school party?” my daughter asked. “I do remember,” I answered, as we looked at each other teary-eyed with fond shared memories.
Her visit, especially on my birthday, was bittersweet. Downsizing remnants of 20 years of my daughter’s life was not easy. By the end of her trip, we were physically exhausted and emotionally drained.
Discovering Lost Treasures
What did we accomplish? We downsized from a large closet filled beyond capacity to a one-third-filled closet with boxes of “keepers” ready to be properly packed and shipped. I gave my daughter a very large suitcase for her return trip that she filled with photos and treasures she didn’t trust to ship.
Did we finish? Not at all. When one starts early in the move process and organizes the downsizing into logical stages, the time involved is longer than randomly throwing items away or into storage. I have a ‘feel-good’ sense of accomplishment from our rather organized Stage 1 downsizing start.