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Downsizing in the next few years is a precious gift Ralph and I can give to our children.

Our house is 1600 square feet, 2400 square feet if we count the mostly unfinished basement. We are not hoarders, but we have accumulated a lot of stuff over the last 19 years in this house, 28 years as a married couple.

My parents are in the process of moving back to our state from Florida to live with my brother. A trailer of their possessions came up north with my mother in November. My siblings flew down to Florida today to help my father pack their remaining stuff into a moving truck, and drive back here with him. My parents already had three yard sales to reduce moving expenses.

We have spent so much effort thinking about our children’s future that we have forgotten to plan for our future as our lives wind down. The thought of Mary, Will, and Patty being faced with what to do with our earthly possessions is deeply disturbing. I imagine them bewildered. The fact that Mary and Will are on the autistic spectrum complicates the situation. Better to give it away before then, while we still have the strength and will.

Now is the time to get rid of craft items I haven’t even looked at in five years. Now is the time to shred documents we no longer need. Now is the time to go through the drawers and our many built-in cupboards. This summer we plan to sell our pop-up camper, which hasn’t been out of the garage in ten years.

I’ve already taken two trunk loads of stuff to Goodwill. Thanks to Facebook, I found “Becoming Minimalist” a blog by Joshua Becker about living with fewer possessions, and finding more time and money to develop friendships, travel, be with family. Mr. Becker is not writing about becoming a tightwad, but about setting priorities in life. I am following his Facebook page so that I am reminded on a regular basis to keep going. http://www.becomingminimalist.com/15-reasons-i-think-you-should-blog/

We could comfortably live in 800 square feet – a two bedroom house, condo, or apartment. A two bedroom space would have a place for Mary if she continues to live with us. Starting the process now, while we are still healthy, will prepare us for downsizing. If we wait, getting rid of the jetsam and flotsam of our lives will be overwhelming.

yard sale

Think about it.