How I downsized, Again

My cousin is quoted as saying “four moves is a fire”. I had to ask exactly what that meant. It means that after you’ve moved three times you often get rid of so much stuff it’s as if your house caught fire.

My house has indeed caught on fire.

After being in single family homes for almost 30 years, I thought I would only be able to be happy in another single family home. But, the more I looked, the more I realized I didn’t want to afford another mortgage or pricey property (California, ugh), and also I was kind of looking forward to not having to do maintenance on the place that I lived. So I began to think about apartments, ADU’s and renting. It took a few months of visiting places and searching daily on the listing sites, but no one was more surprised than me to find an apartment that I bonded with right away.

After I moved the first time (into my Uncle’s 2500 square foot house) where I got rid of a Lot of Stuff, in this second move I got rid of a Lot More Stuff! I cannot tell you how Great it felt to get rid of even more stuff and to move into this 900 square foot smaller place that I didn’t constantly feel guilty for Not Cleaning Enough or Not Fixing Up or Not Filling Up with More Excellent Stuff. So Happy.

Here’s a List of just a few of the things I gave away:
  • One Large and one Small Dark Grey Couch, This is one of the few things that had to go to the dump. Couches are very hard to get rid of.
  • IKEA dresser. It was in good shape, gave away for free.
  • A mini fridge that I bought for $10 from a guy in Lafayette, CA went to my parent’s tenant who uses it to keep his sandwiches and drinks cool while he is on a job.
  • A full sized bed and mattresses (thick foam and two toppers) including under bed “drawers” that slide along the floor providing storage. This went to a woman who told me she had several children sleeping on the floor and would be glad to have my IKEA bed.
  • I sold the natural fiber jute rug for $50. A woman brought her SUV and her friend to pick it up. It was a very heavy rug, and in great shape!
  • An IKEA adjustable desk that was used in our house by all of us at least once. I used it for a stand up desk, a sit down desk and then a potting bench in the garage. Went to a woman who’s son likes to do crafts.
  • Queen sized IKEA bed that had the same dark “wood” (veneer?) that a lot of my furniture and cabinets had. Gave away to another gentleman who said he was sleeping on the floor.
  • Rubylux beauty Infrared bulbs. The company sold me one bulb and sent me six. I was convinced by a book I was reading that it would help youth-ify my face, but when I broke out in dark spots and freckles every time I used them, I decided it probably wasn’t good for me. I gave them away to a woman in the grocery store parking lot.
  • I was getting rid of some large planting pots that I can no longer use. When I stopped for a drink with friends the security guard of the parking lot indicated how great my large pot would be for his wife, so I gave it to him.
  • I inherited my brothers drill press and Dremel 4″ table saw thinking I might be able to use it in some craft or other I would do with my kids. We never did use it, so they went to tool enthusiasts in the area. One gentleman had cleaned out his garage to start anew and I think he was a little shocked by how small the 4″ table saw was.
  • Chest freezer took about 10 minutes to be snatched up by two ladies who were starting a community living house in Oakland, CA.
  • When I lived in my Uncle’s house, my cousin told me about how great it was to get rid of some furniture items by just placing them on the street. She encouraged me to do this when I moved. I was a little concerned the neighbors would not like this practice, but nobody said anything. I disposed of an old wheelbarrow, a nice Smith and Hawkin Composter (oops, mom actually wanted that one), a slider rocking chair, a 2′ step ladder, and several other things. I did put a sign on them, ‘Free’.
  • I had a brand new pond liner that I was going to use to cover the roof of my shed to do a roof garden which I never constructed and never used. I had a strange feeling of being sorry for the optimistic woman who took it off my hands. I thought she was setting herself up for a lot of work creating a pond on her property. But I think I was projecting.
  • Gardening tools all went to a volunteer gardening project in the area. They said they had trouble keeping their tools since people were walking off with them.

I really enjoyed talking to people as I gave away and sold these items. It was pure joy to see them go.

And further donations

In addition to these big things, I took numerous carloads full of linens, extra kitchen supplies, small furniture, old clothing, lamps, chairs, and other furniture to Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity.

Book Shelf made out of three ladder chairs

Free! I gave most things away for free and borrowed a truck for all the transport. This move was a lot cheaper than the first one. It’s possible I could have sold some of the things, but it wasn’t worth the trouble to me at the time.

I am grateful to get this chance to downsize and remove myself from the many everyday tasks needed to maintain a bigger property. I can get used to this renting lifestyle. 🙂

To the left is some repurposed hard uncomfortable dining chairs that I used for a temporary shelf. Visitors did not even notice the shelf was made out of chairs!

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