Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 45

Thread: Coming of Age: Downsizing

  1. #11
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    880
    If my parents had gotten rid of their own stuff I wouldn't have batted an eye. But leaving it for me to take care of felt like a betrayal of their memory. I know logically that it wasn't but it felt like it. They seriously believed we would want everything they had down to a matchstick. So I know there was hurt when we all said no to just about everything. I was hoping after my mom died that my dad would help me clean the house out. It was then that I found he was the bigger pack rat of the "junk". Throwing things away that might have a purpose somewhere, somehow was just criminal to him. I prayed for a meteor to hit the place.

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,902
    ah well at the end of the day parents betray you in a dozen ways to sunday, and many probably worse than a messy house (that's nothing compared to if they left a mess of their finances afterall - I fully expect both).

    Accept, accept, accept, for there is really no choice in the matter anyway.

    And I assure you I don't pass down ANY problems my parents left me to the next generation. No worries there.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  3. #13
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,330
    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post

    Just a caution about the age-segregated communities - while one may find a community of like-minded individuals, I have heard reports of people leaving these communities. They would make friends and then too many of their new friends kept dying. They then got discouraged and moved to multi-generational communities which is what I did. Much larger senior diverse communities may be different .
    i live in a very large senior community after we left the snow belt and have been for for six years and I have never heard of anyone leaving for that reason. some people do leave if they are needed by their kids or grandkids if someone gets sick or gets divorced, but that is even rare. Here is the key, stay someplace before you buy. Rent or do a lifestyle visit. Do not listen to realtors tell you a pool will be erected here and a clubhouse will be erected there. If an amenity is not already there, it may never come to be.
    Personally I love it here. Multiple pools, tennis and pickleball courts. Many bocce, cornhole and shuffleboard courts. Lots of clubhouses with exercise classes, card games, lectures, get togethers but you can also stay home and read a book. To each his or her own. we have many singles who find lots of companionship (not of the romantic kind). as in groups going out to eat, painting or creating greeting cards, theater, singing, dancing, quilting or forming bowling or bocce leagues. Many many people are involved tutoring in local schools, raising money for various causes, volunteering for the food bank and multiple other causes.

    A town can have a senior center, gym, churches, libraries and craft groups where you Might be able to find the same stuff . It really depends on what you want out of retirement. Our house is one floor and you can get into the house through the garage in a wheelchair. We have a Roman shower that you can wheel a wheelchair in as well. Very handicap friendly.

    We have very very much culled through our belongings and continue to do so. I will not leave my kids a mess of junk. They want little of it. I asked them.

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    5,315
    My Mom did not leave a mess for us kids. When she was 60 her and I took 2 years to get rid of stuff having many garage sales. They then moved into a 2 bedroom apartment. When my Dad died we got rid of his stuff. When my Mom knew she was dying she disposed of much of her stuff. We cleaned out the rest when she died. I am doing the same for my kids.

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    2,255
    We have noticed a distinct pattern up where we live, where we are surrounded by Scandinavians. People live in their houses until their late 80's or 90's, then have a house sale and move into assisted living, or the kids close out the estate about a year after the parents have moved into assisted living. There is not much downsizing that I see here, and people also don't throw much away, so the sales are pretty epic.

    We stopped at such two such sales today and everything was probably from the 50's to the 70's. The kids were all there (kids in their 50's and 60's) and cheerfully selling things and talking about their parents.

    I wish my brothers and I could get along that well--there was lot of cheerful laughter, cookies, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren present.

    Lots of farms and land, so like the pattern of my parents, although my mom cleared out much stuff by the age of 75 or 80. There is not a lifetime of accumulation in their house, and they were not hoarders.

  6. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3,363
    We went to my dd’s Senior show Friday night. They had these little paper fidget twisty things they had folded with the event, date, and location stamped on them (they were handed out ahead of time to advertise the event)

    my mom picked one up. She looked at me and said “you know I have to have a souvenir. So that you can throw it away some day. But when you throw it away, you will think of me and remember how we were here together and how nice it was and how I had to have a silly souvenir.” And my mother in law started in on her lecture about how she is cleaning out so that we won’t have to deal with any of that sort of stuff when she is dead. And I just smiled. Because they are both right.

    i will remember when I throw out my mom’s souvenir. And I will already be sad, so it will bring a happier moment to mind and be bittersweet. And once my mil is dead, I will be grateful to have to both think about her and have her affect my life as little as possible.

  7. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    992
    About two years ago, we cleared my mom's house to sell. While it was harrowing and exhausting, it was also very comforting. We did a LOT of laughing and remembering. And since we packed up a lot of her stuff to store and are still weeding through it to sell, we are still remembering and laughing. Please remember that people connect, share, and find comfort in different ways, and don't expect your kids will react the way you expect. I certainly did not feel that my parent's overstuffed house was a "betrayal". And if my own kids feel that way, that's their problem (in several ways; quite a bit of the stuff in my home IS theirs, lol..). I feel that my parents had the right, fully supported my the three of us kids, to live out their lives in whatever manner they wished. My father shuffled himself off this mortal coil 30 yrs ago; mom hung with us until she was 98. We never wanted, nor expected, them to change their wishes for our convenience. They were handy at repairs and used up many of the bits and bobs they had saved. They lived through the depression, and it molded them in many ways- saving things was important to them. If we had felt strongly about clearing out their home, we could have hired a company to do it for us. But I look at it as the last gift we could ever give them, and the last gift they had to give to us. I realize that not everyone feels this way, and that's fine. I understand that for some, the clear-out brings back bad, not cherished, memories. And I am sorry for that.

  8. #18
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    VT/NJ
    Posts
    8,311
    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    i will remember when I throw out my mom’s souvenir. And I will already be sad, so it will bring a happier moment to mind and be bittersweet. And once my mil is dead, I will be grateful to have to both think about her and have her affect my life as little as possible.
    I never had to clear out a parent's home. As I've said before, my mother died with a sum total of one large contractor bag of clothes and one medium size box of "other"--necessary things as well as photos and other memorabilia.

    As for MIL, BIL did a great job of clearing her stuff.

    When my brothers and I cleared my mother's stuff out of her assisted living place, I chose her green rain slicker to keep for myself, and I still have it 20 years later. But I've kept several of those souvenirs--she sent me a copy of Catholic digest once because the cover story was on Anne Frank, who was a lifelong hero of mine. I also have a card with a $5 bill in it. She had no money, but she always sent what she could. And, as I mentioned, I still have some stuff I took way back when she had her stroke in 1978, like the old deacon's bench that she loved, and I have a matted and framed set of Jane Greenwood costume sketches that the Stratford CT Shakespeare Guild gave her when she was president. If she were King Tut, I'd have buried that with her because that was a great time in her life--one of the few years that she was probably happy and fairly self-actualized after a lifetime of living with alcoholism and lack.

    So for me, some if it is about the memories of happy times, and some of it is about honoring her memory. She was cremated, and her ashes scattered in the Long Island Sound, so I don't have any other material way of paying homage.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    807
    I feel so lucky that I am embracing the downsizing and decluttering at this point in my life. Again, who knows what will happen tomorrow, but at least I am "trying" to get the *stuff* under control both for myself and the kids. Thanks for all the motivating comments.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

  10. #20
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    12,906
    My mother had moved a few times, jettisoning stuff, so by the time we cleaned out her final house there was very little that brought back memories to me. All of her stuff was so recently acquired, it meant nothing. Also, she often asked me if I wanted stuff she had, stuff from my childhood, before she rid herself of it. So that was good, a gradual declittering over the years with opportunity to take what I wanted.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •