Time to downsize

With retirement looming ahead, we decided long ago to downsize.

Moving to London, Ontario from Unionville (north of Toronto) we chose a house slightly large than the previous and one much older, sitting in a well-establish community. Having owned five houses between us, this was by far the best and the neighbours on this block are irreplaceable, all of them friendly, warm and inviting – right from day one. We realized that the house was just too big, and after seven years of living in it with age and changing health patterns creeping up on us, it was time to put downsizing into motion.

No not the RV.

Don’t get the wrong idea. Moving from a house to an RV is a bit extreme – even for us. Though truth be told, we did consider it. For now we’ll settle for a solid roof over our heads, but with less of the upkeep that our lovely house afforded. When the snow thrower cacked, it was tough going shoveling snow out of our long shared driveway, with no where to go but straight ahead. When we found out that our cast iron drainage pipes were completely rusted through from one side of the building to the other. The house seemed to be pushing us away. And rightly so. We were done.

What to do next? Purge!

One of Robyn’s favourite pastimes is to go local garage sales on the weekends, when the weather permitted. Coming home with an assortment of trinkets and tidbits that other people disgarded for pennies. It was her thing, and for the most part she has had great pickings. She was always proud to point out the tasteful items around the house and garden that were garnered from someone’s weekend yard sale. She even instigated a street sale with our neighbours with the hopes of unloading some of our disgards too. Well, the thought was there. The buyers weren’t always around, so whatever had sentimental value stayed, while the rest went to the Goodwill charity.

Having a large house means that it can hold more stuff. There is so much room to cram things in and accumulate more things that we know of or really care about. It was time to go.

Landfill or recycle.

Modern age has spawned a throw away society. We live in a time where we spend and disgard frivolously. Giving unbroken or unworn items to charity allows those items a second life in another’s hands by keeping those once-used things out of a landfill and enhancing someone’s being.

We are not perfect by any means, but we’d rather giveaway than dump. Which is what we have done in our quest to rid ourselves of useful belongings. I always feel guilty bringing a load to the dump. Will it be buried for generations only to be dug up by some futuristic archeologist, or made into landfill extending a building project into the Great Lakes? On a recent occasion where we were dropping off used items to Goodwill and later visiting the dump, I mentioned to the Goodwill worker that “only part of our items were to be recycled – the rest were going to the dump”. To which he commented under his breath, “some people think we’re the dump”!

The purge continues.

Photo by Pascal Thauvin