Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Downsizing - seriously!
Old 10-04-2007, 12:29 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
cj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 517
Downsizing - seriously!

OK, in a follow up to other threads, DH & I are starting to get the itch to seriously downsize. Maybe move into one of those over-55 places, who knows? So we keep talking through the issues and what it would mean. Then we start talking about all the stuff we could get rid of (lawn mower, tractor mower, weed-whacker, leaf blower, chainsaw, wheel barrow, 24' ladder, snowblower, some furniture, exercise equipment - if it's available at the community - etc., etc.)

We already live a lot lighter than many people we know, but to ditch all of this stuff really feels like it would be a commitment. A true life change. But, I mean, what if we got rid of all the stuff, moved to a little place, then decided we hated it??

These are the thoughts that have been running through my head. Now that they are written down, it seems sort of silly. I guess we just really have to figure out just what it is we want. We live out in the country with lots of space, and it really is pretty, but we are starting to feel like slaves to the place. We'd like to have a bit more freedom to come and go. When I see Billy & Akaisha's little park model, I get envious of the freedom. So maybe we are ready for this. It still feels like a big jump though!

Comments? Let me have it!

CJ
__________________

__________________
cj is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-04-2007, 12:49 PM   #2
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,142
Could you put all of your stuff in a self storage place for a year or two, just in case you don't like the new place and want to upsize again?
__________________

__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 12:57 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,271
How about hiring somebody to do all that for you?? Heck, a lawn guy is cheap for what they do.
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 01:35 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,408
Well now - I suggest that nobody downsize like we did in 2005(Katrina).

Hindsight says though - if you turn around and buy another house - the 'stuff' comes back almost like 'magic' perhaps even more so. Before Katrina 1345 sq ft fish camp/250' driveway and swamp. Post Katrina 1152 sq ft house/modest front and back yard/covered patio/tool shed out back/gas grill.

The stuff/junk suits the action - small apt., maybe RV - or drastic change in sq ft with no yard - or form follows function and all that rot.

heh heh heh - downsizing isn't as easy as it first appears!

Lest I forget - two dogs, one cat and a 38 gallon tank with numerous fishies! Even in my 14th yr of ER - downsizing would requiring consulting a professional - if there is such a thing.
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 01:50 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 331
CJ,

It seems you just need to decide what kind of lifestyle will make you happy and if you and your spouse are on the same page, go for it. The material things you listed don't seem like much fun anyway...

I think I understand your confusion. My husband and I retired to lakefront property that we had owned for a few years. We had a open water view that went for miles! But that view didn't make up for all the living that we left behind in town. We sat down one day and made a list of what was wrong with our situation at the lake and what we would really like. After comparing our lists, we started looking around to find a place that was a better match for us.

We now live in an over-55 community in north Texas and the change in our lives has been very positive. We love the community, we love our house that is on a small lot on a golf course. We still have a view of water, too. We are enjoying our days much more.

Notice I didn't mention downsizing. We downsized our household when we moved to the lake. Our house here is 700 sq ft larger than the lakehouse, but much easier to maintain. But we don't have the riding lawn mower, the power washer, the large ladders, or the boat, jetskis, etc. LIfe is much more simple.
__________________
Cruisinthru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 01:56 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
CuppaJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: At The Cafe
Posts: 6,866
My neighbor lives in a studio apt. and uses a weed-whacker to turn the back yard into his own personal patch of paradise, complete with garden. No one else goes out there.
__________________
CuppaJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 02:01 PM   #7
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,860
If you are moving to another state then the high cost of moving usually means selling/giving away all that stuff anyway, and buying new when you get there.

So, if you wind up in a downsized over-55 community, then you just wouldn't buy what you don't need, after you get there. If you decided you didn't like it there, then buy new.

Stuff is easier than you might think to replace, as needed, even while LBYM'ing. I was pleasantly surprised to find that out after my divorce.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 02:51 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,038
I can't wait to downsize! and I am only 33! When I see the stuff my wife and I have accumulated in just over 10 years, it makes me sick to my stomach. There are days I look around, grab large plastic bags and start packing stuff away, destination the dust bin or the charity shop. I did that with my office last week and I am weeding out our closets this week. And it's not like we are pathological hoarders, but it is still too much stuff everywhere, books, "figurines" (or dust traps as I call them), furniture, clothes... And let's not even talk about the garage! The wake up call came when we moved 2 years ago and we realized that a 18-wheeler was barely big enough to haul our stuff!

When my MIL moved early this year, I helped her unpack and after unwrapping the fifth porcelain elephant, the fourth china set, and the 30th wind chime, I was about ready to blow a fuse...
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 03:01 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
When I was 33 I was still able to move in full sized van borrowed from a friend.

But boy did I change that quickly when we moved to the country and I started acquiring stuff for my place, my wife and my kids.

I have never felt comfortable with stuff, but I nevertheless have a lot. Quite a bit will be going soon.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 03:51 PM   #10
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,860
When I move to Missouri, I am planning to fit everything in the smallest size U-haul truck.

I am already working on psychologically "letting go" of furniture that I just won't be able to move, or shouldn't. I will be taking almost no furniture with me. I will buy furniture that looks right with the new house when I get there, and I can use the money that I saved in the move to give me a head start on that.

It will be a new life, in a new place, so that will be fun.

Oh, and speaking of downsizing - - in the past eight years I have reduced my books from 85 boxes full to an estimated 25 boxes full, and I am still working on that. A few days ago I even threw out (gasp!) my whole collection of empty shoe boxes, except for two. Pretty soon, the old and ratty shoes that I would never wear again will go with them.

I bought some plastic containers, to store things in so that my closets would be neater. When I tried to fill them, I was surprised to realize that most of my stuff isn't worth packing away to keep.

If I keep downsizing, I'll be able to fit everything in my car!
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 04:01 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj View Post
Then we start talking about all the stuff we could get rid of (lawn mower, tractor mower, weed-whacker, leaf blower, chainsaw, wheel barrow, 24' ladder, snowblower, some furniture, exercise equipment - if it's available at the community - etc., etc.)
I like the storage unit suggestion, and for everything else there's Home Depot Rentals.

I've also enjoyed reading "It's All Too Much". The focus is on decluttering but it's a great guide to deciding what you want to keep on hand for a particular task or hobby.

In my case I realized I can finally let go of those five-year archives of Family Handyman magazine... of course I'm also going to install the "infinite attic storage system".
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 09:19 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
I'm thinking I should downsize to the volume of a shopping cart...
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 09:25 AM   #13
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,860
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
I'm thinking I should downsize to the volume of a shopping cart...
I think it would be cool to downsize to the volume that would fit inside my Camry Solara, before I move to Missouri.

Ain't gonna happen... but it would sure be a hassle-free move. It's worth thinking about.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 09:47 AM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 987
Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
I think it would be cool to downsize to the volume that would fit inside my Camry Solara, before I move to Missouri.

Ain't gonna happen... but it would sure be a hassle-free move. It's worth thinking about.
Funny, since my DW/me did exactly that. We were married after I returned from Nam in '69. All our "possessions" were in the back seat of our '69 Dodge Dart on our way to my next assignment.

Fast forward (38 years last month). So much "stuff" in our current home (only 2 of us, with 2 dogs) with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and 1+ acre in grass. I don't think I would ever get my DW to part with "her stuff" (most of it!) after having "nothing" for so many years.

What seems simple is often not. I don't think that anthing will be disposed of untill she/me are "in the ground". We'll pay for having our grass cut and the bushes trimmed (cheaper than moving into a 55+ community, of which we already researched).

- Ron
__________________
rs0460a is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 09:53 AM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Ron, you have turned off the ability to get PMs. I didn't know we could even do that.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 09:55 AM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 987
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
Ron, you have turned off the ability to get PMs. I didn't know we could even do that.
I just reviewed the options. Apparently, it was saved as a default. I changed it to now accept all requests! (surprising how many were out there, since I left...)

- Ron
__________________
rs0460a is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 10:25 AM   #17
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,860
Quote:
Originally Posted by rs0460a View Post
Funny, since my DW/me did exactly that. We were married after I returned from Nam in '69. All our "possessions" were in the back seat of our '69 Dodge Dart on our way to my next assignment.
Aw!!! That is so touching. Honestly, it reminds me of those days of first love, when possession don't matter as much as each other. For me, Sonny and Cher's "I Got You, Babe!" epitomize that stage in life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rs0460a View Post
Fast forward (38 years last month). So much "stuff" in our current home (only 2 of us, with 2 dogs) with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and 1+ acre in grass. I don't think I would ever get my DW to part with "her stuff" (most of it!) after having "nothing" for so many years.
I can relate to that, as I was that way for many years. Lately, I guess it has worn off since I feel burdened by all this sh*t, most of which isn't worth keeping. I gave my ex everything in my divorce (essentially), but more has accumulated. I really prefer having less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rs0460a View Post
What seems simple is often not. I don't think that anthing will be disposed of untill she/me are "in the ground". We'll pay for having our grass cut and the bushes trimmed (cheaper than moving into a 55+ community, of which we already researched).
After reading today's posts, I threw out six more empty shoeboxes and similar boxes. I seem to hoard boxes like a squirrel hoards nuts, and while big boxes are great for moving, there are only so many small boxes that a person needs. Then I went through some of my college books and notes, and segregated some that I would not miss. I filled two of my new plastic storage containers with excess office supplies that I have accumulated over the years. All of this makes my house look neater, and moving seems more possible than it did before.

I guess this is downsizing the hard way! The easy way would be to hire a couple of illegals with a backhoe and a dumpster...
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 10:39 AM   #18
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
We sold a 2200 sf, 4/2.5 house in Houston and bought a 2-bed, 1150 sf house on a half acre out in the country west of Austin last year. Though we're not FIREd yet (I'm 42 next week and the better half is 39), it nevertheless represented a step closer to FIRE. We already live in our "retirement home" (we think) so we won't have to deal with when we pull the plug on w*rk. My property taxes are 1/3 what they were in Houston, and electric bills have been 1/3 what they were there. No more mortgage, either!

Moving to such smaller quarters has made us seriously look at our "stuff" and give a lot of it away. The inability to hold more stuff in the smaller house makes it harder for us to succumb to "affluenza" and buy more stuff. All of which help reduce our income requirements, allow us to save more and accelerate FIRE.

We're quite fortunate in that I'm able to telecommute most of the time and take my big-city salary (originally transferred from Silicon Valley) out to the country. We're already living some of the FIRE goals we have (such as the smaller house in a slower-paced town in the country) and I'm probably still 10 years (+/-) away from calling it quits for good.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 11:12 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
happy2bretired's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 1,340
Since my auction of collectables, antiques and BOOKS I feel so much better. My basement was overflowing with junk. I still have much more to sort thru and throw or give away, but, it's so much easier now. Not only did I have cobwebs in my basement due to the extra stuff, I felt like I had cobwebs in my brain. Just the thought of all that stuff down there was very disturbing.

I went to a tag sale yesterday. A $400,000 townhouse, over 3,000 square feet just filled with prettys....really nice prettys. The townhouse was owned by a widow. There was no indication that her husband had ever lived in that house since everything appeared to be in a woman's taste. Very lovely and expensive furniture, art objects, just beautiful stuff. Very expensive clothing, shoes - it was just amazing to me. Every room was covered with stuff and every closet was full of clothing. That lady must not have done anything but shop.

I walked thru there in amazement - looked it all over and took in all the eye candy I wanted. Walked out without buying anything and felt GREAT!
__________________
happy2bretired is offline   Reply With Quote
more energy from managing less stuff
Old 10-05-2007, 11:29 AM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 463
more energy from managing less stuff

Since ER'ing 5 years ago we've done way too much moving: from Boulder condo to nice 3 BR house in NM, to 477 sq. ft. (!) mother-in-law apartment, to another house, and now to a 2 BR 900 sq. ft. mobile back in pricey Boulder, CO. It's plenty of space for two (childless, pet-less) people, yet small enough it "encourages" us to get out the door - and our of each other's hair - into the real world on a daily basis.

For us one lesson learned (and Billy and Akaisha are the masters of this!) is that having less stuff to manage AND being involved in learning experiences on a daily basis that really feed one's soul are the way to go. We put all our stuff in storage last winter and spent 5 months traveling through Asia (Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali) with sub-25 lb. backpacks - and we had all we needed, and never felt more alive.

We love our "nesting" comforts [TV to watch DVDs, books (big weakness)], but more and more find it is the learning experiences one can only have when in community with others that really make the difference, and for those too much cocooning or just the hassles of owning and maintaining stuff just get in the way.
__________________

__________________
kevink is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Poll: Downsizing the Home - When to do it? chinaco Life after FIRE 18 06-18-2007 01:37 PM
Downsizing on housing or renting Edgar FIRE and Money 18 05-07-2007 03:42 PM
Downsizing & Holiday Decorations shtg42012 Other topics 14 12-28-2006 04:19 PM
Downsizing WRBT FIRE and Money 42 11-29-2005 01:48 PM
DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT! AJL FIRE and Money 23 11-26-2005 08:51 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:24 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.