The move to a new stage in life can be pretty scary if one loses perspective. In a word, this is a major ‘Downsizing”, and in this case downsizing means losing enough “fat” to reduce from Extra-large to Small. Not that all retirement homes offer only small apartments, it’s where you start from that dictates the amount of downsizing. For instance, you cannot move a large comfortable study with a desk, computer table, yards of bookshelves, easy chair and afternoon nap-couch into a nook off the bedroom in the retirement home. It just doesn’t work.
And it’s in your study that you hit the worst of the downsizing. The other major change is in the kitchen, where you cannot fit a 30 or 40 year collection of kitchen utensils and gadgets into the number of drawers in a retirement home kitchen. Other rooms are an easy change, as long as you are prepared to get rid of stuff you didn’t need or ever use.
Back in the study, you face an insoluble problem. No one wants books these days and more than that, no one wants reference books since everything is so available on the internet. Those beloved sets of encyclopedias that you bought when you were at college are now a major problem. I managed to donate one set to someone but I hate to tell anyone what I finally had to do with the other set. Pictures and paintings are a problem as well and call for some creative solutions.
Inside the retirement home, one manages to find space for everything and adapt to the smaller spaces and the downsizing exercise is soon behind one. In many ways this is how we should have been living – without the clutter.