Home for the Holidays

My husband and I are retired and are beginning to think about moving out of  the home we raised our family in, and into a smaller place.  Our children are coming home for the holidays, and we are wondering if there is a way we can use the time together to begin to plan for such a change while they are here without ruining a nice time together.  Is this an impossible dream?

Actually, it sounds like a great opportunity. If you’re thinking this may be one of the last times you’ll all be together as a family in your home, you will want to be sure to savor the experience and make the most of it.Take pictures, tell stories, and just enjoy the fact you’re all together once more in this special place.

Being all together in one place with extra time can also offer a chance for you to talk with your children about your plans. You might also want to begin talking about or dispersing some special family items among them. And if they have been storing some of their things in your home, now is the time for them to take  responsibility for those items themselves.

Downsizing the home does not have to be an ordeal.  Starting when there is plenty of time to take your time and enjoy the process can make a big difference in the quality of the experience.  The holidays can be a good time for bringing past, present, and future together as you plan for a new stage in your life as a family.

JH

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2 Responses

  1. My mother-in-law had a ton of her children’s possessions left at her house when each child moved out. Her solution was wonderful. For each child’s birthday and Christmas for years, they received a wrapped box of their keepsakes or things they left behind. We laughed so hard at some of these gifts. Now the responsibility for these items is with the real owner and she doesn’t have to make the decision whether to keep or throw away. By the way, most of the gift items were donated or thrown away once the child received them. They didn’t want to keep the items either!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story, Rose!

      Your mother-in-law had a great idea and I love the way she made the process something that could occasion family laughter and fun. So often the opposite happens when it’s time to figure out what to do with all that stuff.

      But people DO find so many wonderfully creative ways to make downsizing positive. It can be a time for families to become closer as they slog through all the junk, sharing memories, finding a few treasures along the way, and yes, having some good laughs too. When we were writing our book, we talked to lots of people who had developed a myriad of ways to do all those things.

      Thanks so much for adding your mother-in-law’s solution to the downsizing bag of tricks!

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