We sold and closed on our second home in California in a week! We chose to sell the Shangrila furnished. I wanted to take all of our personal possessions because every piece had a story. So, 83 boxes of our personal life went with us. And, as I sit at my computer at 5:29 am, in my beautiful Chicago, and reflect back on our move… I can honestly tell you everything went smoothly.
How did I move from a huge home with my Ultimate Concierge, my pooch America, and 83 boxes into our furnished downsized apartment in the sky and find a home for all our treasured possessions with a story? Well, I was super organized. I laid out a plan, focused, and followed it to a T. For those pieces I could not leave behind I said to myself, “I will figure it out!” That is called positivity that does not always work! LOL. But, where there is a will, I find a way. So, I am smiling.
The Emotional and Physical Side of Moving
Moving from one’s home has a profound emotional side effect because it represents the end of what was and the beginning of what is to be. In our case, it was our choice. Therefore, the hardest part of our move was the physical work rather than the emotional and yet, it was emotional too.
If you are moving or have parents who are downsizing I learned there are ‘Senior Move Managers’ who specialize in helping you or parents distribute, donate, and discard unwanted items. They also can help you move and set up new housing. You can find a Senior Move Manager in your area at the National Association of Senior Move Managers website: NASMM.org.
It is So Nice to Rely on a Friend!
I love to seek the advice of those I feel are in the know. Whenever I am in doubt about anything, I go to a person with wisdom. I did not know of an A-plus moving company. Therefore, I relied on a friend whose opinion I trusted. This saved me time and gave me confidence that all would run smoothly. The company, Plycon Movers, was exceptional. There was no breakage except two tiny beaks of two birds. I took photos and Plycon is picking up the lamps and taking them to a restorer! How is that for service and… the suburb wisdom of a friend. So, do ask for help, darling.
Organize, Focus, Survive!
I had everything organized for the movers. Every item I chose to ship I took out of cabinets and drawers and laid them out in an orderly manner. All books, all photos, all china, crystal, all serving pieces, all treasures, everything I decided to take had sticky notes on them that said, ‘pack.’ This took me three days of hard work. I also told the packers to label the boxes with the room they came from in Shangrila and the room I wanted them in my apartment in the sky.
An added note: Though it is hard to do, I left my ‘maybes’ behind. I have read that typically ‘maybes’ end up in storage and that gets very expensive.
And, I was well aware that I would be short of space in Chicago, so I devised a plan. I knew I would have to build out space and configure a plan for all my treasures so I decided to phone California Closets–who had done work for us. But first and this was exhausting, I had to unpack 83 boxes and organize all my possessions from Shangrila so Allyson from California Closets would be able to visualize the space I was going to need and build my plan.
How Did I Decide What to Take?
Everything I own is a memory, has a story. I splurged on one set of china, Hermes, and have no regrets… this I took with me, of course. As well, I packed my dishware from Positano, Italy, and from Vietnam… they both have stories. Just as my stemware from Baccarat that added a new dear friend to my life. Then I brought my Waterford Crystal that was purchased in Ireland and I remember buying vases for ‘my girls.’
Darling, I packed what made my heart sing. And, I left the meaningless. My treasures are based on feelings. They can cost $1.00 or several hundred. Here are a few more that I packed to take back to Chicago with me:
1. A ‘God Bless America’ rock that I found at a Flea Market. I gave it a home of prominence. So, it sat on a ledge outside our front door.
2. I hung this in a window in my bath. A gift from my daughter, Jenny.
3. A piece of pyrite that I bought in Aspen. It symbolizes for me a glittering life.
4. A mug I carried home from Ireland and another from Paris of Manet’s art.
5. My cookbook holder art that is very special to me.
6. A Mexican handmade pot, so delicate and beautiful.
The Pleasure of an Organized Life
As I unpacked I focused on a plan that took into account what lay ahead. Allyson would arrive from California Closets and life would be easier if she could visualize the space I would need for our possessions. So, I decided to have everything in place ahead of time. My china, stemware, silverware in one area, barware in another, platters and serving pieces in another, large kitchen appliances and cookbooks had a home of its own, etc, etc, etc…
This was an ordeal of mass proportion, but, when Allyson arrived, she was definitely impressed because she knew exactly what she had to deal with and she started to make a plan. As my Ultimate Concierge says, “Nothing good happens by accident.” My organization and my time and energy have brought the ultimate satisfaction. California Closets will install my new spaces on November 17th!
Keep Life Visual
A very important part of my plan was to keep our life on a ‘visual’ even keel. I did not want to live in clutter, and, our dining room became our storage room. But, as of November 18th, it will once again be used as a dining room! We decided to call in a decorator to hang our art before California Closets’ appearance on November 17th. That is on my ‘today list.’
It has been three weeks and I am still unpacking. But, I do see light at the end of the tunnel. I will admit this move has taken its toll on me because I have so many other responsibilities. Some responsibilities have had to be left behind and this creates a feeling of guilt and even despair. I ask myself, “How can I get everything else accomplished? How can I focus with so much on my plate?” One of my friends told me to write a daily or weekly plan and don’t waver. Sounds good to me. Even makes me feel good.
November is quietly sneaking upon us. There are no butterflies, no flowers, no real sunshine, no warmth. In its place, the air is refreshingly cold and crisp and the foliage is a crimson orange and gold. I know as November’s days fade away we are going to have to radiate beauty from within. And, we will. The first step is to buy my 2021 weekly planner calendar in the hope I will be able to focus and discipline myself as I did in our move from Shangrila to our apartment in the sky. Fingers crossed!
How would you decide what to take if you moved or downsized? Let me know if the comments at the bottom of this page!
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