When I first told friends and family I was selling my three-story house in Montreal’s Plateau and moving into a tiny 650 sq. ft. condo downtown, they acted shocked. Their first question was: How are you going to fit everything into such a small space? Since I have four children, their second was: Where are you going to put your visitors? They were usually too busy laughing to ask a third.
I won’t downplay the weeding out process of my belongings. It was pretty brutal. First, I had to go through boxes of papers, most of them from the divorce. Once the pain of those had subsided, I moved on to other items in the same large closet: renovating tools and supplies, sports accoutrements, linen of all types, games from when the kids were young, boxes and boxes of the kids’ stuff, and so on. Then I reduced, one room at a time.
Despite the ruthless culling, things looked pretty grim when I moved in. I’d misjudged the size of the condo and had way too much stuff. The process of reducing began again.
On the grounds that it would be hypocritical to store the extra in a storage space and then pretend to live in a small space, I was determined to have everything I owned in the condo. I’ve stuck with the idea.
So what have I given up?
1. Some of: my special souvenirs from trips abroad, goods from when Mom and Dad passed away, possessions which were one-of-a-kind, many of my beloved books.
2. I’ve lost the spacious feel of a large house, and the social status it brings.
3. My home was the meeting point of the neighborhood. We got together and had card nights, on a regular basis.
4. Easy parking. It’s more stressful to park downtown. I’ve solved this by storing my vehicle a twenty-minute walk away.
5. I don’t see my friends from the Plateau as much, nor do I visit my favourite Mom and Pop sushi place.
6. The garden and outdoor space. This is what I miss most.
7. Multiple bathrooms.
8. A large kitchen to cook and hang-out in.
If there are more things I’ve given up, they’re not foremost in mind. All of what I’ve lost is minimal in the scope of what I’ve gained.
Tomorrow: Downsizing – What Have I Gained?
Copyright 2013-2014. Monique Martel. All rights reserved.
An article on downsizing: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Down+earth+downsizing/9472430/story.html