Downsizing – moving from a bigger to a smaller place – is a huge life transition.
That’s why we need time to decide what to keep and what to let go.
This is the second in a series of 3 posts – Click here to read No 1 ‘Downsizing – Why we should declutter BEFORE we move’.
When we met again 2 weeks later, Ellen appeared to be a younger and more confident version of herself.
She said she liked the suburb, and the area around her new place, the park and the small shopping mall close by. She had also made contact with her new neighbours and had already been out for coffee twice.
However, Ellen said she didn’t feel good about herself.
She felt ashamed that in the past she had put so much attention and care into her belongings – instead of focusing on her values and interests and the people around and important to her.
She hadn’t opened any boxes in the garage and only missed a few things, particularly some clothes.
However, she had worked on her ‘stuff’: She had kept her thoughts in the journal and had developed some ideas about new activities she wanted to try out in the future.
She was also very determined about some past interests she no longer felt excited about. She, for example, no longer wanted to entertain friends in her place as she no longer enjoyed cooking.
Ellen said she now wanted to get rid of the boxes and the pieces of furniture we had stored in the garage, all of them, as soon as possible.
She felt able to arrange this on her own because she believed there were no big decisions to be made.
The only area she didn’t feel confident to manage was the paperwork. She asked me to help her sort out all the boxes filled with papers and documents.
We had a longer conversation.
I felt happy for Ellen, of course, and it was great to experience her excitement and the energy she radiated. However, I also felt that her mind and attitude shifts were quite radical, and sudden.
I suggested she should take some time to consider all the options she had in this phase of her life and to deepen her understanding of herself and of what was now important to her.
It wouldn’t be good for her to hurry through important decisions, just to get things done, risking she might regret some of them later.
Ellen thought about this and then agreed – yes, she would be patient and give herself some more time before making final decisions about her belongings.
We went down to the garage and picked up the numerous boxes with her books, and some boxes with clothes and shoes and brought them up to her apartment.
Ellen wanted to sort through the books and keep only as many as would fit into the shelves in the living room. And she wanted to ask her friend to help her get a clearer picture of her personal fashion style so that she could get rid of some of her clothes, with confidence.
We arranged to continue working on the many remaining boxes in the garage 4 weeks later. We also decided to sort out her paperwork at that time.
When we met again 4 weeks later, … (This is the second in a series of 3 posts – to be continued. Click here to read No 3)