Thursday, April 25, 2013

Downsizing-the Early Results

Please let me know if you are seeing advertising links in my posting. I have no idea where they came from or how to eliminate them, but it's a work in progress

Well, I still have not moved into my permanent home here in Colorado. Still, it's not to early to some to some conclusions about my downsizing.  Actually, I downsized and I relocated-I could have done just one, but I ended up doing both. I'm sure I'll have more to share about the ups and downs (if any) of my choice once I am settled and in a permanent place. That said, there are somethings I already know.

First let me say that the "why" of my downsizing was fairly simple. I wanted to be able to live richly and fully on my basic fixed income-my monthly pot of money if you will.  Living in my large house and paying my house payment took almost all of that pot, leaving very little flexibility without earning money.  I was becoming resentful of being house poor (both in terms of finances, time and energy).  While it is true that I earn money currently (from sewing, writing and online endeavours) I don't want to rely on that income.

The "why" of moving was not quite so simple. With my parents and husband not living, I felt that living close to siblings would make a huge difference. I also felt that my son needed a new start. While there were other reasons, those were the two primary ones.

As I ready to move into my new abode in two weeks, here are my thoughts about both downsizing and moving so far (in no particular order):
  • By downsizing, I've lost my huge fenced yard.My biggest adjustment, believe it or not, will be not being able to get up, throwing the dogs out the back door and move slowly. Getting dressed and actually taking them for a walk first thing in the morning will surely be an adjustment.  Never mind figuring out walking in the winter. It will be change for all three of us. It helps that I deliberately chose a large ground floor patio that looks onto nothing but green space. I can literally walk out my door
  • I've cut my living space in half, but expect to be extremely comfortable.Even though I have yet to move into my 1100 square foot living space, I am not worried about the size. I've spent time figuring out my furniture arrangement and except for possibly some storage issues, I think I will be very comfortable. Less space also means less work. Sure, it will be an adjustment to live in less than half the space I have. I still have a sewing room, a dining area big enough to have sit down dinners and comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces. This was an area that concerned me.
  • I'm glad I decided to rent for a little more than a year before doing anything further-on two levels. First because even though I have visited family often, actually knowing the city neighborhoods is a different thing. Second because it gives me time to decide if I even want to buy again, and if so how I want to live.
  • There are costs in moving-storage costs, down payment or deposit costs, costs to fence my little patio, moving costs, you name it. In the short term, this has cut down into my little house sale profit, leaving me with less savings. this is okay with me because of my long term monthly savings, but never the less something I did not naturally figure in.
  • While I may not become a "snowbird", I certainly will be looking to either travel or live in the south for February and March and perhaps April. It's this cold spring that is the biggest difference between Colorado and Texas-in Texas I would be planting already and the last freeze is mid May in Colorado. I don't mind my winters being winters.
  • Socially, I am in transition-while I know this too will change, I am missing both my women's group and church group in Dallas. In fact, I am looking forward to traveling to Texas for two weeks in June to visit. I expect that, just like I traveled to Denver four times a year, I will travel three times a year plus a month or so in the spring and spend those times down south.
  • A friend once suggested that if I were going to move, I should do it now so that I can make new friends. I think she was right. While I am enjoying visiting different churches, a new meet-up group and meeting new quilting friends, I'm not sure I would want to be doing this all over later in life. I am a by nature "settle in" type of person.
  • My son is re energized, and I know now just HOW depressed and down he was in Dallas. He still has no job of any kid and a minimal social life. But he is enjoying seeing family all the time, and exploring his options. He now works out every day, plays golf and is looking at going to school (which is very expensive as an out of state student!). He's exploring church twenties and thirties groups and expanding his book business. Only time will tell, but right now it seems he made the best choice.
  • Finally, you can see the mountains everywhere you go!
For the next couple weeks, I'll be shopping for the small items I need for my new home ( a new bed, bathroom linens and items, a fence that does not require drilling into the walls, basic groceries that did not come with me).

I'll also be going to a new church, the quilt guild, trying to find a friendly book ground, signing up for a glass blowing class, and planning a trip via Santa Fe and route 66 on my way back to Dallas in June.

Oh, and soon Ill be sharing the rest of my downsized budget, along with further experiences in moving....


  1. I'm looking forward to downsizing, as soon as the stars align in that direction -- i.e., B retires, the kids settle down, etc. So I'm very interested in following your experience. The only thing that really worries me about downsizing and living in closer quarters is the barking dog next door, the screaming kids, or souped-up car or loud stereo. Oh well, maybe by then I'll be half deaf.

    1. Tom, Ive spent most of my life in large city duplexes with good experience (In DC we had a brownstone with people on one side, In german a four floor duplex). That said, I chose this particular condo because it faces onto no one else and has no one on one side. the downside of being on the first floor is having someone above, and well see how that goes. That said, having a dog, it was good to see lots of dog walking and the occasional bark when I chose this particular place.

  2. Is such a snowy April usual or unusual for Denver? A friend posted a photo of new snowfall in Denver yesterday on Facebook, and I was surprised that it was still winter there.

    Regardless, you'll surely love your Denver summers absent the Texan humidity.

    Oh, and no, I saw no advertising links in your content.

    1. This has been an extremely snowy April, last year it was seventy degrees. My largest adjustment is the temperature, I adore the heat (as do my shoulders and knees). So I'll enjoy the summers, but run as far as I can next winter and early spring!

  3. It's amazing all you have done in a short time! A lot of work! Sounds like the move was just the right thing for you! ANd the events/trips and clubs you're investigating will have you settling in like a native before you know it.Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    1. Thanks Madeline-I know that they will, it just takes time. And because my car is not an all weather vehicle I have been held back by the weather to date. I expect that to change!

  4. Sounds as if the pluses out weight the minuses by a mile.

    God bless.

  5. This is such good news for you. We love our tiny winter home so much and it has tught is what is important. Good luck. I will keep reading.

  6. I'm watching this move of yours with great interest. I suspect we'll be downsizing and moving within the next five years. You're a planner like me, so it's nice to have someone ahead of me to watch.

  7. Barb,

    I'm glad to read how far you have come in such a short time. The Denver area is a tremendous place to explore and become comfortable in. I had a client there for 10 years which meant four trips every year. I must admit I didn't like my winter-time visits, but the rest of the time it is a gorgeous area.

  8. My husband and I downsized our home in California before moving to Arizona 3 years ago. We loved our home of over 20 years, but once the decision was made, it wasn't that difficult. Getting rid of many possession I'd had through my adult life was a challenge. I'd purchased a beautiful antique oak dresser-the kind with the wavy drawers, I had to get rid of. I took a picture and then I talked to it and told it how much it had meant to me through the years, but it was time to go to someone else. I know that sounds really silly, but it worked.

  9. Cathy, fortunately I had moved before and as a result had downsized. I expect the things that I have now will stay, no matter what, or go to an immediate family member. I am a girl that loves my stuff-and now it looks like I may have a house to keep it in after all, but that will come soon

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