"To Live and Die in Paris"


They say that downsizing is the hardest part of a late-in-life move. Everything you own becomes a treasure, and it’s hard to let go. That’s exactly how we felt last fall when we left Cambridge and moved to a retirement community in Washington, DC.

We especially missed the big sofa in our sunroom where our whole family collapsed after eating too much Thanksgiving turkey. I had trouble giving up our Charles Webb planter full of “Christmas” cacti that bloomed on and off all year long.

In spite of all the things we left behind, we spent a lot of our time during the first weeks in our new apartment at the hardware store or on Amazon buying things like a wall mount for our TV, closet accessories, and a tiny stool for reaching cabinets high above the sink.

And now we’ve moved again. This time, we left a beautiful Vermont cherry-wood bedroom set and a custom-made desk in some happy new owners’ hands because we have fewer square feet in our Cambridge apartment.

But we have had to buy a smaller TV and a microwave oven, and over the weekend, we bought a new table and chairs for our balcony (having sold chairs and a table we could use now when we moved to DC last fall). It seems we are now up-sizing.

Will we ever be “right-sized”?


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You are right - downsizing is difficult, for sure. My husband and I are trying to plan ahead for this process. It's easier for me to let go of things (objects not emotions!) than it is for my husband.

Starting out identifying what our priorities are, we were surprised!

We've discovered that we don't want less room inside - we do want less yard. My husband and I are artists, and having a studio is very important to each of us. But we don't want to work in the yard anymore except for having a small garden and bird feeders.

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