Downsizing 101

One of the marvels of going from 1532 square feet to 313 square feet centers on the process of radically downsizing my beloved personal belongings without which I thought I could not survive an average day.

Certain aspects of this undertaking appeal to me.  The built-in breakfront groans under the weight of three shelves filled with antique mixing bowls.  I do not use any of them.  Out the door!  Give away, donate, send to nieces and nephews who might remember their Grandmother Corley and want her Pyrex bread bowl.  I have twenty-five angels but only a handful of them have sentimental value.  I’m sure the City Thriftstore would take a few.  Eliminate six feet of blouses?  Done and done.  Forty years of photographs?  Pick a few from each year of my son’s life and one of each person no longer walking the earth. Scan those. Shred the rest.

But when it comes to one particular category of possessions, a problem arises.

Rocking chairs.

Who doesn’t love a good rocker?  The comfort which I find probably has its origins in babyhood or earlier.  My body gradually relaxes into the soothing back-and-forth motion, unconsciously perpetuated by the little shove of one toe against the floor.  Did I mention that I own nine rocking chairs?  Two on the porch, two in the living room, one in my bedroom, one at the office, one in the sitting room, and one downstairs in the basement because — well, see above.  The tiny house to which I’m downsizing will accommodate precisely one, though once I’ve parked it and had a little porch built, I can probably use an outdoor rocker, of which, as noted, I have two.

But my problem is not parting with seven of the nine.  Rather, it’s figuring out which two of the nine to keep.   Which will “look best” in a 313 square feet dwelling made principally of rustic wood?

It’s a good problem to have — a first-world problem, even — a tribute to the bountiful life that has allowed me to acquire these lovelies whenever I saw one at a thrift store or flea market that I simply had to have.  So I’m not complaining.  But I have been feeling like Goldilocks in the Three Bears’ House.  Nothing felt quite right.

It turns out that I needed number ten to get that perfect chair for my new THOW [tiny house on wheels].  And when I saw an ad on the Nextdoor App from my friend Cherie Meyer for a rocker that she and her husband no longer needed in their guest bedroom, my senses tingled.  Sure enough: that turned out to be “the one”.  It became mine, delivered, for the price of a cup of coffee at Pirate’s Bone.  Bonus to the home team:  A pleasant morning’s conversation with Cherie!

Problem solved.  And another bonus emerged.  Somehow getting that question resolved inspired me to sort through two boxes of Patrick’s grade school drawings and homework, 90% of which got thrown in the discard pile.  I take my motivation where I find it.  Rock on.

It’s the thirteenth day of the forty-third month of My Year Without Complaining.  I’m moving forward.  Life continues.


4 thoughts on “Downsizing 101

  1. Sharon

    I moved 2 of my rocker collection to my office for the waiting room. More frequently chosen than the other ‘traditional’ waiting room offerings. And what a wealth of information they provide about my new clients’ state of mind.

    I, too, am ‘moving on’ by October – but not my residence, but my office. Even if I do not sell my building, I am moving on to sharing an office in a 4 office (all women) law office in a stately Victorian about 2/3 of a mile from my house. I’ll be working 2 days a week at the max. In the Spring my partner, Larry, and I will break ground on a Timber Frame Craftsman Bungalow, on the spare lot next to the 3500 sq. ft colonial where we now live, which keeps us in the eclectic neighborhood we both love. No more community garden next year, but a house with a huge courtyard with a wood-fired pizza/baking oven that the neighbors will be invited to share.

    So much change ahead of both of us! I look forward to sharing your adventures through your blogs – look forward to them every day. Thanks

    1. ccorleyjd365 Post author

      How lovely to hear from you! I have a rocker in my office. My clients who bring babies are thrilled to sit in it and nurse or just soothe their troubled child while we meet. I look forward to hearing about your moves and thank you for both reading and writing.

  2. Anne Orso

    Hi Corrine. You live in a tiny home on wheels now? You know we moved to Wisconsin and live on land with Joe, Adrianne, Siporah and Wendell? They live in a tiny home on wheels with the two children. They do plan to rebuild and refurbish an old log home that will be about three times their present 160 square feet. They’ve lived in it for about 3 1/2 years now. We lived in a 1000 square foot apartment before moving here and I loved it’s “smallness”. We mainly live on our main floor here which is about 1000 square feet. We have a lower level for when guests come. I love getting rid of things…makes me feel so much lighter. Simplicity. Good for you.

  3. ccorleyjd365 Post author

    Hey there! Yes, I’ve followed your move! No, I’m building a tiny house and will be moving to it this fall. Not sure yet where I will park it. Somewhere between the Beltway and the Northern Lights!


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