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Advice from Dear Webby
Downsize to Condo or Stay in Home

Dear Webby,

I am considering moving into a condo and leaving my large colonial home of 35 years. My home is loaded with memories and treasures. My husband has passed on.

Should I listen to my children and move? How do I decide what to take? I know the items I get rid of are the ones I"ll want. I'm not looking forward to moving.

Signed: Indecisive

Dear Indecisive,

This is indeed a major decision and you are wise to give it much thought.

Not knowing about you, your health, or finances it is hard for me to advise you. What are the reasons you are considering a move?

Is the physical work of maintaining a big house too hard? Can you get someone to help you tend the yard and do the repairs? Are the steps a problem for you? Can you close off a few rooms to make it more manageable (and less expensive to heat)?

Do you have a very close friend or relative in similar circumstances who might make a great roomate? Think hard before you do this. It could be a wonderful experience and give you help and conpanionship or it could be a terrible disaster and the end of a friendship.

Do not, do you understand, "do not" put an ad in the paper. I would only consider this with a long time friend or family member, and rules would have to be established first and stuck to.

Listen to the advice of your friends and family, weigh the pros and cons then YOU decide. It's your life. Webby assumes that your precious youngsters only have your best interest at heart but that is not always the case. Perhaps a professional you trust from outside the family (clergy, lawyer, etc.) could provide some guidance.

Maybe your circumstance (health, finance, etc) make the move a necessity. If moving into the condo is the best decision for you, pat yourself on the back for making the decision yourself and being adventuresome enough to start a new and exciting experience.

If you are hesitant to move out of fear of change and a reluctance to part with familiar surroundings and memories that is very natural. You are certainly not alone in these feelings.

Attitude is what it's all about - try to take a positive one. You are not losing your family or friends, you are getting rid of a lot of excess material baggage, which you no longer need or want.

You will still get your favorite shows on your television; your newspaper will be the same. You still can call friends on the telephone. You have a computer (you found Webby) - these are all familiar things that will still be a part of your life. All you're doing is moving into a better, more convenient home.

Make it a positive adventure - a chance for a new start. Don't hide out in the condo. Meet your neighbors. Remember, many of them have moved for the same reasons. You might be in a different church. Don't just go to the services, introduce yourself, register and become involved.

Memories are fine in their place but don't live in the past. You're "alive" now, and it is an exciting whole world out there and you're an important part of it.

Are you truly getting rid of your treasures or are they really just stuff? They say clothes you haven't worn in 2 years or things stored in the attic for several years aren't really needed anymore and won't be missed. Of course Webby is always leery about what 'they" say - who exactly are "they" anyway?

If you decide to toss them give them to a Charity where they will be put to good use or to a friend or family member. How about asking someone to store the items you just can't part with? But don't go crazy with furniture pieces or large crates. Let's face it, most of it is obsolete. Don't let your things take over your life and make you their caretaker.

Whether you decide to move or stay, now might be a good time to sort and discard. Decide what is best for you the person and not the dust collectors.

Do as I say not as I do. Webby is a pack rat - but I'm going to get organized too!

Good luck on your decision,


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