Saturday, August 13

Why I'm Downsizing Two Houses

In the previous post I forgot to mention why I'm downsizing two houses at once. The reason is we're moving into Mom's. We will be living in the basement with a bedroom, living room, bathroom and a huge laundry room that we're hoping to divide to provide us with a kitchen. There is already a stove in there that Mom uses for making family dinners. So we will only need a refrigerator and since our stove has seen better days, we won't be taking it. We will also sell our washer and dryer that is old. Mom's is only a few years old.

It's been most difficult getting Mom to part with any of her hoard. Her house is not dirty but she has stacks of fabric as described in the last post. She was brought up during the depression and saves everything, as she was taught to. String, plastic bags and everything else that she might need is saved. I have talked her into parting with some of the stuff.

The thing that really scares me is that Mom hoards food. Her freezer is full to the brim and much of it is freezer burned. She cooks that and eats it and this frightens me. Who knows how long it's been there? I told her I was cleaning it and the freezer in the refrigerator out when I got moved in and she was a little put-out. I explained that she couldn't eat this stuff and she told me she's been doing it for year. I explained that I'm not having people say that I lived there and she ate food that wasn't healthy. She stopped arguing at that point. Between us we can manage just fine financially by sharing costs.

The other reason we are moving in with Mom is because she is getting really forgetful. Twice lately she's had a fire on the stove and I found out when we were discussing bills and how we would split the cost that she's been paying two companies for her hot water tank. I'm not sure how that happened, nor do we know how long she's been doing that. I'm wondering what else she is paying that she shouldn't be. Time will tell.

It's not going to be easy living with Mom. Since her last stroke she has changed. Always the easy going person, she has become assertive and stubborn. This isn't the Mom I've always known and it will be a challenge for me as well as for hubby.

Another thing I dislike about the move is that we're moving from a really green area with a park across the street, a creek and lots of animals and birds. Mom's is in the north end of the city and is supposed to be the better part of town, yet there is no green space near her and all you see when you look out the window is buildings. Not my choice but sometimes in life we have to accept change that we don't like. This will be quite an adventure.

Today I will be stripping wallpaper at Mom's. I wish you were here, Pea, to lend me a hand. LOL I've rented a steamer though, so it shouldn't be too bad. I will try to remember my camera and tell you all about it.


  1. Yep! You are so right, it will be an "experience." I've sort of gone through that over the years in my life although not exactly the downsizing you're dealing with but rather the living together aspect of parent/child. Back in the late 60s, early 70s, my Mom closed up our home here in PA and came down to Maryland to live with me and my older daughter. She was my daughter's caregiver from birth through age 5 -so for 5 years we lived together in a 2-bedroom apartment. Not an easy feat as my Mom and I frequently had a very rocky relationship. I used to joke then and for years after she died even, about how we HAD to have at least one big argument or fight a day -just in order to exist, it seemed and after she passed away, you know what I missed so much, don't you? Yep, those stupid arguments! And then, 9 years ago, when my younger daughter was planning to get married and I was having all kinds of work and financial issues, we decided that she and her husband (along with his then 9-year-old daughter too) would all live together in my house and share the expenses, etc. That didn't really require a whole bunch of downsizing -a lot of re-arranging of things, all kinds of kitchen equipment and the like going into storage in the attic -but a lot of adapting to others and their schedules, needs, likes, dislikes, habits, etc. -some of which did get smoothed over, and a lot that never got corrected too. So now, it's just my daughter and her two little ones and me living together and most of the time, we are comfortable with the other being around -thankfully. But there are still situations that arise and need to be ironed out a bit when you have two generations -actually 3 here -under the same roof.

  2. Yes, that will be an adventure learning to live with mom again in her house. I know she'll be glad for your company on down the road...You are a good daughter, Mary !!

  3. You have taken on quite a deal Mary!! I know you worry about your Mom. My Mom went through the great depression, too. She saved foil,bags, all that kind of stuff,too. She has been gone since 1992 and I miss her. She was so much help with Nancy!!! Just like you are with your grandsons!! Please don't work too hard!! Hugs Carolyn

  4. You are a wonderful daughter and I am impressed with what you are doing. It'll be hard, but you won't regret it!

  5. Wow, that definitely is a lot of change at one time. I hope things go smoothly for you!

  6. Oh, My! Take care of yourself.
    Mama Bear

  7. I can imagine it will be difficult, but I imagine you will also be able to have some peace of mind knowing you will be there to keep your Mom safe. I wish you the best of luck getting everything ready in time. Wish I was in a position to help.