“I think I’m gonna have to break down and do it,” I blurted out of the blue.
“Huh? Do what?,” my husband replied, not reading my mind as usual, which is such an annoying habit of his.
“Rent a storage unit. This move is stressing me out more than the others for some reason. I just can’t decide whether to hold onto some things for the kids or donate them because there sure as heck isn’t room to store it at the new condo.”
We moved earlier this month into a condo on the beach, downsizing significantly from a four bedroom house. It was time. With our son headed to college next year and our daughter already there, we will officially soon be empty nesters.
This was actually our third move in the past five years (downsizing each time) but for some reason, this particular move was causing particular angst for me.
Maybe it was because we were finally moving to a place with zero extra storage space (i.e. no garage or attic—the ultimate dumping ground for “stuff” put out to pasture that you just can’t bear to put out of its misery yet).
Or maybe I was stressed because work is staying (thankfully) busy and Amanda is now out on maternity leave.
As anxious as I was cleaning out the dregs of the “old” house, I did remind myself that this move was a GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO SIMPLIFY my life, especially my stuff and my routines.
Did I really need 30 pairs of shoes? (My mom would say yes!)
How about 3 toilet brushes? Couldn’t I just use the same one toilet brush moved around to the different bathrooms?
What about the 8 sets of full sized sheets I cleaned out of the linen closet when we only have two full sized beds?
And for the love of God, where did all of these tv remote controls come from?
Apparently when you live with something (or things!) long enough, they become part of the background and you no longer think about them anymore. Your home and everything in it just becomes business as usual.
Ironically, I see the similarities with older estate plans I review in my office for clients.
Estate plans drafted for married couples before the year 2000 often have complicated, outdated estate tax planning mechanisms built in upon the first death to save estate taxes. That kind of planning made sense when the Federal estate tax exemption was super low. Now that the exemption exceeds $10M per person, the same so-called tax savings mechanisms oftentimes makes no sense for families anymore and just overly complicates life for the surviving spouse.
Just as a fresh space provides one with a fresh perspective on their belongings and their routines, a review of one’s estate plan design by “fresh” eyes often sheds light on outdated plan designs that no longer serve their original purpose.
After all, do your thirty year old children really still need guardians appointed for them? Ha ha
Today is the day we have to be completely out of our old house. After numerous loads to the dump, Goodwill, and (sigh) our storage unit, we are just about finished. A final cleaning and we will be good to go. Thank goodness I outsourced that tedious chore!
Hopefully this will be the last move for us in a long while. I never say never, though.
After all, how else if not a move (which at least is preferable to a hurricane) would I purge all of my “things” that will inevitably multiply when I’m not looking?
Kristen “Downsizing Queen” Marks
P.S. If you are ready for a fresh set of eyes to review YOUR outdated estate plan, you can schedule your Florida family succession strategy session online here or by calling our office: 850-439-1191