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Downsizing Decisions


KathieB
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I am seriously considering moving into an assisted living facility. At 81, I'm still able to take care of my single-family home and lovely garden, but I'm finding I just don't want to. I'm paying for house cleaning and gardening and have to take care of everything else on my own. 

I still drive, but the last long trip was from New Orleans to Atlanta, when I moved here five years ago. I'm psyching myself up for 11 hours on the road to visit a facility near Chicago the end of this month. (I'll likely overnight halfway.) The final decision to move or not will be made after the visit. Why Chicago? Long story, another time.

At any rate, if I make this move, I'm resigned to a major downsizing. I will take just one dollhouse. How to choose just one? Will I choose one that is finished? I don't play with my houses once they are finished, so will a finished house just become one more thing to dust? Will I choose one under construction? The Beacon Hill is about half done; the Pierce/Bohemian Inn is about a fourth done. I have furnishings for both. The facility I'm considering has a woodshop for residents, which means I can continue construction. I'm leaning toward construction, but which one? The BH has a smaller footprint, but the P/BI is nearer to my heart.

What else should I consider? Thoughts?

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That is hard. I do admire your future thinking. If I were in the same position I would take the one nearer and dearer. Just my 2 cents. Make sure all the others are in the gallery though no dusting necessary there! Safe travels when you go. 

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ha! Kathie, the hubs has begun to check out assisted living facilities; we "lost" our yard fellow over a year ago and have not been able to find another, and neither of us is up to mowing any  longer.  The yard is overgrown and I am thankful we don't have a HOA to nag us about our yard.  I think you'd be happier keeping the Pierce/ Bohemian Inn and collecting residents for it; you might even be tempted into playing with that one, if only for story ideas for future novels.

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The realtor I bought my house from was here today. She noted the improvements I've made and is ready to list it when I give her the go-ahead. I've missed the crazy real estate market of a few months ago but can still clear a reasonable amount toward the new place. 

I'm less apprehensive about the drive. My local mechanic is going to check my car next Monday to be sure it is ready for a long haul. I don't think two runs of 5-6 hours each will be a problem. I'll be wearing compression stockings to compensate for sitting for so long, and I'm pretty good about stopping periodically for a leg-stretcher.

I'm leaning toward taking the Pierce, too. The Beacon Hill is just not talking to me. Anyone want a slightly bashed Victorian with some pretty cool parquet and wainscoting and removable stairs? :) How to dispose of the finished houses is undecided.

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That’s a big decision to make Kathie, but there will be lots of positives in such a facility. It’s a bummer to lose your dollhouses though. I would take the one that speaks to you the most. I wish you all the best for the big move!

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Kathie, for some reason i thought you and i were the same age (52). I can understand the mixed feelings about making a move like this and I wish you the best in figuring it out. Safe travels! My opinion is prejudice towards the pierce cause I just finished one and now it's gone. But aside from that, it is less done than your beacon hill, so to me, that is the one to keep. It will keep you busier for longer.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I bought an apartment in a retirement community in Naperville, Illinois! Move-in about February 1. It is a large unit, with a sunroom that will become the craft room, and an area where several dollhouses can be displayed. Now the issue is not choosing as much as it is how to move them. No way am I entrusting them to a commercial mover.

One of the attractions to this particular community is a woodshop that is as large as a one-car garage and comes with some wood, billions of tools, and friendly residents to see that the vast array of saws, drills, lathes, etc., are used safely. :) A rolling cart to shuttle a house down to the woodshop means not much sawdust in the apartment. Wheeeeee!

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I'm taking 3 days to drive back to Atlanta. Lots of time to mentally sort my earthly possessions. Some will be given away, a very few sold, some donated. Am thinking a fleet of microwave carts on wheels would be a great way to display the houses. The house-of-the-month could have the prize spot. :D And a heavy-duty commercial grade rolling cart to use as a worktable can be stored in a large storage closet when the house is not being worked on. That will keep the sunroom looking clean and friendly between work sessions. 

I am looking at a 90-day move-in. There was a Home Depot a few blocks away from last night's motel, so I stopped in and picked up sample paint chips. The whole apt will be painted. I just need to tell them what color(s).

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50 minutes ago, shannonc60 said:

As for moving your dollhouses, there is the option (perhaps) to get antiques movers to do the job? 

Hadn't thought about a specialty mover. Thanks for the idea. I'll check it out!

When we moved from Missouri to New Orleans, I carefully wrapped the White Orchid in bubble wrap and put it in a box. Then I packed that box inside a larger box, well-padded with more bubble wrap. All kinds of This end up, arrows, Put Nothing on Top, and other markings. When I opened it up, the house had shifted on the base and there were some cracks in joints. I'm guessing it was dropped.

Edited by KathieB
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A few of the houses can ride in my car when it goes North. May try to find other people heading that way to hand-carry others. I can feel the 90 days counting down already!

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I'm glad you found a good place...the workshop sounds awesome. You sound so happy and excited! Just FYI, Home Depot carries some lovely roll around tool chests which would be great for houses and storage. My dad has some in his shop ( tool chest ) It's a little industrial-looking, but nothing a tablecloth wouldn't fix. 

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19 minutes ago, chapchap73 said:

I'm glad you found a good place...the workshop sounds awesome. You sound so happy and excited! Just FYI, Home Depot carries some lovely roll around tool chests which would be great for houses and storage. My dad has some in his shop ( tool chest ) It's a little industrial-looking, but nothing a tablecloth wouldn't fix. 

Wow ... that is exactly what I need. It is narrow enough to roll into the storage closet when not in use and so much can be stored in the drawers ... plus the electrical connection makes it perfect. Thanks for alerting me to this. :) 

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Joy of joys! My dear friend NJ has agreed to drive to Atlanta from her home in central Missouri so we can load the dollhouses in our two vehicles for the trip to Naperville. Then she'll help me get settled in the new place before driving back home. Is that a friend, or is that a friend? :D 

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