Downsizing – all is calm, all is bright (so far)

November 18, 2017

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

Well, after fourteen tortuous days waiting for our buyer to be ready to exchange, we have finally made it. Every morning we would wake up hopeful that this would be the day we could progress with our downsizing plan. After endless agitated phone calls, drip fed delays and trying to keep myself busy and my mind on other, more pleasant, things, each day would reach 4pm and my heart would start sinking. Another day wasted. Another day of stress. Another day when we hadn’t exchanged.

DownsizingBefore lunch today I was super stressed, ready to call a halt to the whole lengthy proceedings; I felt like I was in the eye of the storm, it was eerily quiet. When the phone rang, I almost couldn’t be arsed to pick it up. It was only going to be an estate agent or a solicitor telling me there was another hold up. But, pick it up I did and, after a deep breath, was informed of another hiccup and I blew my top. I know an agitated voice does not help in the least and will get you less far than a calm, measured tone, but I had had enough.

DownsizingThen, just before lunch, the phone calls had a more positive tone to them. Were we really going to exchange today? After so many false starts, I could hardly dare believe that all the pieces were finally coming together. Two hours later, the phone call came to say we had finally got there. It was a done deal. We are definitely moving house.

When I phoned my Husband to give him the news, I burst into tears.

Now, at 4pm, I feel as if I have already forgotten the last fortnight. The atmosphere is peaceful, relaxed, happy. Now we can think about where the furniture will go in our new tiny cottage. And which items will need to be sold – definitely our very large dining table and twelve chairs… we’ll barely have space for a four seater there. And now it’s a done deal, will I miss the home that has been so wonderful for us over the last thirteen years? Probably, although I tell myself I won’t. Now, when I look out of one of the windows at the glorious views we are lucky enough to have here, I try and imagine what it will be like when we have moved. Where I will do my ironing? How I will manage without my capacious American fridge freezer? Will I stub my toe on something when I get up for my 4.20am widdle in the pitch blackness? Will we be able to light the boiler or will we be frozen cold and swearing at the controls? Will the previous owner leave us any lightbulbs?

DownsizingOK, all small beer I know. There are much larger issues to be considered. Will downsizing be harder than we imagine? Will the lower overheads be enough to make us glad we moved? Will we bump into each other all the time? (It’s a very small cottage!) Will the layout flow well? Will there be any nasty surprises like damp patches, unpleasant neighbours, an invasion of mice or, the worst scenario of all, a really bad internet connection?!!

What do I think we will miss? The Aga springs to mind – it spreads a welcoming warmth through the house, is perfect for snoozing dogs to lie by, and a great place to put the ironing or dry off wet boots. Then there’s the peace and quiet we enjoy now. As we are moving to somewhere less rural, I expect the hoot of an owl will be replaced by the drone of traffic. And probably the views – currently we have great vistas from practically every window… at the new house you need to stand on tip toes as you look out of a first floor window!

DownsizingAnyhow, must be grateful that we have finally exchanged. I think Husband and I will sleep well tonight. Unless I can’t stop thinking of my rather large Moving House To Do List. Which, by the way, I will be putting on CountryWives in a few weeks time. I am positive it will be super useful for any of you who are also moving house / downsizing in the near future…

p.s. We had one more terrible shock to come, just a week before we moved… will explain in my next blog


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