It’s that time

The Amherst News - - OPINION -

It hap­pens when­ever you need to move, per­haps you’re down­siz­ing be­cause the last child has moved out, but the re­ally se­ri­ous chal­lenge is mov­ing into se­niors’ ac­com­mo­da­tion. That can range from a roomy apart­ment in a se­niors’ build­ing, whether a city high rise or on a sin­gle floor as are be­ing built in Amherst, to a shared room in a care fa­cil­ity. Gone are the at­tics and base­ments and spare rooms and clos­ets for stor­age: it all must go.

The best place to start is to iden­tify what will fit into the an­tic­i­pated space and what is re­ally needed. We need ba­sic fur­nish­ings, essen­tial cloth­ing for all sea­sons, a change of bed­ding, kitchen items if our sit­u­a­tion per­mits, but which of our ad­di­tional pos­ses­sions can ac­com­pany us? What can we choose that will make our al­lot­ted space feel like it’s ours, with items of beauty and sen­ti­ment that fit the walls and sur­faces?

I’ve read none of the how-to guides but I was im­pressed to read about Marie Kondo, the Ja­panese writer who ad­vo­cates only keep­ing items which “spark joy”. That, of course, is only the first step be­cause there may well be many joy­ful sparks and they can’t all fit.

How to dis­trib­ute our many items, of­ten ac­cu­mu­lated with love and care­ful se­lec­tion, over a long life­time? What about all those fam­ily heir­looms? Those beau­ti­ful gifts we’ve re­ceived, some from dear ones now de­ceased? Travel me­men­tos? Most have to be let go - but you may want to take pictures as re­minders.

Which is your pri­or­ity: to find your items a home or to make money?

If the for­mer, start with your near­est and dear­est, es­pe­cially fam­ily, per­haps pro­ceed­ing by gen­er­a­tion, older, then younger. If they can visit to choose, that’s lovely - but time-con­sum­ing.

Email pictures so po­ten­tial re­cip­i­ents are think­ing about in­di­vid­ual items, not your in­tact home. If more than one speaks for some­thing, draw straws.

My older brothers sim­ply brought me boxes of items from our child­hood home and asked me to deal with them.

Us­ing Kondo’s cat­e­gory-by-cat­e­gory sys­tem (rather than room by room), start with an­tiques and col­lectibles. Call the Cum­ber­land County Mu­seum, do­nate to church silent auc­tions.

Se­lect your next cat­e­gory: clothes? The IODE Thrift Shop, The Bridge Work­shop, the Sal­va­tion Army are wor­thy causes.

Books: start with the Li­brary, re­al­iz­ing that your books will prob­a­bly be sold in their fre­quent and pop­u­lar sales to raise funds for their var­i­ous com­mu­nity pro­grams. The places men­tioned above also sell books. Con­trib­ute small quan­ti­ties to the var­i­ous pop-up li­braries in the area.

CFTA is ad­ver­tis­ing for mu­sic: 45s, LPs, CDs. Ron Bickle tells me that they may keep some to play and the rest they will sell in a fund-rais­ing sale. I know two teenage girls who would buy LPs from the ‘60s if they lived here.

Pack boxes for the an­nual sales at var­i­ous of our churches. There are also PEDVAC in Port El­gin, the Hospi­tal Aux­il­iary Thrift Shop in Pug­wash, the Sal­va­tion Army Thrift Store in Sackville, a few that come to mind.

If you need to raise money, do you have ex­cep­tional an­tiques that would in­ter­est auc­tion­eers in Saint John, Fred­er­ic­ton or Hal­i­fax? For the rest, con­sider tak­ing pictures and ad­ver­tis­ing on eBay or Ki­jiji, either on your own or through some­one who would help you for a com­mis­sion. Call our an­tique deal­ers at Dayles, or Fundy Bay An­tiques & Col­lectibles in Parrs­boro to name only a cou­ple. Fundy Bay will pay you for what they ex­pect to sell and re­move the rest which they will do­nate to their lo­cal church sales.

Hold a yard sale: best if it can be in your garage. Ad­ver­tise on CFTA, in the lo­cal news­pa­pers and with neigh­bour­hood signs.

Leave pa­per to the last (un­less, like me, it’s fam­ily heir­loom qual­ity).

Read They Left Us Ev­ery­thing by Plum John­son to see how it feels if you don’t do it your­self and dump it on the next gen­er­a­tion. If there is no next gen­er­a­tion, your ex­ecu­tor or ad­min­is­tra­tor may not be so care­ful to find homes for things and your trea­sures may end up in the land­fill, un­ap­pre­ci­ated and lost for­ever. Heaven for­bid!

Good luck, be pa­tient, and en­joy the plea­sure oth­ers will re­ceive from your trea­sures and pos­ses­sions.

To buy my publi­ca­tions, go to the Ar­ti­sans’ Gallery, Amherst Cen­tre Mall; Mar­itime Mo­saic, Dayle’s, Vic­to­ria Street, Amherst; Fly­ing Colours, Mac­can; and Main and Sta­tion, Parrs­boro. Coles car­ries My dear Alice. For my six self-pub­lished books and book­lets, go to the Cum­ber­land County Mu­seum and Archives and to the YMCA Amherst.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.