You may remember I was recently helping to arrange and shuffle my Dad's home to try and make it a safer place for him. Plans have changed and my siblings and I are acting on his behalf and with his permission to simplify his life even more. He's moving and needs to lighten his load so we are busy planning a Moving Sale. We need to find new homes for furniture, appliances, books, dishes, tools, decor items and more.
Theres no doubt about it, it's a huge undertaking. It's one thing to downsize your own life, but doing it for someone else feels weighted with extra responsibility. My siblings and I take this responsibility quite seriously.
We are like a tag team.
Sister #1 arrived early (we live out of province) and began the process of sorting through everything to prepare for a sale. She has a wonderful sensitivity when it comes to dealing with Dad's belongings but without being over-sentimental. She's careful not to overstep and discard items without thoughtful reflection. Some things must be sold to strangers. Yet there are other more meaningful items she's kept aside in case a friend or family member might be delighted and honoured to have them.
Sister #2 (me) is in charge of getting the word out. Can't have a successful sale without customers! I get to practice my poster making skills and help make sure the sale is conducted in a classy and dignified way. I may not want my Dad's stuff but I will work hard to get the word out to those who might want his stuff and treasure it, too.
Sister #3, along with her husband, then arrives to conduct the sale, which will run over the course of two days. She's good with money transactions and excels in the customer service department.
When I was in Tennessee last fall I went to an estate sale. They're very popular in the South. Coincidently, it was run by three sisters! They weren't doing it as a favour for a family member; it's what they do professionally.
People who are ready to downsize just pick up and move to a new location or smaller digs. They leave everything behind, except the essentials, to be organized, priced and sold to the public by these women. They deal with everything. I think it's a wonderful service to offer.
A friend asked if I felt sad about the Moving Sale. I suppose I could get emotional about it if I wanted to. After all, a lot of Dad's belongings carry sentimental and personal meaning. Instead of the pain of letting go, I focus on how lightening Dad's load is a good thing for him and how downsizing can be a tremendous act of freedom. I can't tell you how many times I've heard about someone who was very sentimental and reluctant to downsize at first, and when they finally did it they can't imagine what took them so long.
Anyway, many of the items for sale are ones my parents bought at an estate sale many many years ago, and now they will go on to be enjoyed by other families, and maybe more families after that. How wonderful!
If you live on the Miramichi and are interested in some lovely furniture, or if you are a friend or relative, I hope you will pop by.