Moving Forward/Standing Still
We are already a week into July, and I feel like summer has just begun. We returned from Europe, and were home for five days, before we packed up and left for Arizona for a bit over two weeks. My summer is just beginning, and it is already half way over. We downsized our Missouri home as much as we can at this time. We have to leave some of the things in our home until we finally sell our home. Once our home sells, we can do round 2 of downsizing.
We live in a beautiful home on a beautiful piece of property. I know it will sell, and I am praying that just the right buyer come forward and makes an offer. The problem is that I like my timing, but it is not always God’s timing. I have had to learn that lesson over and over in my life, and I’m still not good at that. I don’t have to have instant gratification, but I do like things to move in my favor quickly. That has never been the story of my life. When I look back, I can always see the why of delays and rejections, after my desired outcome occurs. One example is job hunting. I always seeking my “dream” job, and for some reason it never came to fruition, and then looking back, the new job I received fit what I needed more. Having that significant other in my life took a long time, but when it happened, it was right. I cannot make things happen. If I try to force things to happen, it never has a good outcome. I have to learn to be patient and wait on the right timing.
We downsized our home a few months ago, because we knew if we sold it then, it would take forever to move out! We had two adults coming together with our years of stuff, and it all fit well in an almost 4,000 sq. ft. home. We cleared out books, and I mean thousands of books, and donated them. Don’t get me wrong, we still have books. We held on to just a few—the few that have real meaning for each of us. We removed the rest. Have you tried to sell books? They don’t go for a lot of money, and they are heavy to ship, even if there is a special book rate. The number of books we had would have taken forever to dispose of. There are many places that will take donations of books, DVD’s, and records, because these organizations hold used book sales. These are nonprofit organizations, and therefore, one can receive a tax deduction for the book donation. We found the organization, rented a trailer because we had so many books, and delivered them. In some areas, such as St. Louis, the organization is set up to pick up books at your home. We were okay with the fact that we had to deliver the books ourselves.
We went through every closet of the house. I realized the only things that I wanted to try to sell on eBay, were things that were easy to box, and had a great value for its size. There is a lot of work to trying to sell items online because there is the posting and waiting for the sale, the packaging and shipping. It’s all a lot of work. Research has to be done on what the value may be, and all of this takes time. That is good if we have all the time in the world, but when you have 4,000 sq. ft. to clear out, that could take years. Our best option was to find a great nonprofit organization that would be happy to receive our stuff, big and small. We took detailed inventory of what we donated, and found its value in several ways online, in order to come up with a value that we could use for tax deduction on our upcoming 2018 tax returns. I kept spreadsheets where each item is listed, with the value of each item, name and address of the nonprofit, and what means I used to find the value. I wanted it as detailed as possible so that there would be no issue with our tax returns if we were questioned (this such a nicer term than audit)!
So, now our home is cleared out. If I could just remember what I donated! Yesterday I was looking for an item I was sure I did not donate, but to no avail. It is nowhere in this house. Hmm, I guess I could go over to the thrift store and rebuy it! No, I don’t need it that badly. We also had a big sale of extra furniture and other items. My husband sold a lot of tools and tool boxes. Then shortly after that he needed to fix something, and discovered that he had the electrical tape in one of the toolboxes he sold, so off to the store he went to replace what we gave away!
It is hard to have one’s house on the market. It must be clean at all times. Not that my house isn’t usually clean, but I cannot leave things out if I’m leaving the house, just in case we get a call that someone wants to view the home. In some ways it is hard to relax because one can never let down their guard of any housework or yard work that needs to be done. Let me express that I have gone house hunting and have viewed several homes that drastically needed cleaning. I could not figure out why one would put their house on the market and not clean it. To me it says that if they never cleaned their home, they also probably never maintained their home, and that would be a red flag for me. I don’t want to inherit someone’s home problems, and in the same way, I don’t want to sell my home problems. If it needs a repair, do it!
I really want the right family to live in our home next. We have loved this home. When I met Dennis several years ago, he was already living here. When we got engaged, I told him that this home was too big for just the two of us. It is a home that is made to welcome people, and if just two of us were going to live here, we needed to be willing to open our home to friends and family to enjoy. Otherwise, I felt like it would be just a big house and two people. I want to be a good steward of all our resources, and if we are to live in this large of a home, we must be willing to share it with others. (No squatters please)! In the last five years we have hosted our children, other family members, and friends for various get-togethers. When we move to our 1,600 sq. ft. home in Arizona, we will have a different lifestyle. It will be simplified, and we will love having visitors, but we will also go explore, take time for ourselves, and relax.
I am itchy to continue my downsizing, but I must wait for an acceptable offer on our home. In the meantime, I want to enjoy this home to its fullest, but I am really looking forward to simplifying my retirement years. I want to serve in other ways. I am not sure yet what that will look like, but God always puts ideas and opportunities before me when it is time. So, I will do my best to be patient.
Life is moving forward, but I feel like I am at a standstill until our home sells. We are going to stay in Mid-Missouri once we sell our home. My husband’s mother is 99 3/4 years old. We will not leave Missouri permanently while she is still with us. Dennis spends a lot of time with her at her nursing home. Selling our home will free us up from maintenance and care taking of the home to spend time with her and to find our next “mission.”
I just wonder how to balance all this—I am really anxious to get back to the Arizona home. I want to take some of the things from this home, but cannot do it until it is sold. Such a dilemma (I know, it’s a first world problem)! I just feel like I am on hold.
It took a couple weeks to get back in sync after all our traveling. The first couple days, I sat in the house and wondered what it is I do here! Now I am pretty much back to normal, and am waiting on the new normal. I’m so ready to move forward.