There are few things we own that have strong emotional value to us, which makes downsizing pretty much a piece of cake. Of course, we get to keep a fair number of things at my parents’ place in Texas, so maybe I'd feel differently if absolutely everything had to go. And then there's the kids - they are also taking a fair amount of stuff. So really, I look at the upcoming Estate Sale as the "dregs" sale. Stuff we truly don't care about. That's not to say there won't be some nice stuff at that sale, but it isn't stuff we need or want and probably won't ever replace when we stop fulltiming.
That said, there are a few big ticket items to which we are emotionally attached. And being "big ticket" items, part of the fear of letting go of them is knowing we paid a load of money for them and will likely get little of it back - or worse, that we can't sell them at all. That last one scares me the most.
Number One atop that list is our beautiful Boston Grand Piano. I always envisioned that one day it would be passed to Zoe, so it hurts to think of letting it go. For years, as our fulltiming plans became more real, we wracked our brains to think of an alternate solution. We thought about letting friends hang on to it for us, but the notion that, as we are out on the road enjoying our new life, we might one day get a call saying, "Hey, come get your piano!", led us to conclude that option wasn't really feasible. It's going to be years before Zoe might actually have a home large enough for a grand piano, if ever. I never want anything they get from us to become a burden to them. Storing it is out of the question. Not only would it be expensive (think climate-controlled) it would just be so wrong to leave such an exquisite instrument untouched in storage.
Slowly, very slowly, we came to accept that the best solution was to sell it. Man, that was a tough decision. And knowing that craigslist was full of piano ads that just languish week after week, month after month, we knew our big ticket would likely suffer the same fate.
Finally, Steven made the plunge. He took a few gorgeous photos and posted the ad. Just putting that ad out there was somewhat of a relief, but we had close to zero expectations.
And then, ping! Not two hours after the ad was posted a reply came in. A buyer who not only indicated a serious appreciation for the Boston, but also lived in Sammamish!
After several visits and play sessions and a visit by a piano professional who gave it the once over, we closed the sale yesterday. We got a great price, and the buyer got a wonderful piano. It was a win-win, the best we could have hoped for.
The family who bought our piano are serious musicians who are fulfilling a life-long dream to own a significant and beautiful piano. Knowing that our beloved Boston is making such an impact on their lives and that it will be truly loved and cared for makes it easier for us to let go.
This week we also let go of Chloe, our kitty. She moved to Bellingham to live with Zoe. She's not a big ticket per se, she's just big, but takes up much less space in Zoe's apartment than a grand piano, so this was doable.
It feels good to make this kind of progress. We've come to realize that fear of letting go can be a very limiting factor and can stop progress in its tracks. I think we've finally learned that eventually, if we just do what needs to be done, everything will turn out fine in the end.
As for those other big ticket items, I'm still mulling those over. There's only so much heartbreak I can handle in a short amount of time.