Downsizing

My wife and I have had an interesting trajectory in our lives. When we got married, we had a townhouse in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago. My wife bought it with an inheritance from one of her aunts.

Our next house was a big rehab project in a great Elmhurst, IL neighborhood.  We did a lot of the rehab ourselves.  We were in our 20s and didn’t know better.  The house turned out great.  As far as I know, the house still has survived the teardown craze that went on in our old neighborhood. When I looked at the most recent listing, a lot of the stuff we put in it was still there.

My wife and a neighbor took a trip to Geneva, IL.  We were considering an addition to our Elmhurst house.  She wanted a new house.  We built one. I really loved this place. When we owned it my wife put in gigantic flower gardens. There was little grass in the front.  We killed all the weeds in the back and turned it into a flowering prairie.  In 2001, the entire place was destroyed by water when we were on vacation.  We came home to a mess.  We rebuilt the inside and it was better than it was the first time we built it.

Except, my family and I lived in a small 800 square foot apartment when the rehab was going on.  We liked it.  I was really sick of the what was 50-minute commute downtown which extended to an hour and thirty minutes each way.  When we went to a teacher’s conference, some of the teachers had to look up my daughter’s name and refresh their memory.  They had too many students.

So we sold it and moved to the city. We got rid of a lot of stuff.

We did another rehab.  We found a 1927 co-op apartment that hadn’t been touched in years.  Our family totally loved living there. We met some really awesome people and being close to North Avenue beach was great.  Our kids took the city bus to school.  They went to a private school.  I took the city bus to work or walked.  We sold it when the kids went to college and things dried up on the trading floor.  We put a ton of stuff in storage.

Since then, we have been renting until we found what we wanted.  At our age, your life gets unsettled as kids move out.  Since having the big issue in Geneva, my wife and I have never tried to be beholden to “stuff”.

We have decided to unload a lot of our stuff that has been in storage.  We have too many storage lockers!  We are consolidating down to one, an off site wine cellar and a 1933 Mason and Hamlin piano in storage.  We can’t part with the piano just yet.

We are rehabbing a family cabin in northern Minnesota, and are going to move to a 1250 square foot apartment in the city.  You might see me tweet out some stuff we are trying to get rid of.

The Buddhists might have it right.  All that stuff gives you excess baggage to carry around.

 

 

  • Dan Kunze

    Do you have to compensate for humidity with the storage of the piano?

    • I trust that the place we are storing it compensates for all that. My wife found it. It’s a piano store, so I assume they know what they are doing. The only reasons we are hanging onto it is our daughter wants it someday and the Obama administration made it illegal to resell pianos like ours. It has ebony and ivory keys.