I attended another Lifestyle Event for my future residence, The Clare at Water Tower, yesterday. The purpose of the meeting was to present information on temporary housing choices in case our current houses or condos sell before The Clare is finished.
Considering the current real estate market, I doubt that I'll have that problem, but I learned a lot, just in case. My preference would be a short stay in a luxury full-service hotel, but I couldn't afford that, especially with storage fees for my worldly goods.
Anyway, listeners' questions quickly segued to matters of storage at The Clare. The mention of storage bins measuring only 3 x 3 x 5 feet brought dismay and complaints. As I listened, I began to think about "stuff" in general. Why were people so upset? Surely highrise residents won't be storing lawn equipment or major power tools or auto parts. A few pieces of luggage will surely fit into that small bin. Everything else I need should fit into my apartment's small closets.
I suppose prosperous owners of large suburban houses face big downsizing challenges, but a fellow condo resident offered a more optimistic view similar to mine. Why worry? My question is, do we really need so much "stuff"? I admit I hired organizers to unclutter my closets and kitchen cabinets, and I've not missed a single item that went to charity or to the trash bin.
Perhaps one of the challenges of aging that many of my future neighbors haven't yet faced is the need to simplify life, to concentrate on what's really important. Does anyone need 100 pairs of shoes or twenty evening gowns? With the possible exceptioon of film stars and TV personalities, I doubt that anyone, especially anyone over 55, does.
There comes a time when comfort and convenience trump style and pride of ownership. I've reached that time; apparently some of my peers have not. I suppose it's none of my business, but I'd advise those complaining about lack of storage to prioritize, downsize, and relax. You'll never regret resisting the tyranny of "stuff."
Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne