You don’t know what you’ve got until you don’t need it…

As many of you know I have waited a year to move into my new house in Hobsonville Point. I have been here just on four months and … I’m moving around the corner. This home has 3 toilets, two bathrooms, two living areas and three double bedrooms as well as a large landing/study. In addition I have a lawn, a garage and a car space. And there is just me. I tried b and b just one night and quickly realised that sharing my house with strangers is not for me.

Furthermore I was approached by a family who were urgently looking for a home and couldn’t wait for one to be built. The upshot is I’m moving next week and two little girls filled with fun will be filling out those empty spare rooms.

My new place isn’t much smaller but it has a completely separate downstairs which has a separate entry and I have let that to two people looking for office space. I will occupy the top two floors and now just have a lovely large deck.

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I didn’t know my current home would leave me feeling as though I was rattling around and so while it is an effort I just bit the bullet and am now packing again. It feels completely right to me.

I have given away or sold bits of furniture and I advise anyone to not store their children’s stuff once they leave home. Sam has had to collect his stuff as I just can’t accommodate it. (Thanks Bruce and Sam). I did have a massive clear out at my old place so it isn’t too bad but it is amazing how much extra stuff you can collect over a short period of time.

So today I am organising files. I am a bit hopeless when it comes to record-keeping so I am going to try and do better. I’ll let you know if it works.

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Letting go of stuff at my age is difficult as it comes with memories. I find it hard to dispense with the things people have given me, or I have collected on my travels. For example I have a metal hand-painted set of Beatrix Potter figurines that I was given by a boy when I went to play at his house. I think we must have been about 8. I knew that his mother was cross that he had given them to me but she was too well-mannered to take them back. I actually found him recently on FB  and asked him if he would like them back in case he had had children but he was happy for me to have them. At least I value them and have carried them through my life for a very long time.


Sam inherited my father’s roll top desk but has no place for it. I was going to simply trade it in but then thought to ask the rest of the family if they wanted it. My nephew and wife would love to have it so I will be packing it up for Dunedin this week. This is a great solution as it remains in the family with someone who will take care of it.

I am keeping the herbs and lime trees in pots for my new deck but am very happy not to mow lawn. So all in all I am very pleased with the move even though there is a lot to be done. I like having less stuff even though my minimalist neighbour would still think I had plenty. When I’m dead and buried I don’t mind what Sam does with it all as it is my stuff not his. The next major job is photos…. where do I start?

A friend collected every concert ticket, football match stub, train ticket he ever purchased which I thought was madness but he has recently scanned everything and then thrown them out. (Actually I don’t know if he has actually thrown then out but that was the plan). I have given up some of my late husband’s sculptures but the photos make me sadder so better not to look at them I think.

Some things stay the same. I had my favourite IKEA light in Sunnynook but the purchaser wanted to keep it and so I bought another for here.  My new purchaser wants to keep this one so I have gone over the top and bought the really big one for my new place. I first saw them in Germany in an architect’s office that I passed most evenings on my way to my favourite cafe. He had two of the large ones and I assumed they were some expensive architecturally-designed light. They were somehow quite magical in the dusk of a cold winter in Munich and each evening the architect would look up and smile at me peering in his window. He was probably wondering who the creepy woman was. Turns out they are two a penny and from IKEA. I hope the big one doesn’t look too over the top. It is not just about the light but the memory that comes with it. For my birthday card, a friend gave me a postcard of the cafe. I’m just not ready to throw those kinds of things out.


This move will also give me a little more financial freedom and protect me from the vagaries of the Auckland market. So off I go Thursday next week. I need to get to grips with an induction stove top but I’m sure I can cope with the heated tiles in the bathroom.

Crazy but happy, both with the home I leave behind for the right number of people and also for the new pad which is more my size. Have a good weekend, FG

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