After a loooong 25 days with a stressful moment here or there, I can finally share that all of the details are worked out and that next month I will be moving from my current apartment into a house in a charming neighborhood south of the city I work in.

I couldn’t be more excited about the new house or where it’s located. The house itself is a 70+ year old craftsman style bungalow with hardwood floors, 2 fireplaces, built-ins, and other elements that make it absolutely adorable. It’s located in a gorgeous “older” neighborhood and within walking distance to the church I’ll attend, the public library, two large city parks, a university, the farmer’s market and two neighborhood grocery stores, etc.

Nothing is perfect, of course. My commute to work will be longer, and for the first time in 15 years, I’ll be going down into the basement to do laundry. But those negatives are far outweighed by the many positives, and I can’t wait to make the move sometime near the end of February.

I’m so very thankful I’ve continued downsizing as I have time. Other than the furniture, which I’ll leave to professional movers to transport, I’ll have only about three carloads of stuff — clothes, kitchen items, books and knick-knacks, and things from my office and craft area — to box up and move. Closing on the house is February 6th, and I plan to take a carload then and the following two weekends.

In an effort to downsize, I’ve continued to sort through photos and memorabilia. I’ve made my way to 1996 now, and I expect to be finished by the end of the week. I’ve laughed till I’ve cried at some of the items I’ve come across, and I hope you enjoy the two tidbits I’ve decided to share.

Yesterday, I found a sweet little hand-made greeting card that, according to a sticky note I had attached to the back, I received a few hours after my then-7 year old daughter and I had discussed a messy bedroom (alas, this was a fairly frequent topic of discussion when my daughter was younger). The front is adorned with a beautiful heart and the words “I Love You”. Inside I read “Dear Patti, I’m sorry I’ve been a slop. I’ll try to be neatter. Love, Your Secret Admirer”.

Another priceless memento I found was a hand-made birthday card from my then-7 year old son to my husband on the occasion of his 32nd birthday. I still remember my husband’s response — laughter to the point of tears — at reading: “32     I know you are getting old, but we still love you. Your son, Steve”.

I thought it would be very difficult to sort through the photos and memorabilia, but that hasn’t been the case. Instead, it’s been a wonderful antidote to the dreariness and cold that January always brings to the Midwest, and I’m looking forward to continuing and then creating scrapbooks for my son and daughter.

Before scrapbook-making, though, comes the move. I’m sure the next few weeks will be busy and, at times, stressful. I plan to sell or donate a few more larger pieces, throw away more stuff, and continue to pare down in the weeks ahead. I’m looking forward to seeing how much more stuff I can eliminate before I move on down the road.