Tobe Frank – The Big Move 86



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To be frank, I was a bit teary eyed to see the family home sell under the hammer.  Sure, the market provided a nice top up to one’s super, but the missus and I had raised our three kids from birth to be-gone in that house and there were so many memories being left behind.




But the kids had finally taken the hint…after six months of being on the pench, I’d cancelled half the fox channels (excluding Fox Footy of course), started rationing what we bought at the supermarket (so gone were the tim-tams, t-bones and triple layer toilet paper), and we stopped cleaning the pool.  They jumped out of the nest, spread their wings and flew out in to the real world with as much grace and style as a cross-eyed, one winged greater adjutant [note from Tobe: google it…it’s one ugly ass bird!).  (or click the link – ed)

Of course as soon as I move us fully into the 2 bedroom apartment of downsizing heaven, right next to the beach, we’ll be reconnecting the foxtel and re-familiarising ourselves with the succulent meat straight from the bone and remembering that we no longer need to be fearful of poo–stained fingers from an all too vigorous wipe with the home brand toilet paper!  Twas the type of strategy execution I’d been so good at in the boardroom!

My wife, god bless her, was doing her best to accommodate our imminent downsizing…but she was upsizing the kids in the process.  Everything from pianos to paintings, tupperware and typewriters…yes that’s right, typewriters!  Do they even make ribbon for that anymore?  I’ve had to start ringin’ the kids in advance to warn them that mum’s on her way over with more shit that WE don’t want but she doesn’t want to permanently part with yet so she wants you to have some more…  Supposed heirlooms that had some historic family values or sentiment, but I can’t even remember seeing half of this shit…ever.  I mean, when was that last time you walked into a 20-something’s home to see vases neatly placed on doilies? No wonder I had had to work so hard to pay off a big (then bigger) house…it’s like we were a National Storage franchise.

Of course the problem is exacerbated nowadays because our offspring aren’t living in the big mcmansions we all grew up in.  Their humble abodes would be lucky to have enough cupboard space for a can of baked beans and a fork let alone a projector reel and a glass display cabinet.  At least there’s no requirement for me to offload whipper snippers, leaf blowers and the like on the kids in the hope of getting them back someday…there’s certainly no need for them 20 levels up.

I told the wife I’d drop the next load off to the kids myself, but inadvertently found myself at the local Cash Converters before inadvertently finding myself at the local amber liquid establishment. Happy days… no gardening to do now we have a unit with no garden.

Tobe Frank

Tobe Frank is a recently retired 62 year old gentleman with many views. He has grand ambitions for his retirement he just isn't sure what they are yet and is constantly looking around to find them. Tobe shares his views on Starts at Sixty regularly as one of our columnists.

  1. OMG this sounds like me but our children are not so accommodating. I still retain the packed box of crystal I marked for daughter number one, ‘just hold it for me Mum’and the carved wooden elephant table that daughter number 2 wants does not think she has space for it but said, I’ll get it when you die dad’???

  2. I can relate, hubby and me have been looking at different alternatives of downsizing, we even went to one of those retirement villages but just too overwhelming so we consider a small lowset (no steps) brick home close to everything in the same suburb but first we need to de-clutter, under our house we have a wealth of “Treasures” that had lots of sentimental value for the previous owners. Its such a chore going through everything. Also storing heaps of belongings for my son who has been working in Norway for the past 3 years and is now returning home and having a “Ship load” of belongings shipped back. Guess we will have to put off moving until my son de-clutters. Grrrrrrrrrr….

    1 REPLY
    • Cheryl, I briefly taught a class on “How to Declutter your Home” ! Not as well attended as it might have been and dropped off by 2nd class(of 3) when they worked out I dont just come round to their house and do it for free .. tho I have done it for a few friends who were recently bereaved or looking to downsize. I moved from SA to NSW 6 yrs ago shedding a lot on the way .. (a few sales a lot of donations) sizing down from a 3 bedroom house to a 1 bedroom apartment. I’m now in a 2 bedroom apartment with my divorced son about to move in , in next couple of days bringing with him a car & trailer load of his stuff that we will have to find a temporary home for (possibly in his sister’s Ma-in-law’s garrage) MIL refuses to downsize as she plans on having room for her 2 kids and their kids! Son and I may well move on from here together to a bigger place as I too would like room for family to stay .. ie , grandkids. “It’s just the Gypsy in my soul … “!

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