So many good reasons to visit The Church Mouse come together here – the fine things people find to buy, the chance to volunteer their time and talent, and a fitting next home for items they no longer need – that sometimes we might lose sight of the fact that the whole thing just makes good sense, too.

A friend told us of the experience of closing a home his family had built and occupied for more than 100 years. Only half of the familiar furniture and treasured furnishings that had made this home to his ancestors would fit where he was headed.

Family Lessons

“Estate sale,” his sister said. And here came the first lesson. Estate sellers turn out to be interested in only a few things from a household. Currently, most of what they seem to want is modern, too. A four-generation family home is full of things that mean a lot to the family, but not so much to the market.

Out of 30 items offered, including 16 fine Victorian pieces, an estate house expressed an interest in selling only three things: two Danish-modern dressers and a genuine Eames chair from the home’s one mid-century-modern decorated bedroom. After deducting 25% commission and a $35-per-hour pickup fee, our friend felt the tax deduction would have been worth more. And, oh, the estate house’s pickup service wasn’t available when needed.

When It’s Better to Give

No finer fate could be found, our friend decided, than to donate the whole lot and know that his family’s familiar furnishings were doing some good, even as they found new homes. The practical advantages were significant, too.

“There’s a reason people make a living dealing in used furniture,” our friend told us. “It takes a lot of time and attention. I was busy moving and had several other things to do.”

Growing Closer

We find that “downsizing” in many instances means growing closer. Couples draw nearer after the children move out. Single people find the opportunity to move nearer to the ones they love, when the tempest of career is completed and the need for a bigger home subsides.

Many times, what we at The Church Mouse are providing to a donor is the chance to get closer to the ones they love, unencumbered by the things they accumulated in the earlier chapters of their lives. Downsizing is so often a process of getting closer, and not getting smaller. If anything, changes like these feel a lot like growth.

Grateful for the Role

At The Church Mouse, we are grateful to play a role in people’s threshold experiences, the times when they move from here to there, whether literally, figuratively, or spiritually.

Come see what the mission we pursue has turned up for you. The satisfaction you can expect is something we love to see.

Written by : Church Mouse

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