CHANGE - It is as inevitable as death and taxes. I used to think I adapted well to change until I realized it is change that I initiate that I find easy to adapt to ... Not change that is thrust upon me. Living in a Condo is a definite Lifestyle change and one that may be hard to wrap your head around at first, especially if you are coming from a single family home. Deciding to implement this change in our lifestyle was not easy at first.

Downsizing to a condo is more of a process.

There were some health issues to consider - snow removal was not something my husband Ernie was supposed to be doing anymore. Then  we looked at what rooms we actually did our living in and what we could do without, especially in the cleaning and maintenance department. It's surprising how many rooms we didn't even use.  Lastly we looked at what exactly we wanted to do with our time. Maintaining a large house and yard did not rank high on the list when combined with travel, visiting grandchildren and community involvement. We have recently rejoined the Rotary Club of Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills, been to Calgary and Sutton to visit family and are going to see friends in Belize soon. It is so easy to walk out the door and not worry about anything.

 Here are some things we've learned about downsizing to a smaller space.

  •  It will be a great opportunity to change your decor by shopping for apartment sized furniture. Don't expect your furniture from your present home to fit. Many stores now offer these options - one we particularly liked was EQ3. The products have a smaller profile and most are Canadian made.
  • Everything needs to do double duty. A sofa becomes a bed, a footstool has storage, a filing cabinet with a round table cloth to cleverly disguise it becomes an end table and so on.
  • Storage is at a premium so be ruthless about keeping just the things you need. Take pictures of the items you treasure but don't use and re-purpose them to someone who'll appreciate them. Interval House's Good as New Store is a very worthwhile cause right on the main street of Carleton Place.
  • Be creative about storage - a old buffet makes a great linen closet and pantry's can become closets. Our TV unit not only has a space for our motorcycle gear there is a section with a built in slide out file holder that keeps all the household records and holds the TV, cds and dvds ...  You gotta love IKEA. 

The advantages of living at the Cinnamon Suites Condo in Carleton Place may seem obvious such as no snow removal, no yard maintenance but gardens you can enjoy ...  but if you've never had a heated garage to park your car in especially this winter let me tell you it's heaven. I think we only ever parked in our garage 1 winter before it got filled with "stuff" and even then it was definitely not heated. The other day I was looking out my window and in the midst of a blowing snowstorm I could see the garage truck heading down Miguel St while a homeowner was desperately trying to get the cans and recycle to the curb in time and I was reminded of many a time we just made it or worse missed it and had to wait till the next week. I smiled and turned to Ernie and said ... "There's another great reason to be living here."


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