Downsizing is a Decision Only You Can Make
BY DI SNEDDON
After living in a two-storey home at Singleton Heights for 20 years, Gary Holland made a timely decision to downsize and in April 2021, moved into a two bedroom unit in down town Singleton.
The former Citizen of the Year loved his home at the Heights, he loved the sunlight coming in through the large windows facing east and he particularly loved the upstairs alcove balcony that overlooked a quiet close and a garden he had carefully designed and planted.
The home was large enough to house his extensive collection of furniture, artwork and collectables.
When his health started to decline, Gary started thinking about downsizing and says the decision to do just that was one he made alone.
“I truly think it is important to know when you have to do it, you have to know and decide and I am pleased I did because I did it my way,” Gary said.
He looked far and wide for a suitable property. He considered Port Macquarie and Nelson Bay but decided he was ‘too old’ to start again so he started looking for his ideal property back in downtown in Singleton.
The Chinese Tallo that stands proudly in his eventual new home was the first thing that took his eye.
“I had two of these trees in my old home and that tree got my heart before I even stepped in the door,” Gary said.
On inspection he knew a bathroom and laundry renovation would be needed but never anticipated a covid induced, nine month interrupted building program would be on the cards.
Much of his belongings were in storage, he wanted to unpack once the renovation was complete to see what could stay and what needed to go.
“I had so much stuff in storage for so long I forgot what I had, there were lots of surprises so that was good,” Gary said.
Some items were sold, some given away and while these can be difficult decisions, especially when so many memories are attached, he says at the end of the day, it is just things.
“The beauty is by doing it now, I got to make those decisions,” Gary said.
He does not regret one aspect of the decision he made even though in recent days he faced a flood evacuation warning, something that would never have happened at his Heights address.
“I can walk everywhere now and where I was at the Heights, I had to get in a car to do anything,” Gary said.
“I can walk to church, to the garage for the papers and milk, I can walk to the gym and the library and over the past week I’d take the dogs for a walk to check the river,” he said.
“I am very happy here, I have lovely neighbours, I now have alluvial soil so I will be able to have the type of garden I would like, it is quiet but there are always people walking by, there is no noise from the trains although I do hear the buzz of the highway traffic,” he said.
“I have downsized and I have no regrets, I took my time and I did it my way, this place is just right for me.
“It has been all my choices and I am comfortable with the decisions I have made.”