By Robin Jovanovich
When Susie Morison’s daughter and son-in-law evinced an interest in moving into her house one day, “…only if you want to downsize,” she didn’t give it much thought at first. “However, once I’d had a chance to think it over, I knew what a wonderful thing it would be to give my three granddaughters the opportunity to grow up in Rye and be educated at Rye schools,” said Morison.
The trouble wasn’t giving up the four-bedroom house she’d lived in for thirty years and the memories in the walls, but the fact that the
A few weeks ago, Morison moved into a 1,600 square-foot penthouse apartment. “While it’s half the size of my old house, I was able to fit my living room in this apartment, and build enough bookcases to hold the books I couldn’t part with.” She says she loves the light, the views, and living above Blind Brook not next to it.
While “purging” was harder than she thought, she said that once she realized she needed to get organized (a skill set she demonstrated time and again as Rye’s City Clerk and Director of the Rye Historical Society in the past), it was just a matter of doing it every day — with purpose — for months.
“I was determined to find purpose for things,” she explained. “I made charts. I gave a lot to the Westchester Historical Society. Finding a new owner for a barely-used washer/dryer was harder than you can imagine.”
In the process of going through old files, Morison paused long enough to re-read every letter she received as a young girl — “the teenage angst! I did have fun reading the history of me.”
Her sage advice for those who plan on downsizing is: everyone has to move on at some point. She did much of it on her own, but is glad she hired someone to run an estate sale (“they even took away the stuff that didn’t sell”) and that she stored some things that neither she nor her daughter, who is now in the process of renovating the house she grew up in, were ready to give away.
As a woman who loves old things and history, Morison is glad to be living in an apartment complex built in the 1920s, especially since it was “beautifully renovated by the previous owner and has upgraded appliances.”
When her granddaughters come for an overnight, the spare room is theirs, decorated in an appropriately youthful pink.