When two people have been together for decades, they often see their family home as more of a burden than anything else. The large garden they once craved is not a time-consuming chore they must keep under control, and they are tired of the large utility bills to warm or cool all those bedrooms where the children used to sleep. They might find that they are actually using almost none of the rooms in their home, but they must decide what to keep or toss out. Learning why they want to keep things can be a way to draw them together, and they might find out they still have a lot to discover about each other as the process of downsizing as a couple goes along.
When people inhabit a home for years, they tend to have favorite chairs. These might be in the same room, right next to each other, but the couple has different reasons for why those are their favorites. One of them might like a particular chair because it has good light for reading, and the other could prefer their chair because there is a large table next to it. It does not necessarily have anything to do with the chairs, and they might find they are ready to take on the task of finding new chairs together. The hunt could become a favorite interest for both of them if they are not in a rush to sell their home and find a smaller place.
When it is time to start choosing what to keep, cleaning out is the first thing that generally happens. Couples know that excess papers they do not need should be tossed, but then they have to decide how many mementos from their years together they should keep. One of them has a book collection, but it is not worth money. They discuss why they should keep it, and one person finds their partner has a deeper love of the written word than they ever imagined. Each of those books was signed by an author, and they realize their partner has been pursuing an interest they want to indulge in too. Knowing they can start going to book signings together can be an unexpected plus.
When the couple has gotten rid of everything they believe unnecessary to their lives, they might still have quite a few items left. Sharing space in their new home will be the only way for them to keep everything. They might find it difficult at first, but their interests could change as each of them realizes the hobby their partner has had for years is suddenly an attractive one for them. Doing something together will give them a new joy in life.
Downsizing can often be a trial for couples, but it can turn into an adventure when they go through their old furnishings and mementos. Learning how to share space again can bring back memories of their youth, and it can help them learn how to share space and interests once again with the person they have loved for decades.