Friday, March 1, 2019

Tales of the Traveling Totes #18: Urban Renewal

Hello, armchair travelers, and Happy March!  Thanks for joining another adventure recap - this being #18 - of the Traveling Totes. This group got started back in 2015, and you can read all about it at this link. My personal tales with Miss Luna C and Miss Charley C can be found here. Be sure to read to the end of this post for another great giveaway, just in time for spring!

The theme of my travel update today is Renewal. More specifically, Urban Renewal. I've been lying dormant through much of winter here on my blog and, well, it's because Mr. P. and I are MOVING - downsizing - into an urban loft. We are ready to begin a new chapter in home living.
Miss Luna C in our urban loft 
You may or may not be surprised, or think this is the ultimate in Luna C life and living. If you were paying close attention, I have been dropping hints with comments throughout the past year both on my blog and blogs I read. The process of buying and selling happened very quickly and unconventionally, starting on the day of our last traveling tote update. We received an unsolicited call from a realtor, asking us if we would be interested in selling our home. Events of both buying and selling continued to unfold throughout the holidays, and we closed on our urban loft in mid-February. We closed on the sale of our home this week, the last week of February.

We had been looking at condos since 2011, initially as a second home (in FL). Ultimately, we shifted focus toward downsizing locally, and all the signs were pointing toward a GO to seize this timely opportunity. I'm mentally ready for this, even ready to leave my beloved garden (there is a shared terrace garden at our new home!), but the logistics of downsizing are somewhat daunting to me. 

So, my friends, my travels have almost exclusively been spent in purge activity - death cleaning -  right here in my own house, running up and down from my basement to second floor, and to donation centers. Immediately following Christmas, I started organizing and separating Christmas decor. Our contract allows us to stay in our home after closing on its sale, so the purge has been intentional, not impulsive. Our target move date is no later than late May, preferably sooner. Since January 1, I have purged clothing (taken to women's shelter),
Clothing Purge 2019
paper (still more to go, but the shredding company made a house call and shred on premises!), 
Paper purge 2019 - first cut
dishes (at least seven complete sets, and 2 partial, more to go), 
Dish Purge 2019 - first cut
vintage furniture decor (much more to go!),
Furniture Purge 2019 - first cut
and shoes/purses (Miss Luna C, Supvr) Four family members grabbed some before donating the rest.
Shoe / Purse Purge 2019 in process
The irony of the shoe/purse purge was that I received an email from Benita Roberts of Chasing Quaintness - on the same day - informing me I had been randomly selected and won a copy of Marie Kondo's "the life-changing magic of tidying up". I'm still waiting on some magic in getting this purge complete!

Just a day or so after closing on our house, when the stress valve of purge activity / moving was ready to blow, our realtor texted me, offering a break with a pair of tickets to see the touring Cirque Mechanics: 42Ft - A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels at our local performing arts center. Short of running away and joining the circus that day, it was the perfect antidote for Mr. P. and me, along with Miss Charley C.
Now, a quick look at our new home (listing photo, below), and I will send you off to my other traveling tribe mates to see travels much more interesting than mine, I'm sure. I'll be back - when I can - and fill you in on more details of this new adventure.

The Traveling Totes Tribe is offering another giveaway. Cherry Kay of Entertaining Women is our giveaway sponsor this time. One lucky reader who leaves a comment on Cherry Kay's March 1 post will have their name thrown into the hat for an opportunity to win this set  of adorable MacKenzie-Childs bunny candles! Hurry over now!
Where have all the other Traveling Tote tribe members been this winter? Check them out at the links conveniently located below to see. It's always fun when we come together, no matter where we travel, near or far.

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths
Emily with Miss Courtney Childs@ The French Hutch
Patti with Miss Kenzie and Miss Taylor @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @ The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C @ Panoply (you are here!)
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie with Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Cherry Kay with Miss Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women

🙏🙏Thoughts and prayers for our fellow toter RJ @ The Sketchy Reader,
as she is away caring for a family member! 🙏🙏

Thanks for traveling along on our adventures. Hope to see you on our next adventure recap, June 1, 2019. Don't forget to leave a comment on Cherry Kay's blog!

Rita C. at Panoply

Sharing: Pieced Pastimes, Best of the Weekend, Amaze Me, DIDIBNOTPInspire MeMake it PrettyThe ScoopCelebrate Your Story,SYSDelightsome Life H&GGrace at Home, Vintage Charm


  1. At least you've kept your sense of humor throughout your purge and downsizing Rita, I had to chuckle, 'short of running away and joining the circus that day..." :) How awesome you were made an unsolicited offer and are able to stay past closing, it takes a bit of the pressure off having your home spic and span and ready for a last minute showing. A move and death cleaning (hadn't heard that term before!) is daunting under the best of circumstances. I hope you are able to take advantage of your booths and sell some of your 'purged' treasures. Looking forward to seeing the details of your urban renewal. ♥

  2. Rita, I guess I didn’t see the subtle hints because I am surprised! I knew you were in the middle of a huge purge, but I didn’t put all,the pieces together. I am so happy for you and your loft looks stunning. When an unsolicited offer came in, you grabbed it...good for you! How wonderful that you have more time before you have to move. Again, I am so excited for you,

  3. I'm so excited for you and love the peek at the new place! It is gorgeous and I cannot wait to see more photos! I do hope the book as been of some assistance in your purging. It is truly a daunting task and the trip to the Cirque was perfect timing...I hope you saw that you weren't missing anything! ;-) Packing to move is its own 3-ring circus and then some! :-) I love your humor! Happy weekend! Love and hugs!

  4. It has certainly been a whirlwind for you!! This will be a "new beginning" for you and Will and downsizing from your huge home will be an adjustment, but also very cleansing!! Enjoy

  5. Rita, so exciting. We made our major move from Va. back to WV in 2005. We downsized in property and not house. I know it is hard for you to leave your garden, I still miss my garden in VA. However, your new home looks lovely and I am sure you will add your touches and make it truly home. Congratulations and best wishes in your new chapter.

  6. I wondered why I hadn't read a post from you in awhile, Rita!! I knew that your were purging, and it's for a wonderful reason. I think all this is meant to be, and your unsolicited offer set you on the right path. I look forward to seeing your new loft with all your special touches. Congratulations on this new adventure for you and Mr. P!!

  7. Oh Rita, you have gotten so much done, and I was thrilled when I heard you were closing and finalizing...your loft is going to make you feel young and trendy, not to mention free from all the chores related to owning a large house and yard. I admire your spirit and attitude as you are making these changes...That is really funny that you won the Marie Kondo book, it seems that's all everyone is talking about these days! So glad you got to runaway to the circus one day!

  8. Rita, a peek of your new Urban lofts looks lovely. In time, everything will be all done and you and Mr. P can relax in your new surroundings. No more back breaking hard work. Moving can be frustrating, especially if you are purging too. Kudos to you both on a new chapter in your lives. Looking forward to seeing your new digs. Have a wonderful weekend.

  9. Rita, You are like a fast moving train! This is the way I go about a move and I've been through plenty but never purging to the extent you are doing. I expect this to happen here some day. You just throw yourself in and stay so busy you don't have time to think about how tired, mentally and physically you are. Time for that when you are all moved into the new loft. Wow, it's gorgeous. I love the wall of windows and the view. I think life will be simpler and you will have more time to enjoy doing anything you like. So happy you took time to join in today, we've missed you! Happy March Rita........

  10. Love your groovy new pad, Rita!! Those windows are great. Great post. How ironic that you won the Marie Kondo book! Wow. What a term - death cleaning! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Rita.

  11. Rita the views are amazing. How wonderful. I think you have inspired me - I told hubby we needed to go through things like we are moving or dying!!! We have made progress - but as you know still a long way to go. The tickets to Cirque were a perfect prize. It can get overwhelming. Keep the wonderful purging going.

  12. Rita, you have been hinting but this happened fast. I love your new loft and great view and look forward to more of the tour. Will the furniture shown be staying?
    You have accomplished so much it is amazing to me. I worked in my closet one entire day and did not finish and I was exhausted. You are inspiring.
    I will be thinking of you as you continue with your plans. You are a whiz doing a TT post as well as a tablescape blog hop so close together.

  13. Rita, I'm envious of your major purge. I'm making headway, but your photos make me feel as if I've done very little. I love your sense of humor through all this. I think that has to help!
    Absolutely love your new condo's view. It is going to be a fun new adventure. The idea of giving up gardeninsg sounds very appealing to me as we are faced with a possible freeze this weekend. That means I cover things or take my chances. If I don't cover and it freezes, then I'm faced with a huge clean up job! So many trees here have already started to bloom. I hope it doesn't freeze! Good luck with the coming weeks!

  14. Rita I am so excited for you! Congratulations. The Hubs retired at the end of December ( well we think he is... he was an air traffic controller and with the government shut down everything is taking forever to complete!) We have been looking at downsizing too. Less stairs, more manageable living on one floor. We have started cleaning out too, but I have to tell you I admire your grit because I am a little overwhelmed on the whole process! Again, so happy for you and can't wait to see your posts on the new place!

  15. Rita, I have to say I'm not too surprised because you've mentioned things to me in the past about downsizing and purging, especially since we already did all this. I am surprised about you giving up your large and beautiful garden, but hopefully there will be just enough space available for you to continue at your loft. I'm so excited for you on this new chapter!

  16. Rita, I love the adventure you have chosen with urban living. I can only imagine the stories you will have to share moving forward. I've always thought that it was easier to purge when you have something wonderful to look forward to in the process. You seem to have that in spades! The circus is the perfect metaphor in your current story. Perfect timing. Thanks for inviting us to share your journey. I look forward to following each new chapter. CherryKay

  17. You. Are. Amazing! I knew you had a large home, but just seeing the shoes you purged indicated the vast storage space you must have had! How did you ever wear them all lol? Kidding aside, I'm exhausted seeing how much hard work it took --- in addition to the emotional issue of letting things go. So happy and excited for you. Can't wait to see your new abode and how you furnish, decorate. Enjoy this wonderful new chapter in your lives. Hugs dear Rita. PS glad you didn't run away with the circus!

  18. What an exciting time for you! I’m imagine some things have been hard to part with but downsizing can be so good for the soul! Just breathe! Soon you will be in your new condo and you will feel so fresh and renewed!

    1. Janna, Truer words were never spoken - "hard to part with but downsizing can be so good for the soul!" Thank you for the encouragement. It's so appreciated. This is really hard work, and I'm looking forward to looking back!

  19. I'm so excited for you! I know I probably said that weeks ago when you shared your secret but I still am. I know clearing the decks is hard, I am still trying to clean out one stupid unused bedroom, but I like to think you're on a whole new journey of new furniture and new look and a whole lot of memories.

  20. Rita, this is so exciting!! I did realize that you were trying to purge over the last year but knowing that you are a collector and buyer - well I can only imagine how hard this is. You will have wonderful adventures ahead!! Your new place looks really special and chic. :)

  21. I guess I missed your hints...this is a surprise to me. That picture of your loft is quite intriguing. And those views! I cannot wait to see more. I would imagine you’ve been quite busy those pics. I can see why you needed a diversion! Have fun on the continued purge! ;)

    1. Thank you, Donnamae, for visiting and leaving your comment. I can't wait to be able to see more (finished!) and to be able to share it too, lol! I'll probably do some before and afters of the old, new spaces.

  22. Rita, Rita, Rita! Holy yikes, you ARE into it! I'm just overwhelmed reading this! I have trouble purging a ROOM much less the whole house for a move. I wish I lived nearer! I would have been buying your furniture!

    Do you feel like you've been purging for longer? I do, what with the big purge that came last -- fall? Summer? No, last spring! Time is flying. But I'm excited for you. It's nice this came as you were already contemplating a move and not everyone gets the opportunity to have the realtor come to them, unsolicited! Well, you've done plenty of traveling, I'd say, even if it's only to Goodwill and back! Sending many good wishes for the remainder of your purge and packing. The sneak peek of your loft is lovely and I have a feeling you'll figure out a way to garden, even sharing a terrace!

  23. Rita you are doing so great with the purging and getting things organized for the move. OMG the condo is awesome. I love all the windows and the light that comes in. I am so excited for you. I know you are going to love the condo living especially when you want to travel. Just lock and door and go and not worries about taking care of snow removal or cutting grass or tending to the garden. Looks like you will be able to have some plants out on your terrace so you can still have a little garden area.
    Big hugs as you continue on to the move into the new condo.

  24. Rita,
    What an amazing 'downsizing'!
    I've been steadily purging and editing for nearly three years,
    but you are a power to be reckoned with!
    Congratulations on the $ale of you home!
    Here's to best wishes in your Urban Loft!
    I'll be watching as your move progresses.

  25. Rita, I have to say that Marie Kondo would be so proud of you! How clever of your realtor to know that you may need a night out and a break from packing. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your new spaces! Hugs and blessings to you and Mr. P in your new condo.

  26. Moving?!!! are leaving that gorgeous home and gardens?!!...well, the Loft looks gorgeous and that view!!!...I cannot imagine the stress of purging, selling, donating in a short period of are fortunate that your house sold right away and did not have to go through the stream of potential buyers looking into every nook and cranny of your home...It was meant to be Rita....I am envious that you are already in a home and me?...the lot is still being cleared!...I love the idea of you being an Urban Dweller! happy and excited for you and I look forward to seeing your new Urban home!

  27. WOWZERS RITA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, I don't know how I missed this post, and I can't believe you sold that gorgeous house of yours! I can understand why - less maintenance, more time to travel, etc. It looks like you have a nice balcony there - you can have a container garden to ease your green thumb's shock! Wishing you a smooth transition, and looking forward to seeing you settle into that lovely loft!

  28. Rita,
    I am late to the party... the going-away party, but have to tell you I was concerned about why you had so few posts. I searched your site for a clue and here it is! Downsizing, purging, and lifestyle changing all rolled-into-one. I am looking forward to seeing more of your new home. What a change!


  29. Such a fun post! I love the idea of attending a circus production. Have a wonderful weekend.