{byline}{&by1}By Susan Dromey Heeter{/byline}

Here at my Budget Vogue desk, I have been doing like many of you and downsizing.

This verb, downsize, is not very old; according to Merriam-Webster, its first use was in 1975, around the same time as playdate, hand blender, spaghetti squash, curb appeal and domestic partner hit the lexicon of Americans.

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And often, I wonder what my grandparents would think of downsizing — would they who survived the depression, lived as immigrants, went out to dinner no more than twice a year have any idea what it means to have too much stuff?

My Irish grandmother seemed about three hundred years old when I knew her; she died when I was around 6, and all I remember from the second floor of her duplex was a red ceramic apple cookie jar. After she passed, that jar went on to live on my Aunt Mary’s kitchen counter. There were often cookies in it — never homemade, simply vanilla Hydrox.

I suppose it’s natural a 6-year-old would only remember sweets, but I wonder, when my Grandmother downsized, did she simply say to her daughter, Mary, “Here ye go, take the cookie jar.”

Oh, wouldn’t that be lovely to simply have one cookie jar? I think I’ve had 20 in my lifetime. Maybe THIS is the one that will work — and then, of course, I find another to replace it. I downsize, I donate, I accumulate more.

And as I downsize, I find joy in so much. It’s hard to part with the Ikea bureau that I painted a beautiful red, which once sat in my kitchen in Holland and was filled with underwear. It now sits in our living room and has definitely overstayed its welcome, but I think of it fondly.

It was my single-girl bureau, and now it’s filled with papers and, oh those things that simply accumulate in drawers: folders,cell phone chargers, Christmas cards.

I’ll keep it for a bit longer and put another piece of furniture on the curb instead. Does that create curbside appeal or simply announce, “This family has too much stuff!” I wonder.

One of my students found a pool table for free on Facebook Marketplace. When he went to pick it up, the woman who posted the freebie wanted him to take a couch, too — and anything else he could fit in his car. It made me laugh; I offered him a piano I have for free on Facebook. He declined. He knows a bad deal when he sees one.

So, when the piano (that was given to me for free) goes to the curb, do feel free to come and take it away. It still plays; it still works, it’s a lovely upright with “loads of life left.” At least that’s what I say in my ad.

And as for me, I just wish I had a cookie jar with which to downsize. Or, better yet, a cookie jar that could house a piano.

Enjoy your own downsizing, Budget Voguers. And we can even make a playdate, should you like to bring more music into your home.

Susan Dromey Heeter writes and teaches on the Seacoast. Contact her at dromeheet@comcast.net.