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Thoughtful downsizing

Treasured pieces shine in Brooksby apartment home

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May 5th, 2017
Betty Roop chose her favorite furniture pieces and décor to showcase in her Brooksby apartment, including watercolors she’s painted.

Betty Roop chose her favorite furniture pieces and décor to showcase in her Brooksby apartment, including watercolors she’s painted.

When Betty Roop moved to Brooksby Village in Peabody, Mass., in September 2016 from her home of 48 years in North Andover, she faced the same challenge as everyone who had moved to the Erickson Living community before her: downsizing.

“I cut my square footage roughly in half,” says Betty. “My home in North Andover was just under 2,000 square feet, and my apartment home at Brooksby Village is right around 1,000 square feet.”

Still, Betty’s motivation to move propelled her forward. 

“I lived in our home for four years after my husband passed away,” says Betty. “I was getting tired of the upkeep required to maintain a home. I wanted to be around people and have things to do. The activities offered at Brooksby are stimulating, and I needed that.”

Betty’s interests are varied. Her skill as a watercolor artist is undeniable, and she’s exhibited her work in art shows over the years. Betty also plays pickleball, a racquet sport that combines elements of badminton, Ping-Pong, and tennis.

“I used to play tennis, so it was a natural progression to pickleball,” says Betty.

One step at a time

Keeping her eye on the lifestyle awaiting her at Brooksby, Betty’s first step in the moving process was meeting with Laurie Phillips, Brooksby’s personal moving consultant.

Phillips brought a magnetic board of Betty’s chosen floor plan with moveable magnetic pieces to help identify which furniture items Betty would bring and how they would fit into her apartment.

“I had an idea of the pieces I wanted to bring, but Laurie’s magnetic board was very helpful in visualizing the layout of my apartment,” says Betty.

Next, Betty asked her two daughters, one in Reading and the other in Framingham, what items they’d like from the family home.

A friend asked to purchase a pair of twin beds, and Phillips provided Betty with the name of a company that came to collect items she didn’t want or need.

“My advice to anyone who’s downsizing is to do it in stages,” says Betty. “It wasn’t as stressful as it would have been if I had to do it all at once.”

Phillips, who offers complimentary coordination of moving services for anyone moving to Brooksby, gave Betty the name of a reputable moving company with experience moving people to the Peabody community.

“I used all the resources Laurie gave me,” says Betty. “It was nice to have referrals to people she trusted and had used before.”

For using an Erickson Living-preferred real estate agent and moving company, Betty qualified to receive a $2,000 credit toward her monthly service fee as part of the community’s Move On Us program.

Showcasing her treasures

On moving day, Betty’s furniture fit into her new two-bedroom, two-bath, Jackson-style apartment according to plan.

“I chose this floor plan because I like having the bedrooms on opposite sides of the apartment,” says Betty, who uses the second bedroom as an art studio, study, and spare bedroom. “I also like the corner kitchen and the amount of natural light that spills into the apartment.”

One of the only purchases Betty made for her new apartment is the living room rug, which defines the seating area.

“It’s the same pattern as the rug that was in my living room in North Andover,” says Betty. “Ours was a Colonial-style home, so the living room spanned the house from front to back. That rug was too long for my apartment, so I went to the rug store and ordered the same pattern in a smaller size.”

Betty now features artwork that once adorned the walls in her home seasonally in her Brooksby apartment.

“I wanted my apartment to be nice looking but not overdone,” says Betty. “In the winter, I hung up my snow landscapes. Now that spring is here, I’ve changed them out for my spring landscapes.”

Treasured family heirlooms also found a new home at Brooksby. A secretary belonging to Betty’s husband’s grandmother rests comfortably in her new living area.

“When you bring what you love, it has a chance to shine,” says Phillips. “Betty’s thoughtful approach to downsizing gave her a space that’s comfortable and tastefully done.”

Warm and welcoming

Now that she’s lived at Brooksby for eight months, Betty says she’s glad she made the move when she did.

“I’m able to take advantage of all Brooksby has to offer,” she says. “I’ve already gone on day trips to an art exhibit at Endicott College and to the New England Aquarium. I hadn’t been to the Aquarium since my girls were small, so it was fun to go back.”

And when she returns to her apartment at day’s end, Betty says it has the warm, cheerful atmosphere she was after.

“I want my apartment to feel welcoming,” she says. “I hope guests come in and feel right at home.”

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