Life is about perspective: Karen and Fritz Mulhauser seem to know this better than most. The Capitol Hill-based couple decided to turn downsizing their home into a fun process, rather than a tedious and painful one. On Saturday the Mulhausers threw their very own downsizing party.

A celebratory farewell

“The bookshelves. Go through the bookshelves, and if there’s anything you want, take it. Linens, dishes, mugs — take them.”
–Karen Mulhauser

“The bookshelves. Go through the bookshelves, and if there’s anything you want, take it. Linens, dishes, mugs — take them,” the Washington Post‘s Petula Dvorak reported Karen saying. “And please, please take at least one of the champagne flutes home with you. After you’ve had your mimosa.”

For the Mulhausers, an estate fair full of strangers picking over their 45-year-old household items was out of the question. This was a celebration! They sent out downsizing party invitations to people they’d known for their decades in Washington, served food, and filled 200 champagne flutes with mimosa for the sprightly event.

Downsizing in style

The Mulhausers are in their 70s and are moving barely a block away into a one-story condo — mobility issues are making their current two-story rowhouse difficult to navigate.

Their downsizing guests were delighted by the treasures the Mulhausers were giving away: books, collections of seasonal table linens, old candelabras, Tibetan singing bowls and more. But what the guests were more enthralled by was the idea of the couple’s enthusiastic approach to a typically dreary venture.

“Maybe it will inspire others to turn painful downsizing into a fun party,” Karen told the Post.

Of course, downsizing isn’t the right move for everyone. But for those who’ve made the decision already, letting go doesn’t have to be painful. Just take it from the Mulhausers.

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