Tag Archives: legacy

Downsizing: Top 5 Things to Consider

Downsizing

Are you looking ahead to the time when you need or want to move? Whether you’re downsizing or right-sizing, the process can be made simpler with advance planning. Here are 5 things to consider when making the transition.

Be realistic about what you can keep

Here’s a rule of thumb: If your new place is 25% the size of the old place, 75% of what you have needs to go. Get a floor plan for your new place. With measurements of your current furniture and the future space, draw in where the different pieces will go. It’s important to not let sentiment be your guide.

Visualize your end goal to sustain motivation

Focus on what you’re moving toward, remember the peace of mind and community you’ll be gaining by making your move. Think of those special items you’ll bring with you and how you’ll distill the best of your home into a more compact space.

Start early

If there isn’t a drastic situation forcing a timeline, starting to downsize before you have to move can really help. Planning ahead will help you minimize both the volume of work at move time and the overwhelm that comes from addressing a lifetime of accumulation.

Manage your adult children’s participation

Your family can be both a valuable source of support and a source of added complexity – especially if there isn’t consensus about how to go about the downsizing. Communicate clearly and don’t be afraid to assign roles based on their abilities.

Decide on disbursal

Decide on your process for getting rid of the things you’re not taking with you. There are quite a few options: give to family members, host your own garage sale, bring in an estate seller, sell online, donate to charity. Very often more than one method is used to clear a home.

Downsizing a lifetime in a family home can be overwhelming and stressful. Enlisting the help of a professional organizer or a Senior Move Manager® can ease the transition. Their objective support can keep the process moving along, provide boundaries with family and help you make those tough decisions about what you want to bring with you. Making this transition well can bring relief and peace of mind.

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Filed under Decluttering, General Organizing, home organizing, Moving, Perspective, Seniors, Strategies

Bringing Old Furniture Back to Life

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Ever wondered what to do with that special but damaged furniture that has been handed down in your family?

Dana had a conversation with Bernice Rapoport, owner and primary restoration expert, at Geppetto’s Antique Restoration in Point Richmond. Bernice provided some valuable context and practical information.

When is it worth having furniture repaired?

When you love it enough to fix it. Depending on what current styles are popular, many antiques don’t have a lot of resale value so often the motivation to invest in a repair is far more about preserving the piece for sentimental value. Knowing you and your family will be able to use grandma’s favorite writing table for years to come can mean the world.

What alternatives are there to a full repair?

If the piece is useable, sometimes it makes more sense to just give them a clean up or have finishes touched-up to make them more presentable. An example would be a tabletop with some old gouges or scratches. Rather than sanding out the damage and refinishing, some touch-up of the finish over the damage is sufficient. The scratches are actually part of the character of the piece and add to its charm.

How can we best protect our furniture?

  • Don’t place items near heating vents. This accelerates the drying out of both the glues in a piece and the wood itself
  • Keep furniture out of direct sunlight; it bleaches the wood
  • Cane seating: twice a year (you can do it when the clocks change) use a water bottle to spray the underside of the cane seats with slightly warmer than warm (but not hot) water. Let air dry indoors at room temperature. This keeps the natural fiber supple and allows the fibers to tighten up.
  • Rotate area rugs and tables twice a year to allow for more even wear
  • Water rings occur when moisture gets between the wood and the finish. Finishes are slightly porous to allow the wood to move.

We’ve all seen the Antique Roadshows episodes where the appraiser tells the person how many thousands of dollars more their piece would be worth IF they hadn’t refinished it – how do you protect antiques without affecting their value?

It’s important to use period products and techniques when working on true antiques and to know when cleaning or touchup is advised over a full refinishing.

What’s the oldest piece you worked on?

A high back chair from the 2nd settlement to Jamestown from between 1608-1610. The chair had a natural reed rush seat. Really the only work it needed was a cleaning and waxing.

Bring Your Furniture Back to Life

Bring Your Furniture Back to Life

What about modern furniture?

There’s lots of decent enough solid furniture out there, even from places like Restoration Hardware. Overall though, design is compromised for the cost savings of mass production. Handcrafted furniture can last for so long, sometimes centuries, because of the detail that went into it’s construction and design.

Do you have furniture pieces you love but can’t fully use because they’re broken or fragile? Don’t let them languish in your home or garage just taking up space. Explore the resources available to bring them back to life!

 

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Filed under Bay Area Services, Guest Experts, Memorabilia, Perspective, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse