Tag Archives: sentiment

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

Excuse: “It’s Too Important To Let Go”

Would it be heartless to pass on your childhood awards?

Do sentimental items clog up your living space?

Have you ever opened up your desk drawer trying to find a pen and find yourself sifting through memorabilia–the medals of your recent 10K run, certificates, photographs, or ticket stubs?   If your memorabilia impedes your use of active space, it’s time to get serious about its true value.

Lately we’ve been reviewing a wonderful organizing resource book, It’s All Too Much, by Peter Walsh.  Peter also wrote a companion book, It’s all Too Much Workbook.

We appreciate Peter’s style of getting right to the heart of the emotional holdbacks our organizing clients face. One section of the book covers all the excuses we’ve heard for justifying keeping things that are no longer being used. Here is a great one and Peter’s response:

Excuse:  “It’s too important to let go.”

Excuse Buster: “If it is so important, then I must give it the honor and value it deserves (or let it go.)

Here’s how Peter counsels his clients on this topic:

“Don’t tell me something is important, has personal value, or is a family heirloom if it’s covered in dust, lost in a pile of clutter, or buried somewhere in your garage.  If you value an item, you need to show it the honor and respect it deserves.  Otherwise, it has no place in your home.  No discussion, no negotiation–it goes! Either you value something or you do not. You have room for something or you do not–it’s that simple.  If we each had a palace, we’d have infinite space in which to cherish and display our prized possessions.  Maybe you’d devote a whole room to the porcelain figurines you inherited from your grandmother.  But most of us don’t live in palaces, far from it.  You can’t own everything, so you have to pick and choose.  The value you say an item holds for you must be reflected in the place you give that item in your life, otherwise your words have no meaning and the object is little more than clutter.”

 So the next time you stumble upon some memorabilia in an inconvenient place, ask yourself, “Am I giving this the home it deserves?”

Are you really honoring the memory of this person or personal achievement?  Or is it keeping you from moving through your life with ease?

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Filed under General Organizing, Perspective, Strategies