Mar 11, 2015
Not that bucket list, the one for downsizing! I recently had the honor of speaking to a wonderful group at the Rose Schnitzer Manor on the Joy of Downsizing. We discussed why you should start now, how to get started, and practical tips for making it happen.
Starting the downsizing process well in advance of a move or de-cluttering your home early can save time, headaches, stress, and dollars later. Do you really need that much space in your home? More stuff equals more stress. More clutter equals more dust. Getting rid of the excess stuff and clutter can make your house easier to clean, create a healthier environment for you, and save you money on costs. Do you have a storage unit? Why? When is the last time you took anything out?
Before we talk bucket list, let’s talk about why we keep things too long.
Most common reasons are:
But I have to keep it…
• It is a family heirloom
• It was given to me as a gift
• I might need it someday
• I paid a lot of money for it
All very valid. Give it to another family member who may even cherish the treasure more. Give it as a gift to a charity. Do you really need 20 tote bags? The electronic cord that doesn’t belong to anything? Ink cartridges to a printer you no longer own or does not work? The exercise bike that is now a place to store other things?
Now pick a room to start in! Begin in one corner and go clockwise around the room (or counter-clockwise, whichever keeps you going). Look in every nook, cranny, and storage unit. Use the OHIO rule. Only Handle It Once. If you touch it, it belongs in a “bucket”.
Here is your bucket list so you can start living your real Bucket List:
1. Keep it and/or move it. These are your treasures and you have reason to keep them.
2. Give it to family. We have many ideas to help facilitate this. Give us a call.
3. Sell it. Craigslist, eBay, amazon, or estate sale? All are valid options. We can help you decide which method is best.
4. Donate it. There are many charities who would love to have your excess stuff. Some will pick up and some will not. Some will take electronics and mattresses, some will not. We have relationships with many charities near and far and can help expedite the excess treasures to new homes.
5. Recycle and dispose. Sort through all of that paper. Only keep what is really important, shred what is sensitive, and recycle what is left. Depending on the amount remaining after filling all the other buckets, you may be able to fill a garbage can or a large dumpster.
Overwhelmed? Need help? This is what Soft Landings, Solutions for Seniors, can do for you. You do not have to do it alone. We can help. Contact us to schedule your free one hour consultation.