Last week I shared with you the first part of “Say Goodbye to Clutter” and as promised, here is the second part with the next 5 steps:
- Never Leave Home Empty Handed
Once you have determined what your categories are, it is essential to follow through on the exit strategy. If there is a clothing donation drop on your way to work, take a bag with you as you leave in the morning. When does the recycling truck come to your area? Make sure those bags of mixed paper and shredding are out there every week. Call the charities and find out when they will be in your neighborhood, and plan your de-cluttering around their schedule. Don’t leave bags and boxes parked in your hallway or garage for indefinite periods.
- Resist the Urge to Rent External Storage
Storage facilities have a specific purpose in the downsizing process. You might want to use it temporarily to house excess furniture or artwork while you are staging and showing the home for sale. Storage lockers fall on the heading of postponement tactics. The danger is mostly to your pocketbook. Storage is an ongoing expense. It is better to deal with items of questionable value before making the move.
- Call Your Kids
How much of what is crowding your house is actually yours, and how much are storing for other people? If your children have moved out, have them decide if they want to take all the things they left behind or have them make other arrangements for them. You can’t let other people hold you back from achieving your objectives.
- Ask for Help
If you feel you are not up to the task, why not ask a trusted friend, family member or a professional to assist. Choose someone who is objective and decisive and not involved emotionally with your possessions. Downsizing is a great way to bond with family members as an opportunity to honor the past and share the stories.
- Make it easy. Get it done
Whether you choose to sell, donate or toss, choose a method that causes the least wear and tear on you. This can be an exhaustive activity, performed best in stages and small chunks over a period of time. Use the Internet extensively to find resources for distribution of unusual objects or substances. Garage sales can be effective, but they require a great deal of planning, pricing and a fall-back plan for those items that don’t sell. Connect with charities that will pick up your clothing and household goods. Ditto for consignment. Give your friends and family deadlines for taking the stuff you have saved for them. Reward yourself with a new purchase that you have been postponing because you did no have enough room.
Once you have run the gauntlet, the rewards of de-cluttering are manifold. It saves your money, as there is less to move. It saves you time. Everything you own requires time and attention. Less stuff translates to more time for you. It also reduces the stress associated with a major change. And, finally, when you are ready to downsize to a retirement community, townhouse or condo, settling in will easier.
If you have any question, simply comment below or even better, contact us at Good Riddance! We’d love to hear from you.
P: 604 421 5952
Susan Borax and Heather Knittel
Co-author of Good Riddance: Showing Clutter the Door.
Good Riddance Professional Organizing Solutions
Practically Daughters Senior Move Managers