It is never too early to begin the downsizing process.
Whether it’s a few weeks, or you’ve got several months or even years, it is never too early to get started on the process of downsizing. Waiting until the house is sold and moving day has arrived will most certainly cause stress, uncertainty and exhaustion. Don’t wait! Set realistic goals and create a schedule to follow. Break down the household by area and address each one at a time. It will be easier than you think. Here are a few suggestions to help get you started:
The piles of papers.
Old utility bills, credit card statements and even routine mail can pile up and become overwhelming. The small piles begin to multiply, and the task of “getting through it” seems impossible. Take 30 minutes a day and go through a stack of papers, and create a pile of “to be shredded.”
TIP: Put the shredder next to your chair, and shred in the evening while you are watching TV.
Do you know the 80/20 rule? Most of us wear 20 percent of our clothing 80 percent of the time. Be mindful of this rule, and see if you are really wearing those clothes towards the back of your closet.
TIP: When a local charity calls with the message, “We will have a truck in your neighborhood,” don’t pass up the date. Use this as a goal and start sorting through your clothes.
The questions about what to do with photo albums and pictures are always at the top of the list. The reality of dividing up a lifetime of family pictures prior to a move is just not always possible. I suggest that you consolidate all of your photos together in clear plastic tubs and mark them “FAMILY PHOTOS.”
TIP: After you are moved and settled, invite your family over for an evening of sorting. You can enjoy the trip down memory lane as the children go through the pictures.
Passing Possessions Along to Family.
We often hear from our clients that it is difficult to get their family to take things that are being passed on to them. We have a motto during the moving process: “Don’t let the children leave empty-handed.”
TIP: When the children come for a visit, have small items ready and waiting by the front door. As you send them off with a hug and a few items in their hands, your downsizing is on the move. And you have the opportunity to share the special meaning of each treasure.