Toss It Tuesday – How You Can Ship Donations Free

Donation Box Full of Household GoodsIn her article How you can ship donations free, author Jessica Michael offers advice on an easy way to donate your household items:

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could ship donations free? If you are like me, you may have enough Amazon boxes to build a fortress. While this is hours of fun for my children, there’s also an opportunity for good in those boxes. Amazon has partnered with Give Back Box to accept your donations for Goodwill, and they will ship your package at no cost to you – that’s right, they’ll do it for free. Other partners include Overstock, Loft, REI, Levi’s Dockers, Asics and New Egg.

Donating gently used clothing and household items you no longer need is a great way to start a new tradition with your family, and to help others. In addition to getting boxes out of your house and helping others, donating used goods encourages your family to reduce waste and protect the environment – more than 10 million tons of clothing is sent to landfills every year. Compiling all of your donation and making time to get the items to the thrift store does not work for everyone; Give Back Box offers a convenient alternative.”

Interested in how you can ship donations free? Click here to get Jessica’s step-by-step instructions.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: Moving a Parent to Assisted Living – 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition

Elderly Lady with Nurse at Assisted Living Facility

In her article “Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition,” author Liz O’Donnell writes how “moving a parent, even a willing one, into assisted living, or any senior living facility, is fraught with emotion.”

Liz offers some tips on how to help make the transition easier on everyone involved:

Give it time. Senior living experts say it typically takes between three and six months for someone to adjust to assisted living. That’s an average. It might be quicker; it may take longer. Stay focused on the reasons you made the decision (safety, health, security, sanity). Keeping the big picture in mind will help you through the rough patches.

Visit often, or not for two weeks. Only you know your parent, so only you can decide how best to assist them through the early weeks of the move. Many experts will tell you to visit as often as possible. Frequent visits can ease any stress your parent may have that they will be abandoned or lonely. It might be easier for them to meet people at activities or in the dining room if they have a companion with them. But if your parent is calling you several times a day, staying in their room, and waiting for you to show up and keep them company, you may need to give them some space in order to encourage them to branch out. When I went to college my parents wouldn’t let me come home to visit for the first few weeks. By forcing me to stay at school on the weekends, they forced me to make friends. Tough love – it can work both ways.

It takes a village. Mobilize yours. When we first moved my mother into assisted living, my sisters and I could not visit for a week or two. We had been staying with her before the move and needed to get back to work. Plus, our father was in the hospital. So I called my relatives and asked them to visit in our absence. Just as parenting takes a village, so does daughtering.

Expect setbacks. Just when you think you are over the hump and your parent is settling in, things will change. They will tell you they are lonely. They will decide they don’t like their new dining hall friends. They will ask to go home. These moments are heart wrenching but knowing that they are normal and that they will pass, can help get you through them.

Read more tips at Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – How to Declutter Before Moving – Have You Tossed Out the Right Stuff?

Senior Couple with Moving BoxIn her article How to Declutter Before Moving: Have You Tossed Out the Right Stuff?, author Lisa Gordon advises that if you’re about to move to a new home, there is one thing you absolutely must do: Declutter before moving. Here are some of Lisa’s tips:

Step No. 1: Start throwing things out early. Try to start purging at least a month before you move, says Ross Sapir, CEO of Roadway Moving in New York City, which moves up to 6,000 customers each year. The reason: This gives you time to, say, sell items online or drive them to a consignment shop. Plus, advance decluttering “spreads out the (task) to make it feel like it’s less work than it actually is,” Spair says.

Try to tackle one room, or one closet (or one drawer) a day – it’s less overwhelming – and never handle an item twice. Designate “toss,” “donate,” and “sell” boxes, and when you decide an item’s fate, toss it into the correct box. Done, done, and done.

Step No. 2: Gather the right packing materials. Gather organizational tools like packing tape, black markers, and labels in a tote; that way, you don’t have to rummage through drawers whenever the decluttering bug bites. After all, you’re going to need to get this stuff for moving day anyway, so there’s no harm in kicking things off early. Another huge help? Clear plastic bins are your friends – and great homes for small items like batteries or office supplies. You can see what’s inside, and they’re easily stackable to save space.

Read more tips: How to Declutter Before Moving – Have You Tossed Out the Right Stuff?.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: Tips for Moving Seniors with Cognitive Disorders

Illustration of three trees depicting leaves and loss of memory

In his article “Tips for Moving Seniors with Cognitive Disorders,” author Chris Semen discusses the issues facing seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s when they have to move locations:

“Transitioning seniors experiencing cognitive disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, will experience even greater stress than those without an illness. This is because removing a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s from a familiar place can cause feelings of disorientation and confusion.”

Chris suggests that caregivers can make the transitioning process easier for their loved one and for themselves by following these tips:

Reinstate a sense of control.

People often experience stress when they feel things are out of control. Caregivers can lessen the stress of transitioning by reinstating a sense of order and control to the events their loved ones find stressful. Offering choices helps the senior maintain his/her sense of self in the midst of chaos. It’s important to understand that when we remove someone’s ability to make decisions on his or her own behalf, we also remove an essential practice that would otherwise help a senior maintain a sense of control over unfamiliar situations.

Give seniors a voice.

With cognitive issues present, it becomes difficult for older adults to voice their fears and opinions. Caregivers can give their loved one a voice by offering a few simple options with outcomes that are always acceptable. For example, asking something as simple as, “Would you like to explore three assisted living communities or just two?” presents an outcome favorable to both parties, while allowing the older adult to make his/her voice heard. When caregivers present options for discussion, their loved one develops a sense of being important to the relocation process.

Read more tips at http://thecaregiversvoice.com.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – How to Downsize Your Wardrobe

Pile of Cluttered ClothesIn her article How To Declutter Your Wardrobe: Tips for Simplifying Closets & Clothes, author Laura Norcross is a twenty-something who offers great advice for folks of any age who want to downsize the their clothing closets.

How to Declutter Your Wardrobe – Questions To Ask Yourself:

“What do I wear on a day to day basis?” Jeans? Leggings? Suits? Dresses? Pajamas? If you work in a garden every day, you probably won’t need many dressy clothes. If you work in a corporate office five days a week, you may need more business casual attire than other people, but less clothes for lounging around.

“What is the weather like year-round?” Is there a cold winter? Do you have one great, thick winter coat and one coat that you can wear for spring and fall? Or do you have five winter coats? Do you really need five winter coats? Boots? Or do you live in the desert year-round?

“Do I work out?” You might need a couple workout clothes on hand. Do you play sports? Can you get away with having the same two or three outfits for workouts?

“Do I really need four pairs of gloves?” You probably don’t.  And you probably don’t need four black t-shirts either. This concept can apply to every type of item you own (gym shoes, scarves, coats, jeans, sweatshirts, etc.).

“How often do I have to do laundry?” This is huge. Laundry habits affect how often clothes need to be worn. How often can you wear clothes before they’re considered ‘dirty’?

Read more: Actions for Simplifying your Clothes.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: Baby Boomers Redefine Retirement

Baby Boomer Couple Dancing

In his Forbes article “The Most Frightening Yet Most Important Retirement Rule That Baby Boomers Still Need To Break,” contributor Robert Laura explains how the Baby Boomer generation is re-defining retirement:

“Boomers are ushering in a late-stage era of life, where they have 10-20 more years of productive and capable working years when compared to previous generations. Furthermore, they have the resources, knowledge, and collective desire to cause dramatic shifts in the way retirement is both defined and lived.

It’s easy to see the undercurrent of this happening as research suggests that baby boomers are more likely to start a business than any other generation right now.  Furthermore, a growing segment of them are worn-out from years of the corporate grind and don’t feel the connection between their job and the people it impacts outside their office walls or company grounds.  They’re shifting their focus from accumulating a giant nest egg to a desire to be part of something bigger and better… to have a positive effect on others… and don’t necessarily want to retire from work, rather they just want to work in the right situation and retirement.

In the past, retirement was defined as freedom from the workplace.  Now boomers are redefining it as freedom in the workplace.”

Read the rest at Forbes.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – How to Downsize a Lifetime of Your Parents’ Stuff

Cluttered RoomHelping your parents downsize their home could be one of the hardest things you ever do, both emotionally and practically speaking. There are decades of belongings to contend with, not to mention the inherent tension of an adult child/elderly parent relationship.

Not to worry, though. Help is here, thanks to grandparents.com. These ideas can help you simplify downsizing, while remaining sensitive to all involved parties. Most importantly, everyone needs to recognize it’s a process. “You can’t downsize a 40-year-old household in 48 hours,” says Mary Kay Buysse, the Executive Director for the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM). “You have to give it the dignity it deserves.”

Idea – Encourage parents to downsize before they need to. Your parents shouldn’t wait too long to edit their possessions; the earlier they begin, the more they can participate and even find joy in the process. “The best time to do it is while they’re healthy,” says Andy Cohen, CEO of Caring.com. “You’d much rather [downsize] when they’re of sound mind and body. You can say, ‘If you do this now, you’re going to be able to do this the way you want to do it.'”

“You don’t want to do it after they’ve developed dementia or a stroke,” Buysse concurs. “You don’t want to do it for them; you want to do it with them.”

Idea – Start in a low-stakes room. Determined to DIY? While it may be tempting to tackle the most sentimental items first, it’s better to take the opposite approach. “One of the best things to do is go through a room that doesn’t have any real personal attachment—the medicine cabinet, the linen closet, the kitchen,” says Buysse. Cleaning out moisturizers or old towels is easy, comparatively speaking, and rewards parents with instant gratification, plus motivation to move forward themselves. “What happens is, they love the way the kitchen or medicine cabinets look, and they get inspired. They don’t need coaxing.”

Whatever you do, save pictures and albums for later. “I think our gut instinct is to begin with photos, and that’s the last thing that should be touched,” says Buysse. “It’s also the easiest thing that can be handed off to a third party to digitize.”

Idea – Ditch multiples and seldom-used items. Though it seems like every little possession could spark a toss/keep debate, there’s one category of stuff you can chuck immediately: “Multiples, for sure.” Duplicate tools, clothes, and cooking equipment can go with nary a second thought. “Most 80 year old women haven’t made mashed potatoes in 10 years, and they have three mashers,” says Buysse.

For seldom-used items you’re less sure about, try this test: “Whether it’s an article of clothing or kitchen utensil, if you haven’t picked it up in a year, chances are you can live without it.” From cookie sheets to bedsheets, if the downsizing person finds herself in need of an item down the line, it can probably be purchased new relatively quickly. “Very few things can’t be replaced easily,” says Buysse, “but everything else you can pretty much get an Amazon drone to bring later in the day.”

Read more downsizing ideas.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: Baby Boomer Parents: Your Grown Children Don’t Want Your Stuff

Baby Boomer couple with moving box

In her article “Boomer parents: ‘One day, this will all be yours.’ Grown children: ‘Noooo!’ ” Samantha Bronkar, staff writer at the Christian Science Monitor, relays the message that the grown children of downsizing baby boomers parents don’t want their  collections of stuff.

“As baby boomers begin to downsize, they are discovering their grown children do not want their stuff. In fact, they recoil in something close to horror at the thought of trying to find room for collections of Hummels and Thomas Kinkade paintings.

Two hundred stuffed animals, two violins, and a 7-1/2 foot-tall Christmas tree: That was just a corner of the possessions Rosalie and Bill Kelleher accumulated over their 47-year marriage. And, they realized, it was about 199 stuffed animals more than their two grown children wanted.

Going from a four-bedroom house in New Bedford, Mass. – with an attic stuffed full of paper stacked four-feet tall – to a 1,300-square-foot apartment took six years of winnowing, sorting, shredding, and shlepping stuff to donation centers.

Among the possessions the Kellehers are keeping are three hutches – one that belonged to his mother, one that belonged to her mother, and one that they purchased together 35 years ago. One shelf is carefully lined with teacups Rosalie collected during her world travels. Another houses a delicate tea set from Japan, a gift her mother received on her wedding day.

‘We really don’t need them,’ she admits.”

Neither do their kids.

Read the rest at The Christian Science Monitor

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – Helpful Tips for Downsizing

Senior couple moving boxesJim Miller, author of The Savvy Senior, received the following question from a reader:

Question: Can you offer any helpful tips for downsizing? My husband and I are interested in moving to a condo downtown when we retire, but we need to get rid of a lot of our personal possessions before we can move. We’ve lived in the same house for almost 35 years and have accumulated tons of stuff.

In response, Jim shares ideas on how to get rid of possessions…include giving to relatives, hiring a senior move manger, selling or donating…in his his USA Today article, “How to downsize your belongings for a move.

Sell it: Selling your stuff is one way you can downsize and pad your pocketbook at the same time. Some other popular selling options are consignment shops, garage sales and estate sales.

Donate it: If you itemize on your tax returns, donating your belongings is another way to downsize and get a tax deduction. Goodwill (goodwill.org, 800-741-0186) and the Salvation Army (satruck.org, 800-728-7825) are two charitable organizations that will come to your house and pick up a variety of household items, furnishings and clothing.

Trash it: If you have a lot of junk you want to get rid of, contact your municipal trash service to see if they provide bulk curbside pickup services. Or, depending on where you live, you could hire a company like 1-800-Got-Junk (1800gotjunk.com, 800-468-5865) or Junk-King (junk-king.com, 888-888-5865) to come in and haul it off for a moderate fee. Another good disposal option is Bagster (thebagster.com, 877-789-2247) by Waste Management. This is a dumpster bag that you purchase for around $30, fill it to a limit of 3,300 pounds and schedule a pickup, which costs an average of $140 but varies by area.

Read the rest of Jim’s article How to downsize your belongings for a move.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: Helping the Elderly Downsize

In her long career as a psychiatrist, Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross has been described by friends and colleagues as practical and calm. But two other traits, humor and patience, went right out the window when she decided to downsize.

“You ask yourself what you want to keep, and the answer is ‘everything,’ ” said Dr. Harrison-Ross, who turns 80 next month. “It’s an emotional roller coaster that takes a toll on you. It’s very tiring.

“I thought I could get down to the bare essence of things myself,” she said. “But that proved to be very difficult, much more than I had expected.”

Her solution: Dr. Harrison-Ross hired a senior move manager.

Read the rest at The New York Times

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582