Toss It Tuesday – 20 Tips to Help You Get Rid of Junk

Senior couple packing a miving boxIn her article 20 Tips to Help You Get Rid of Junk, author Paula Spencer Scott knows how difficult it can be to help a parent downsize for a move. “Where you see a houseful of stuff to sort and toss, your parent is apt to see treasures, essentials, and a lifetime of memories,” she writes.

Here are some expert-tested ideas to avoid the ‘junk wars’ and make downsizing less stressful — for all of you.

1. Avoid tackling the whole house in one go. Though it’s more efficient for you to plow full steam ahead, your parent is apt to be stressed emotionally, if not also physically. When organizing a parent’s move, it’s better to think in terms of months, not days. Tackle one room or area at a time. About two hours at a stretch is ideal for many older adults, says Margit Novack, president of MovingSolutions in Philadelphia and founding president of the National Association of Senior Move Managers.

2. Frame decisions as yes-no questions. Open-ended choices put a reluctant mover on the spot, raising stress. Avoid asking, ‘Which pots and pans do you want to keep?’ Winnow them down yourself first, then present a more manageable yes-no option: ‘I’ve got your best frying pan, a large pot, and a small sauce pot. Does that sound good?’ ‘Couching questions for yes-no answers provides the opportunity for the parent to feel successful so you can move on to the next thing,’ Novack says. Items that exist in abundance work especially well to presort: clothing, kitchenware, tools, and anything else you know the person has way more of than he or she will have space for.

3. Use the new space as a guide. Measure exactly how much closet or cabinet space the new place has (assisted living communities will provide this information if you ask), and fill an equivalent amount of space as you sort. Mark off the comparable space so your parent has a visual guide. Beware of excessive multiples. In assisted living, your parent only needs one frying pan, one or two sets of sheets, one coffeemaker, one or two coats, and so on.

4. Banish the “maybe” pile. Relocation experts call it the OHIO rule: Only handle it once. The less decisive you are about what to do with an item, the more attached you (or your parent) risk becoming to it, Hayes says. Moving things in and out of ‘maybe’ piles is also takes time. Tempting as it is to set aside tough sorts for later, unless there’s room to ‘hold’ them at a relative’s house, it’s not generally worth paying storage-rental fees (unless it’s a very large estate and time is tight). That’s because once they’re boxed, your parent isn’t likely to look at the items ever again. (Out of sight, out of mind.) Exception: Save time by boxing piles of paperwork, which doesn’t take much room. Papers are time-consuming to go through and present an unpleasant task for many disorganized people, casting a pall on your packing.”

Find more ideas: 20 Tips to Help You Get Rid of Junk.

===

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 – 10 Tips for Downsizing Baby Boomers

Senior couple moving boxesAs Baby Boomers and Seniors face life transitions, the thought of downsizing a lifetime of belongings can feel overwhelming.

Here are a few tips that can help, as described in the Chicago Tribune article 10 tips for downsizing Baby Boomers:

Have a plan. Think about what kind of lifestyle you want. Do you prefer an urban setting? Or do you need a yard? Do you want to be part of a community that offers lots of activities and amenities such as golf courses and swimming pools? Or are you a more independent type who seeks out opportunities on your own? ‘Investigate a lot of different options,’ suggests Renee Funk, president at the Relocation Company, a Chicago-based firm that helps move empty nesters. If you’ve raised your family in the suburbs and don’t want to leave, Funk recommends looking at the newer condominium buildings now commonly found in many suburban downtowns, near shops and restaurants. ‘These buildings can provide a similar lifestyle to the city while staying in the suburbs,’ says Funk.

Consider a short distance move. Not everyone wants to move to a warm-weather destination, such as Florida. Many downsizing Boomers would rather stay here. Take Ruth and Don Mattison. They sold their 4,400-sqaure-foot house in south suburban Mokena and bought a house at the active adult community Shorewood Glen in Shorewood. Their son, a firefighter, and daughter-in-law and their three children live nearby. The Mattisons like to help out with the kids when their son is on duty. So they stayed near their family, but got rid of the big house and all the chores. At the new house, the landscape work and snow shoveling is taken care of for them.

Age restricted? Before they moved, the Mattisons decided their new home would probably be their last move. So they thought carefully about whether or not they wanted to live in a neighborhood with young families. The Mattisons decided that they’d rather live at Shorewood Glen where residents must be age 55 or older. Ruth Mattison says, ;We wanted to move into a neighborhood with people our own age who shared our interests. We all have lots in common.'”

Read seven additional tips in 10 tips for downsizing Baby Boomers.

===

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 – Think Small: Downsizing Tips for Seniors

Elderly Couple Sitting on a CouchAs Baby Boomers and Seniors face life transitions, downsizing their belongings can feel overwhelming.

In her article 5 Tips for Seniors Planning a Move: Think “Resizing” Not “Downsizing”, Janice DiPerna, Hebrew SeniorLife Project Move Manager at Orchard Cove in Canton MA, offers some tips for folks who need to “resize” to a smaller space. Here are a few:

Start early. Give yourself plenty of time to go through your possessions so you can gently let go of those items that you will no longer need or have room for.

Start with the living areas, including the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms. (Attics and basements can wait.)

Decide what belongings you want and which ones you need. Those possessions in the ‘need’ category will obviously take priority over those you want.”

Read the other tips discovered in 5 Tips for Seniors Planning a Move: Think “Resizing” Not “Downsizing”.

===

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: Less Means More for Baby Boomers Who Downsize in Retirement

Section of U.S. Dollar Bill

According to writer Jeff Reeves, “A comfortable retirement is not just the money you have, but also the expenses you’re tallying up, too.” In the article “Less means more for Baby Boomers who downsize in retirement,” Reeves shares advice from experts who suggest that the cost of downsizing can add up.

“A variety of items can add up to a pretty big difference in the monthly budget of Boomers who are willing to downsize. Those items can include:

Taxes. ‘It’s really dramatic, where you have Florida on one extreme that has no income tax, to states like New York or New Jersey or Connecticut that have very high income taxes,’ said Chris Blunt, president of the investments group at insurance giant New York Life. ‘A 7% swing in income tax, if you’re on a tight budget that matters.’ Property taxes can also vary widely even within a few hours’ drive from your current home, and could result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars saved per year.

Access to public transit. Being able to downsize from two vehicles in your household to one – or even none – can save you on car payments, insurance and maintenance. However, a move like that requires Baby Boomers to downsize to an area that can keep them mobile even without a vehicle of their own.

Health care. Many factors influence health care costs, including location and access to good doctors and specialists who are responsive and within your coverage network. ‘There are parts of the country with more cost-effective health care systems than others,’ Blunt said. For instance, a 2015 study by HealthView Services estimated supplemental medical insurance can vary widely – with a 65-year-old in Maryland paying 72% more than one in Hawaii.

Electricity and overhead. ‘With moving to a smaller home, you would expect to see lower utilities and you might see a difference in maintenance costs,’ said Lori Trawinski, director of banking and finance with AARP’s Public Policy Institute. And generally speaking, a smaller and less valuable home will also carry smaller insurance costs than a larger home in a similar area, she said.

Read additional tips at Less means more for Baby Boomers who downsize in retirement.

====

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 – 8 Lessons Learned from the Decluttering Bible

Messy Pile of ClothesYou’ve probably heard about Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant, who wrote the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Kondo has a radical, two-pronged approach to tidying. First, put your hands on everything you own, ask yourself if it sparks joy, and if it doesn’t, thank it for its service and get rid of it. Second, once only your most joy-giving belongings remain, put every item in a place where it’s visible, accessible, and easy to grab and then put back. Only then, Kondo says, will you have reached the nirvana of housekeeping, and never have to clean again.

So, as Baby Boomers and Seniors face life transitions, what can they learn from Marie Kondo? In her article, 8 Lessons Our Editor Learned from the Decluttering Bible, writer Cate La Farge Summers discovered eight lessons from Kondo’s book. Here are a few:

Lesson #1: Tackle Categories, Not Rooms

I’d always tackled clutter by room – take on the office first, the bedroom next. Instead, Kondo’s first rule is to tidy by category – deal with every single one of your books at once, for example, otherwise they’ll continue to creep from room to room, and you’ll never rein in the clutter. She advises beginning with clothing, since it’s the least emotionally loaded of one’s things (books come next, old photographs are much later), so as soon as I found a free afternoon, that’s exactly what I did.

Lesson #3: Nostalgia Is Not Your Friend

As I started emptying the closets, I opened boxes filled with letters and old photographs. Serious mistake. Kondo knows what she’s talking about when she insists you put blinders on and focus only on the category of stuff at hand. Read one old letter, and suddenly you’re down a rabbit hole of nostalgia.

To be honest, I was probably procrastinating. In theory, I was sold on the idea of living exclusively with clothing that gives me joy, but I still had hang-ups: What will I be left with? Will I have anything to wear to work? Will I have to sacrifice beloved things, all for the sake of decluttering?

Then my 18-month-old son, Henry, wandered in, and there’s nothing he loves more than recluttering. The afternoon was basically lost. If you do this, don’t waste time like I did (and maybe book a babysitter for this project).

Lesson #4: Purging Feels SO Good

From then on, I followed Kondo’s advice to a T. I gathered every piece of my clothing and put it in one giant pile. While I normally tidy my clothes only when I’m on a long phone call – distracted from the task at hand – today I wasn’t even supposed to listen to music. Channeling Kondo, who says a prayer upon entering a client’s home, I lit a candle, said a little prayer, and started digging through the mountain of clothes.

Once I got to work, it was so much easier and more fun than I’d thought. This question of joy gives you permission to let go of off-color shirts bought on sale, dresses past their prime, skirts that always clung uncomfortably. I realized I had many things that seemed great in theory but weren’t actually my style – they’d be better on someone else’s body or in someone else’s life.

Six hours later, I’d filled 12 bags with non-joy-giving clothes. Instead of panic, I felt relief – 12 times lighter. It also felt like good karma: The best stuff went to a consignment shop, and the decent stuff went to a charity thrift store, off to see a new, hopefully better life.”

Read the other lessons discovered in 8 Lessons Our Editor Learned from the Decluttering Bible.

===

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?.

===

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.

===

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

Downsizing Made Simple-Five Steps to a Successful Move

“Downsizing Made Simple-Five Steps to a Successful Move” presented by Seniors Real Estate Specialist Dayna Wilson this Sunday, August 28th | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Please RSVP (925) 943-1121 Presented at The Kensington. A Vintage Senior Living Community, located at 1580 Geary Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94597.

As a  professional dedicated to serving downsizing seniors, Dayna’s goal is to ensure that her clients are well informed, prepared and equipped to navigate the complexities that a late-in-life move entails. By utilizing the proven Downsizing Made Easy 5-Step System for a successful move, she is giving you a road map so  you have the tools to accomplish exactly that.

senior citizens photo

Photo by auntjojo  www.VintageKensington.com Enjoy a complimentary dinner while Dayna shares tips on downsizing. Everyone is welcome.

  • Overview of the “5 Easy Steps to Downsizing”
  • Complete list of questions for your senior clients to consider before making a move
  • Housing needs checklist
  • Descriptions of common senior living options
  • Key questions for touring senior living and skilled care communities
  • Forms that include a timetable for planning the move and comparison charts on available housing options
  • Guidelines for family meetings and a sample letter to inform family of move plans
  • Tips for hiring various key professionals related to the moving process (including real estate agents)
  • Guidance on estate sales and estate auctions
  • Suggestions for effectively adjusting to a new lifestyle
  • Frequently Asked Questions concerning the moving process

Attendees will receive a gift worth up to $1,000.

Following our dinner discussion the Kensington will continue with their Sunday Concert Series. At 7:00pm attendees will be treated to a special performance by Ronit Widmann-Levy, soprano. 

A fundraising raffle will be held with proceeds benefiting MEMORY WALK Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research…

http://act.alz.org/goto/TeamKensington 

 

Photo by auntjojo

Boomers Inheriting Mom’s Home – Rent vs Sell?

Baby Boomers call when Mom and Dad has to move out of the long-held family home. The adult children are challenged with the decision of whether to sell or rent out the house. There are many things to consider and I suggest beginning with asking yourself the following questions… sell home photo

  • What condition is the home and property in?
  • Does it need repairs or improvements before leasing? Before selling?
  • Do you want to be a landlord? Willing to pay taxes, insurance, repairs, gardener, utilities, etc. out of mo rent payment? What cash on cash return do you need?
  • Do you want to hire property management co to handle maintenance./ tenant complaints, vetting new tenants? (Typically charge approx. 10% of mo.lease payment)
  • Do you need a monthly income stream?
  • Are you ready to pay 2 mortgages when there is a vacancy?
  • Do you need a lump sum that can pay for mom’s care and be investing in something that will bring a greater return to the trust?

I give market data and home value, discuss trends around the Greater Walnut Creek and Lamorinda areas, as well as and absorption rates. This year could be the perfect storm as far as selling at the peak. You can sell as-is and not do anything to the property or we can discuss what it would take to get top dollar. Your realtor is not licensed to offer tax nor legal advice, and I recommend seeking the guidance from a trusted attorney and/or CPA to understand all the legal and tax ramifications, as each situation is unique. Let me know how I can help?

Your Seniors Real Estate Specialist & Downsizing Diva!

Photo by jessicafm

Digging Deeper for my 65+ clients: My SRES® designation

Digging Deeper for my 65+ clients: My SRES® designation is much more than a set of letters after my name.

Digging Deeper for my 65+ clients: My SRES® designation

Digging Deeper for my 65+ clients: My SRES® designation

To me, serving as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist is a heartfelt commitment to those older home owners and their families in my community.  I have found working with Boomers and Betters is my calling and I’m constantly looking for new paths to consider taking that will allow me to offer assistance extending beyond selling and buying homes. My Concierge Services have grown to include preparing and selling the long-held family home, estate liquidation, downsizing and packing, relocation and unpacking…and much more. Dayna Wilson Real Estate acts as project manager, handling all services and providers to provide a more holistic approach to a later in life transition. We can even help you with staying put, if that’s your current preference. Moving is never easy. And, if you or your parents haven’t done it in awhile, or need a bit of extra help, there are folks who can make it easier. I humbly recommend your first call be to your local, trusted Seniors Real Estate Specialist!

photo source: View Original Image