Toss It Tuesday – 11 Reasons to Own Less Stuff

Cluttered Room

In the article 11 Reasons to Own Less Stuff, author Christina Tiplea shares a few huge benefits she’s discovered in owning less stuff:

You’ll spend less. Once you make the conscious decision to own less stuff, you automatically stop seeking out new stuff to bring into your home. It’s just a given. And by desiring to bring less stuff in, you will be spending less as well. A huge benefit!

You’ll have more time. You’ll be spending less time tidying up, organizing, and maintaining your things. This will leave you with more time to do the things you actually want to be doing. Sounds pretty great, right?

You’ll have more freedom. You’ll have a sense of freedom when you no longer feel like your stuff owns you (because let’s face it, to a certain extent it does). And also freedom from comparing your stuff to what others have. Simply because you just won’t care anymore!

You’ll have less stress. With less stuff, comes a lot less stress. I feel my stress lessening more and more as we continue to donate the unnecessary, and it really feels fantastic! I am someone who gets stressed out pretty easily, so this was a big benefit to me. I am not someone that can throw a box into a storage room and then completely forget about it. I feel uneasy where there are things in our home that we no longer use, typically accompanied by some guilt-induced stress knowing that we own things we aren’t even using. Especially when others could benefit from these things a lot more than we could.”

Read the rest of the reasons at: 11 Reasons to Own Less Stuff.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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 Stuff for a Move

Cluttered RoomWhittling down a lifetime’s worth of belongings for a move into a smaller home can be a difficult and emotional task. How can you decide what to keep and what to toss?

In the Reader’s Digest article How to Downsize Your Stuff for a Move, author Ian Landau offers tips you might not have considered when downsizing your possessions before you move:

Get an early start. If you wait until you’ve signed a contract on your new home, you’ll end up getting overwhelmed and tossing everything into boxes to take with you. So start going through your belongings as soon as you decide to move.

Work in concentric circles. Start in the rooms farthest from the heart of the home, such as the attic, basement, and storage rooms. That’s where there are more items that are simply being stored rather than used. Then move into the bedrooms, family room, and kitchen. Pack as you go through these rooms, and make separate piles of items you plan to sell, donate, and give to friends or relatives. Then get those items out of your home right away, so you won’t change your mind.

Involve your family. Items hold different meanings for various family members. You don’t want to save and store that box of toys from your daughter’s childhood only to find out later she doesn’t want them. You also don’t want to toss your son’s old baseball gear if it holds great sentimental value to him.

Be kind to yourself. You don’t have to get rid of everything you hold dear. If you’re really attached to an item and it would break your heart to let it go, keep it!”

Read more at: How to Downsize Your Stuff for a Move.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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 – More Ways to Downsize Your Stuff Without Losing Your Mind

Donation Box Full of Household GoodsIn the Realtor.com article Moving? Here’s How to Downsize Your Stuff Without Losing Your Mind, author Jamie Wiebe offers tips you might not have considered when downsizing your possessions before you move:

Sort, sort, sort. Go through each room of your house, from least-used to most-trafficked, and sort each and every item you see. Divide them into three piles: keepdonate, and toss. Having trouble choosing the correct designation? Take a cue from Marie Kondo and ask yourself, ‘Does it bring me joy?’ If the answer is a true, honest-to-God yes, add it to the keep pile. Otherwise, it’s time to say goodbye. ‘We would never recommend throwing out everything unless you have the means to completely outfit your new home, but getting rid of those items will make your new house a happier space,’ says Michelle Hale, the co-owner of New York City’s home organization service Henry & Higby. Once you have the donate and toss piles in order, deal with them immediately. The longer they sit, the more likely you are to put junk into your moving boxes. You’ve already said adios once—don’t force yourself to say it again.

Ditch the duplicates. Unless you’re holding onto something for sentimental reasons, now’s the time to get rid of doubles. Two wine holders? Multiple printers? Six table lamps when you need only three? Choose your favorites and downsize the rest.”

Read more at: Moving? Here’s How to Downsize Your Stuff Without Losing Your Mind.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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 – More Tips on How to Declutter Your Home…from AARP

Cluttered RoomIn the AARP article 20 Tips to Declutter Your Home, author Marni Jameson suggests you start with your attic.

“When you’re up against your memories, remember: You’re simplifying your life, not erasing your past:

Your kids’ stuff. It’s not your job to save everything from your children’s lives. Box up what belongs to the kids, and send it to them. Or tell them to claim it now — with the date you plan to have the house cleared out — or never.

Books. If you’re going to read it, or it just feels too much like family (The Cat in the Hat), put it on your bookshelf. If not, give it away. You can drop books off at a library or donation center. Or call around for a charity that will pick up.

Luggage. That graduation gift from your grandparents? If it’s in decent shape, sell it at your own or a neighborhood garage sale, and tell stories of where you’ve been. If not, donate it to a charity such as a women’s homeless shelter.

Hand-me-down furniture. Consignment stores can be a godsend for a chair or sofa in good condition that worked for someone else — but not for you. They sell it and usually split it 30/70 (30 percent to you), but sometimes 40/60.

Clothes. Can you answer yes to “Do I love it?” “Do I need it?” or “Will I use it?” If not, then out it goes. It doesn’t matter whether “I only wore it once,” “It’s in good condition” or “It was expensive.” Then make three piles: toss, donate, sell.

Read more at: 20 Tips to Declutter Your Home.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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 – 20 Tips to Declutter Your Home…from AARP

Post It Note with Message Declutter Your LifeIn the AARP article 20 Tips to Declutter Your Home, author Marni Jameson suggests you start with your attic.

“When you’re up against your memories, remember: You’re simplifying your life, not erasing your past:

1. Wedding dress. If no one is going to wear it again, have some nice pillows made out of it. Or save it to wrap bouquets in your daughter’s wedding. Or clip off a piece of fabric and display it in a frame with a photo of your wedding day.

2. Love letters. Keep them if they’re yours. But if they’re your parents’, they’re not really yours: They’re part of a romance between your parents, never meant for you. Burn them ceremonially and send the love back into the universe.

3. Boxes of photos. Throw out landscape shots. Pick three with people in them from each vacation or holiday. With the rest, pull out the great shots. Send the keepers to an online scanning service to store in the cloud, or make albums.

4. China set. If you like it, use it. If you don’t, sell it through eBay. Be realistic, though. Not long ago, fine china commanded a nice price. But today’s consumers want fine tableware that’s safe in the microwave and the dishwasher.

5. Antiques. Take high-end antiques to a local antiques dealer, who can take them to an auction house. Find out what the house’s take is upfront (typically 10 to 15 percent) as well as where it will place the starting bid.

6. Greeting cards. Their job is to greet you over the holidays. They did that. Now you throw them away. Or put them in the recycle bin. If you saved the envelopes, you can go through them to update your address book.”

Read more at: 20 Tips to Declutter Your Home.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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 Deal With Inherited Clutter

Senior couple packing a miving boxWhen reading the article 6 Steps In Dealing With Inherited Clutter, you will learn that “Decluttering can cause a lot of stress. This stress is magnified when it’s inherited clutter. Pressure can mount when you are faced with the decluttering task of things that are not yours or are left to your care. Why? Because simply, this isn’t your mess! Yet you have to clean it up!”

Here are some tips to make things easier:

4. Re-gift or Pass On. Passing much-loved items on to people who will make good use of them is rewarding for the giver.

For example: Think of times someone has admired something in the home

Family, friends, or even neighbours may have admired or commented on something over the years. Perhaps return a gift that was received from a special someone.

Considering others who may love the opportunity to have the item and continue to cherish and care for it will be easier for the owner to let it go.

5. Toss Or Donate. The decision to toss or donate can be made simply if you follow some basic steps. Follow our special Declutter Clinic: Should I Sell, Donate, Or Throw It Out? here.

For example: Sell, Keep or Donate

Sell it if:

– It’s worth more than the cost of selling and
– You’re motivated enough to organize the sale.

Donate it if:

– It’s in good condition and
– The question of donating versing tossing won’t immobilize you.

6. Sell Items Online. If you have the time and the motivation, you can try selling items online.

Some people find a lot of success in selling online. Other’s find it a compete headache! If you are inclined to give it a try, start small to avoid feeling overwhelmed. There can be a lot of questions and upload work getting the item ready to sell.

For example: Selling good, unwanted items online

Sell it if:

– You’re motivated enough to organize the sale
– The owner is happy to pass the item on to someone else
– The owner genuinely feels the item can be used or enjoyed by someone else

As the person charged with the task of decluttering someone else’s belongings, try to remember that relinquishing much-loved items can be overwhelming. Be patient. Be understanding. Be kind!”

Read more at: 6 Steps In Dealing With Inherited Clutter.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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 – More Tips to Help You Get Rid of Stuff You Don’t Need

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.

Encourage your parent to focus on most-used items (and let the rest go). Be patient and follow your parent’s lead — what seems old and useless to you may be a source of great comfort and joy and therefore worth moving. “Don’t go by the newest and best; go by what they use,” Margit Novack, president of MovingSolutions in Philadelphia and founding president of the National Association of Senior Move Managers, says. ‘You may think Mom should pack her pretty cut-glass tumblers for assisted living, but the reality is that those ugly stained plastic ones are what she uses every day.’

When facing especially hard choices, ask for the story behind a dubious object — where it came from, when it was last used, whether a young family might put it to good use. This takes time, but the payoff is that once your parent starts talking, he or she may have a clearer perspective and feel more able to let go, Novack says.

Pack representative bits of favored items (not the whole kit and kaboodle). Photos, memorabilia, and collections typically take up far more space than the average assisted-living quarters can accommodate. Many services digitize images and papers for you for reasonable prices — sell the idea to your parent that every family member will get a copy, too.

Pick key prints to display on the walls; large tabletop displays take up too much precious space.

If it’s meant to be a gift or legacy, encourage giving it now. Urge your parent not to wait for the next holiday, birthday, or other milestone to bestow; remind him that there’s no space for storage. Ask, ‘Why not enjoy the feeling of giving right now?’ (And if you’re the recipient — just take it, and encourage your relatives to do the same. You can lose it later, if you don’t want it, but the immediate need is to empty your parent’s house.)”

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

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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 – Here’s How to Downsize Your Stuff Without Losing Your Mind

Donation Box Full of Household GoodsIn the Realtor.com article Moving? Here’s How to Downsize Your Stuff Without Losing Your Mind, author Jamie Wiebe offers tips you might not have considered when downsizing your possessions before you move:

How to downsize your electronics. We all have a few skeletons in the closet. For most of us, those skeletons are broken electronics. Whether they’re old laptops, cracked cellphones, or numerous micro-USB chargers, those suckers need to head to the slaughterhouse. (Don’t just toss these guys in the dumpster, though; there are electronics recycling programs you can use instead.)

There’s one exception, says Michelle Hale, the co-owner of New York City’s home organization service Henry & Higby: Unique chargers or cables whose pair you can’t identify. Maybe they’re for your kid’s 3DS game console or that old digital camera.

‘Put it in a box for the duration of the packing process,’ Hale says. ‘Better [to be] safe than sorry should you find a match for it in another part of the house.’

Create an ‘open first box.’ Hale’s last rule of downsizing keeps things smooth when it comes time to unpack: Create an ‘open first box,’ complete with toilet paper, lightbulbs, toiletries, basic cleaning supplies, and bed sheets. This genius idea keeps you from having to dig through every box to fill your basic needs on your first night in your new place—just open, kick back, and relax. Just make sure to label it clearly and instruct your movers to leave it somewhere obvious. ‘It will help you get through that first night with a little less stress,’ Hale says.”

Read more at: Moving? Here’s How to Downsize Your Stuff Without Losing Your Mind.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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 – Use the Four Box Method

Donation Box Full of Household GoodsIn the Lifehacker article How to Kick Your Clutter Habit and Live in a Clean House Once and For All, you will discover how to use the Four Box Method to toss out what you no longer need:

“The four box method is just a modified version of keep/donate/toss. Instead of three boxes, you’ll make four: Keep, Sell/Donate, Store, and Trash.

– Keep are items you need or use regularly, and have space for.

– Sell/Donate will go to Goodwill or your favorite charity, or hopefully make you a little money on eBay or Craigslist.

– Trash is junk: papers to be shredded, broken things that you know you’ll never repair, you know the deal.

– Store is the most ambiguous: these are the boxes of things that you can’t part with that don’t play a role in your daily life. They’re to be stored, but only so much that you have available storage space.”

Read more at: How to Kick Your Clutter Habit and Live in a Clean House Once and For All.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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 – 6 Steps In Dealing With Inherited Clutter

Senior couple packing a miving boxWhen reading the article 6 Steps In Dealing With Inherited Clutter, you will learn that “Decluttering can cause a lot of stress. This stress is magnified when it’s inherited clutter. Pressure can mount when you are faced with the decluttering task of things that are not yours or are left to your care. Why? Because simply, this isn’t your mess! Yet you have to clean it up!”

Here are some tips to make things easier:

1. Itemize Things

Itemizing things can reduce the feeling of overwhelm and keep you moving forward. It allows you to make fast decisions and maintain momentum throughout the task.

For example: Cleaning out the children’s stuff after they have left home

Grab a bunch of boxes and label them with things like:

– School Papers
– College Papers
– Toys
– Games
– Photos
– Clothes
– Music
– Throw
– Donate

As you systematically work through the items, you can toss them into the appropriate box. The benefit is you touch each item once, and once only.

You can easily sort out the Throw and Donate boxes. The other boxes are dropped off to your child, with a big smile and pat on the back for you!

2. Let The Owner Choose

If you are helping someone move home or downsize from a large home to a small home, they’ll probably need to feel in control of the move (even though they’ve asked you to take charge).

To help you and them, set limits or boundaries that can ease the owner into a better mind frame.

For example: Moving a parent into a care facility

Explain things to your parent like:

– Space restrictions
– Need Vs Want Vs Have
– What benefits the new facility offers
– Letting go is all part of taking the next step

3. Take Photos

Often, space restrictions will dictate what stays and what goes. Some items may hold sentimental value, monetary worth, or family history.

Making decisions about what to do with these items can be made easier by taking photos of them.

A beautiful photo display book can be printed up, detailing a history of the items that have been tossed. It’s a lovely keepsake book holding vast memories that will be more valuable and space efficient than the actual items themselves.

For example: Moving from a large home to a small home

Take photos of:

– Rooms, places, spaces that hold significance
– Furniture, toys, belongings that won’t fit in the new place
– The person in their favourite spots. By the garden. In the kitchen. Out the front.”

Read more at: 6 Steps In Dealing With Inherited Clutter.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. 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