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

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

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

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