Don’t wait to Downsize

Organizing, Stuff & Clutter

Don’t wait to Downsize

Most people wait until they move before downsizing – or until they retire and move into a smaller place or worse, they leave it for a relative to deal with when they die. Not okay.

I just spent the better part of the last two weeks dealing with a last minute move of my mother and her husband into an assisted living facility. It wasn’t pretty. As if the move of this nature wasn’t stressful enough, my sister and I had to dig through closets and sheds and drawers rifled with crap that should have been purged and disposed of years prior. This was the 4th move in 5 years. Each time more items go so you would think that this wouldn’t have become a problem to the caliber that it had. But alas, it was indeed another disaster.

I have often professed that people should pretend as if they are going to move on an annual basis because it is a good way to consistently purge through belongings. This isn’t just for seniors – it is for everyone. Even Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and of organizing fame, teaches how to rid one of their unneeded belongings in a methodical manner and only keeping those items which serve a purpose or that bring joy. This is not far off from my motto the past three decades, which states, “If it isn’t servicing you, it is burdening you, so let it go.” Ultimately the items we have around our environments have a service they provide or they inspire joy. Those are really the only reasons to keep anything; Everything else is clutter and providing no service.

I have watched people rid their lives of their clutter and reclaim the happiness and peace in their lives they thought was unattainable. And I have seen the opposite of this scenario where lives are stuck, miserable, and joyless due to one being bogged down with clutter and crap that should have made it’s way out of the place a long time ago. So, do yourself and those you love a favor: Clean house. Get rid of clutter, papers, trash, and unused or unneeded items before they become a burden on others. It all ends up in the trash typically anyway. If done on a regular basis there is time to prepare donations to libraries, charities, and schools. There is time to go through pictures and properly keep and protect the ones you want to keep. Taking the time to do this versus having just a few days to go through a lifetime of belongings means that treasures can be shared, donated, or kept – but in a thoughtful way.

Before Spring arrives – clear the inside of the house first. And when warmer days arrive – then plan to do the same on the outside of the house and in your garage. Schedule this so you don’t procrastinate it off your list. Make it a priority – whether you are moving or not. Your life will thank you.