Go easy on yourself or your loved ones. Going through a lifetime of belongings is a very emotional process. Our belongings are mementoes of our lives.
10. FLOOR PLAN
Determine which items are both your favorites but also which are the most practical. Keeping furniture that’s broken or not easy to get in and out of is not your best option. Also, once you know how much furniture you can realistically and safely fit, you can have a good sense of the actual space and surfaces you’ll have. Whenever possible, pick items that are multi purpose and have shelves or drawers.
9. BREAK DOWN THE PROJECTS INTO SMALLER PIECES
Go through your home and look at the areas that are most troublesome. Write them down from easiest to hardest and begin tackling one every day.
8. MEASURE THE SPACE
If you have a good idea of where you are going, measuring the spaces and giving yourself a visual to work from is helpful. Use blue tape in your closet to see exactly how much space you have.
7. USE A SYSTEM
Purchase stickers or labels to visually mark items in your home. Go room by room and determine what will stay, will will be given away, what can be sold and what can be donated. If you mark items for donation, plan ahead to make a trip at the end of the day to deliver them (or have them picked up).
6. USE IT UP... DON’T MOVE IT
Plan to throw out expired food on garbage days. Medications, batteries, paints all have special places they should go.
5 . MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO SCAN OLD PHOTOS AND ALBUMS
Photos only have about 125 years of life. Additionally, photos take up lots of room. If you have them scanned in and put onto a flash drive, a hard drive or in the cloud, you stop the disintegration and make it easy for loved ones to access and share them.
4. GIVE AWAY YOUR ITEMS AS GIFTS
Rather than taking a small gift (like a bottle of wine or food), consider bringing a loved item to give to your host.
3. MAKE SURE YOUR WISHES ARE CLEAR
It’s not enough to tell someone you are going to give them something. If at all possible, make your wishes very clear. This can include creating a list and if possible photographing items.
2. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
Just because someone doesn’t want your belonging doesn’t mean you aren’t important or won’t be remembered. Try to remember there is a generational shift and younger generations have an easier time buying new and tossing out. They also tend to spend money on experiences versus things.
1. BE REALISTIC
Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Just because it cost $200 when you bought it, don’t expect to sell it for that much. To get a true picture, look the item up on eBay.
Also, take a good and honest assessment of your lifestyle. Is the item something you will really use again? If you are unable to keep something, consider photographing it and creating a digital book.
Click here for more tips on sorting, organizing and “rightsizing”, or call 760 522-1624 to schedule your FREE consultation.
Jami Shapiro is President of Silver Linings Transitions. As a cancer survivor, she embraces aging and the challenges it presents.