Through the decluttering and rightsizing process, I’ve realized that it’s so much more than organizing your stuff, emptying your closets or living in a smaller space. It’s about creating a life with room for what matters most. – Courtney Carver, Be More With Less
Our experts, Pat Barnard, Susan Stanhope and Beth Wenhart, offer tips this week on how to rightsize. These three experts will tell you that this can be an emotional project to undertake. Letting go of family possessions, planning, organizing and physically moving can be stressful for every member of the family. The Springmoor residents that have recently moved will tell you – start early! Once they arrived and the boxes were unpacked, they will tell you they only wished they had made the move sooner. Their smaller home, filled with fewer things, is freeing. The clutter has disappeared and the layout is perfect. Surrounded by their favorite things, it still feels like home.
Let’s Move! manager, Pat Barnard, shares her lists to help get you started. She reminds us that your goal is to get rid of some things. Start your purging by following these rules:
- Decide quickly
- Handle items only once
- Recognize what needs to be thrown away and quickly do so
Answer these three questions to see if you should KEEP it:
- Do I use it?
- Do I need it?
- Do I love it?
She suggests you do one room at a time. Set a time limit each day and be disciplined. There are many agencies across Wake County that will gladly accept your furniture, linens, kitchen items, books and accessories. Knowing you are helping others makes the task much easier.
Move Elders with Ease owner, Susan Stanhope, offers her expert advice to get you started with a simplified and safe new home.
- Safety trumps everything! Moving too much stuff can create a fall hazard.
- Keeping the things you love will make your new residence feel like home.
- Keep sessions short (1-2 hours at a time) and give yourself a reward at the end (chocolate, tea with a friend, a walk outside, etc.).
- If you feel you are getting too tired in the middle of a session – walk away for a few minutes. Sometimes just moving around a little will help your brain process what is happening and rejuvenate.
- Plan ahead for days/times when you anticipate having the most energy to do the downsizing and put it on your calendar.
- It’s never too early to start the process. Cleaning out a drawer or a bookcase a week, for instance, can feel very freeing. After a few weeks you will be able to see what great progress you have made.
Beth Wenhart of Carolina Relocation & Transition Specialists offers these special tips to begin your rightsizing tasks.
- Look at an item and ask yourself “Does this item bring me happiness?”
- Don’t keep duplicates.
- Give items you use just once a year to one of your kids so you can use it at their house (example a turkey roaster).
- Closet Tip: Hang all your hangers in the reverse direction. As you wear each item, hang them back up in the usual direction. At the end of the season, you will have a clear picture of what you don’t wear and can donate those items.
- Try to determine where your clutter and excess items are coming from and stop their flow into your home. If one of the issues is paper and mail coming in the door, shred or discard unneeded items as they come in. Don’t let it accumulate. Beth offers three sources to help stop the direct mail, catalogs, and credit card applications from cluttering your kitchen table.
- If you feel overwhelmed by this process, then it’s time to recruit some help, maybe a family member, a friend or a professional. Hiring a professional can reduce stress, eliminate family conflict and avoid overburdening your children.
All of our experts will tell you to Start Small – one or two cabinets, not the whole kitchen. Stay focused. Donate. Throw away. Get Started! Excess clutter in your home can be overwhelming. When you rightsize your home you will have a greater sense of peace.
While you are rightsizing, you will also want to schedule a tour to see the amenities and floor plans available at Springmoor. Our marketing team can help guide you through the process of finding your new home and filling it with your favorite pieces of furniture and keepsakes.