Downsize your home now before you need to
Organizing and downsizing ahead of time can save loved ones a burden. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Eva S.)
Many clients with whom I consult are in the challenging position of having to help a family member downsize in the middle of a crisis. Moving to a smaller home as a result of age, health issues or the economy can create stress that is enormous. While these situations are part of life, I have found that it may be much more useful to help your family and yourself to “downsize” before it is not a matter of necessity.
This means that one cannot stay stuck in a place of emotional denial about eventual loss and aging. What a great opportunity it is to take a look at what you want to keep or not when you can still easily move around and make decisions. It is a real way of taking control of your own life, your history, and your stuff. Doing this piece of work while you are able to can be arduous. Like any important task, this one is vital but can be done slowly over time. Yes, it is a big job but it can be done in a calculated and thought out manner. It can be fun to do the work this way.
Rather than keep family treasures stowed away in cardboard boxes it may make sense to use them, give them away, or to consider selling or donating them. Looking at old pictures and videos and old movies can be wonderful. Transferring them to digital format will keep them alive in smaller spaces for many days to come. It is very useful to have written directions for where you would want your possessions to go. This affirms your values, your plans and your being.
Unburdening your family and friends from the enormous task of going through all your things after you are gone is a gift of great love.
Debby Fenn CPO, LICSW opened Away It Goes in 2004 after having practiced as a social worker for 25 years. She continues to hold her license as a social worker and has received certification through the Board of Certification of Professional Organizers as a certified professional organizer (CPO), the highest certification in the industry. She has received the Angie's List Super Service Award for 2011 and loves being able to use all of her skills to help people to reach their goals.
As of September 26, 2012, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.