7 Tips to Help You Free Yourself From Your "Things"

By
Home Stager with Room Service Home Staging

7 Tips to Help You Free Yourself From Your “Things”

 

Many of my clients in Palm Beach County  are seniors getting ready to make a lifestyle change, moving closer to or in with their adult children; packed closetmoving into space that better suits their new needs, 0r moving into Assisted Living.

The majority of the time, what I hear from their real estate agent is that they have too much stuff.  And they are, of course, right.  But if you can avoid calling their treasures “stuff” and using the word “declutter,” your suggestions may be received with a listening ear rather than a defensive one.

No one wants to think of what they have as stuff or clutter.  Do you?  Well, you might, but it’s yours to call it that, not someone else.

In this, by the way, I am not talking about true hoarders, who have a psychological disorder.  For them, it is often an issue of not being able to throw something away rather than collecting or saving something.

7 Tips to Help Free Yourself From Your “Stuff”

1.Give yourself permission to get rid of things

You have to let yourself eliminate items that you’re keeping simply because you think you should keep them.  It could be the drawings from your children, or the first gift your young brother gave to you.  (Yes, it took me many years before I could give this gift away.  It just didn’t work anymore.)

2. Give your children and other family members permission to not keep everything.

This is one of the best gifts you could give them.  Yes, they may have items they truly want to keep but give them permission to get rid of items they don’t want to keep.

3.Take photos of items that you’re only keeping because of the memories.

If you’re one of the collectors who has kept every concert ticket and program from your early teens, then why not take photographs of them.  Or if you like looking at them, have them framed in collage.

Packing it away4. Scan your photos so you can view them digitally whenever you want instead of searching through boxes and boxes of old photos

There are photo scanning services online and locally that can scan those photos that you took before everything went digital.  

5. Don’t wait until you’re gone. We all save items that we want to give to our children or other family members or friends.

Do as one of my clients did… she invited her children over and had on display items that she did not want, but that had value, sentimental or monetary.  She had been holding on to them to pass on to her family but now she wanted to make a move and did not want to have to find a house that would fit her things, but rather her new lifestyle.

6.Start with the easy items, such as magazines, books, clothing.  You’ll soon find that you like this new freedom you have and that you can’t wait to tackle those other, harder to edit items.

 

7. For the items that you can’t part with, why keep them boxed up in the attic.  One of my friends had her husband’s cowboy chaps from when he was only about 6 years old framed in a lucite box.

We framed a very special T-shirt.  It’s better than leaving it rolled up in some box!

 

If you’re working with a client who needs to edit their treasures, have some patience.  It’s easy for those of us who have no attachment whatsoever to say “You need to declutter and get rid of this stuff.”

Next time you do, take a minute to think about what you’re saying.  And, think about what you would do if someone came into your home and said something similar.

Instead… try helping them with some of these suggestions.

 

 

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Ambassador
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Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Gateway to the Lake" 503-755-2905

I am doing all of this for MYSELF right this very minute! Going from 6214 sq. ft to a mere 1500--yikes, it's like moving into a tiny house. Just this morning, I went through a cabinet that has housed some lovely items and I have donated them to the Vernonia Annual Garage Sale this weekend. It felt so good!  Helen, the principal broker here has done this ALL citywide for 17 years. This is the last hurrah. 

The other thing that you made me thing of is this: why not take photos of each box that I will be storing (and labeling) to put into a shop that we are building to house the furniture and art,etc. that will eventually be used in the log home that we will either build or buy. LATER, that is. But, it will give me a history of what's IN those boxes so that if I want to pull something out to change my decor or whatnot in the current home, I will know where to go! And whenever I have moved, I put a sharpie on a string around my neck so that it's right there for me to mark boxes with and I don't lose it or have to go hunting for it (when you are already in disarray from moving, it's easy to put this down and lose it).

*FEATURE* *FEATURE* 

 

                                                  FEATURE! 

Where is that magic button? 

Aug 21, 2015 06:42 AM #44
Rainmaker
1,695,314
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Great tips and it is all in how it is presented.  Most Sellers are more than willing to declutter.

Aug 21, 2015 09:01 AM #45
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

This is great advice.  It's hard to let go of things and I've got stuff that I simply feel guilty getting rid of.

Aug 21, 2015 10:28 AM #46
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Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Number 1 is key Kathy. It is so hard to get people in the right frame of mine to let go. Excellent blog.

Aug 21, 2015 11:36 AM #47
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Alexandra- not unless you want to trade it for the antique lamp!!!  Ron and Alexandra Seigel 

Bill- it's one of my favorite shows and you can learn so much about our history! Larry's sister and husband have a huge barn, old hot rods, a gasoline pump and lots of antiques.  You'd like it! Bill Roberts 

Nina- not in the least!  It was refreshing!!! Nina Hollander 

Belinda- I've been digitizing so much of what we have.  I also framed a special t-shirt that Larry had as well.   Belinda Spillman 

Aug 21, 2015 11:38 AM #48
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Sharon- I can't believe that!  You have burst my bubble!!!  Sharon Tara 

Gayle- Thank you.  Yes, make good use of our digitized world we live in.  Don't laugh but I once took polaroids (that's how long ago it was) of the shoes that were in my clear shoe boxes.  It made it a lot easier to see what I had.  Make sure you have photos of how you decorated your house for the holidays.  It will remind you of what you have boxed up. Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905   PS... I went from a 5 bedroom 6500 sq ft house to a 3 bedroom 2500 sq ft house, so I'm here for you!!!!!

Aug 21, 2015 11:45 AM #49
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Brian- exactly- It's all in how it's presented. 

Chris Ann- so do I, but give yourself permission!  Chris Ann Cleland 

Noah- thank you.  You know I think that as Chris Ann (above) said, we fell guilty if we do. Noah Seidenberg 

Aug 21, 2015 11:49 AM #50
Rainmaker
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Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Kathy

Your post is a road map to de-clutter a home . . . . and to get it sold.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Aug 21, 2015 02:28 PM #51
Rainmaker
1,227,029
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin

Kathy Streib 

 

Really great post and timely for me. I need to start getting rid of some things. 

Aug 21, 2015 02:51 PM #52
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Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Kathy. That is really sage advice, especially for folks that are considering moving. I like to think we practice many of the items on your list on a regular basis.

Make it a great weekend!

Aug 21, 2015 08:37 PM #53
Rainmaker
956,671
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Roanoke, VA
Retired and loving life

Kathy-I think this post needs to be featured. I am downsizing for a number of reasons right now and one of them being down the road I will have to move from here when Mom passes.  I am starting with my stuff  and it is freeing and I won't need it when I get a motorhome down the road. I especially like 3,4 and 7 and will be doing that myself. Appreciate the tips. 

Aug 21, 2015 09:52 PM #54
Ambassador
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Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Gateway to the Lake" 503-755-2905

love ya, Kathy--glad you're there for me! Joanna Cohlan is coming out in mid-October and may have some great design ideas for us! (Plus, we're just going to have FUN)>

Aug 22, 2015 01:45 AM #55
Rainmaker
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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Kathy - in the case of those children it might require more than giving them permission not to keep but initiating it.  Like many parents we tend to be the storage shed.

Aug 22, 2015 02:07 AM #56
Rainmaker
89,952
Debra Peters
Referral Realty - Manorville, NY
NY Real Estate Salesperson

I totally agree with #3. Thanks for sharing this great bolg post! Have a great weekend!

Aug 22, 2015 06:15 AM #57
Rainmaker
1,559,023
Patricia Feager
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Letting go is hard to do, Oh yeah! Letting go is hard to do.

You offer great advice Kathy.

Aug 22, 2015 10:09 AM #58
Rainmaker
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Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Kathy

Your post is . . . . a super duper post . . . . and a gold star post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Aug 22, 2015 01:54 PM #59
Rainer
210,913
Jason Potrzeba
Acadia Advisory Group - East Providence, RI
Private Money & Commercial Mortgage Broker - MA/RI

Some good tips on how to declutter.

You listed books in the suggestion about starting with easy items. Not for me, I'll lock myself in a room with all my books if anyone ever attempts to declutter them!

Aug 22, 2015 10:53 PM #60
Rainmaker
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Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

I stuggle with this, but am getting better and it helps keep the house looking neat which is something I love more then stuff!

Aug 24, 2015 10:17 AM #61
Rainmaker
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Margaret Kapranos
Zephyr Real Estate - Greenbrae, CA
Matching Marin Sellers to Buyers! 415-608-5070

I believe all of my stuff is headed (along with me) to the Pharoh's crypt to be used in my afterlife.  Ultimately, it should make for a good archeological dig.  

Aug 25, 2015 10:30 AM #62
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Baltimore, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Kathy Streib I was speaking to a caller and did not want to use the word 'hoarder' so I called it 'eclectic clutter'.

Oct 17, 2015 11:30 AM #63
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