What are the most challenging aspects of the downsizing/decluttering process?
Just beginning is usually the most challenging thing, because of the sentimental memories attached to items. Often, empty nesters decide to move, and when it’s time to declutter, they realize that their home is full of memories — both good and bad — of raising a family. It can be an emotional process.
What suggestions do you have for dealing with especially sentimental items?
1. Investigate ways to save memories with technology. (Cloud Services, Personal Server, Memory Sticks)
2. If your children live nearby or they’re home for a holiday, use the time to ask them what they would like to have.
3. Make a “keepsake box” for each of your children, filled with a few items you cherish the most.
4. Recruit a family member or friend so that you won’t linger too long over any one item.
What are some tips for empty nesters who are decluttering in preparation for downsizing to a smaller home?
1. Ask for help.
2. Make a plan and a schedule (with flexibility) so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
3. Keep only the items that you deem useful, that you love, and that make you smile. (The less you have, the less you have to pack!)
4. Use this time to secure your memories. (There are professional organizers who specialize in this.)
5. Make sure you’re clear on the layout and room dimensions of your new home in order to make better decisions about what to bring with you.
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