For the third time this week I’ve been approached by someone I hardly know who says: “I really like those newspaper columns you’ve been writing about downsizing lately (www.mailtribune.com/healthyaging). The fact is I’ve not written about downsizing or “right-sizing,” as I prefer to call it, for months. But obviously– when I do tackle the topic people resonate with it. Me too
I’m about to start packing for the second house move we’ve made this year. Our newly built “age-friendly” home is close to completion. I culled long-held possessions like a crazed woman after we sold our home and re-located to a rental residence— but I still have seven seafood cookbooks, piles of unmatched plates and bowls (some with chips) and clothing that I’ve had since high school. There’s a more to talk about–but you get the picture. Oh, yes…. I also have lots of pictures…four boxes of decades-old photographs and countless framed pictures of relatives I don’t even know,
I need a better plan; perhaps I should research new approaches. Or maybe just take my own advice. I may even write about this in again in my newspaper column this week. Solicit ideas from others who have tried— and succeeded.
I found some great suggestions in an article in The AARP Magazine (August-September, 2014) and a recent New York Times article that quoted experts at the business of organizing and re-deploying accumulated “stuff.” It was an August 22, 2014 piece titled: “Moving to a Smaller Home and De-cluttering a Lifetime of Belongings.” I modified a few of their suggestions (there are many more) for my purposes, but you’ll get the idea. For example:
■ Once a week, start a timer and set it for 15-30 minutes. Fill a trash bag(s) with give away or throw away items while the timer ticks away. Once you have closed the bag, do not re-open it.
■ When you have several bags, call and book a donation pickup for the next day. (The “next day” is the important part I think…) Another option is to put the bags in your car immediately and drive to your closest donation center.
I am going to start today. All the way home from my donation adventure I will verbally pat myself on tha back. And when I get home, I might even re-set the timer.