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What’s keeping you from clearing out your stuff?

You say you want to clean out the garage/get rid of some stuff/downsize but somehow, you never manage to do it?

Maybe the best place to get started is figuring out what’s stopping you in the first place.

Here are some questions to help you identify your issues. And some ideas on solving them. Let’s get started!

  1. Do you find the whole idea of downsizing overwhelming?   Break the task down into manageable pieces. Schedule an hour or so and give yourself a discrete task, like cleaning out one drawer, or a single shelf. When you’re finished, or the hour is over, you’re done for the day. Then, schedule more time for another day. As you do more you’ll find that the job gets easier and you get through more stuff faster.
  2. Do you feel guilty letting go of perfectly good stuff?  Just because something is perfectly good doesn’t mean it’s perfectly good for you. Lots of things have potential to be used. But why hold on to something if you aren’t making  use of it? Whether you’ve got clothes you longer wear, books you don’t read, or kitchen equipment that never sees the light of day, holding on to things you don’t use only keeps them from being of use to someone else. So let go of the guilt. And then let go of that stuff!
  1. Are you reluctant to toss something you may need in the future?    Imagine having a drawer filled with new typewriter ribbons. Blank cassette tapes. Empty floppy disks. And new fax machine paper. You held on to those things because you thought you might need them in the future. But the future changed before you could use them. Even if technology doesn’t make the things you’re holding obsolete, chances are small you will need something you haven’t used for a long time. Let those things go. If you need that certain thing in the future, you can buy, borrow or rent it then.
  1. Are you attached and afraid to let go of things you love?   If there are things you really love, then keep them! But chances are, you aren’t attached to things as much as they’re attached to you. They’re stuck in your closets. Filling your drawers. And taking up floor space. They’ve been there so long you don’t even see them. This is when it makes sense to take a page out of Marie Kondo’s book and ask which of the things you own really bring you joy. If you’re attached just because something has been around for a long time it may be time to detach it and pass it along to someone else.
  1. Do you feel you have an obligation to keep stuff?  Things aren’t people. Just because someone gave you something (probably because they thought you’d like it) doesn’t mean you are duty-bound to keep it. You can appreciate their intentions — and let go of the things you don’t love/use, too. The same goes for things you’ve bought for yourself. If you don’t love it or use it, there’s no disgrace in letting it go.
  1. Do you feel you can’t do it by yourself?  The emotional side of downsizing can be challenging. (That’s why it’s so much easier to go through someone else’s stuff.) So if you know you can’t go it alone make a pact with a friend that you’ll help them do their stuff, if they’ll help you with yours. Or, ask for professional help from people like us. Senior Move Management has become a certified profession because down- sizing is a big job. If you need assistance, we’re happy to help!
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