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You’re ready to downsize, but your partner isn’t.  Now what?

“I keep telling my husband that we need to clear out the garage,” Denise told me. “But he just gives me this blank stare. He wants to hold on to everything and I’m ready to let stuff go .  Can you help?”

“Of course,” I told her. “You just need to keep a few things in mind.”

1. Stick to your own stuff.
Denise thought she had to get her husband to get rid of his stuff, because he’s a collector. But the truth was, a lot of what was in her garage were boxes of things she hadn’t looked at for years. It’s easy to see what someone has;  harder to recognize what you’re holding on to that you no longer need or use. When she looked closer, Denise saw that a lot of what was cluttering her garage was hers.

2. Ask yourself what purpose it is serving now
Denise had  many boxes filled with of research material from her college days. When she realized that she could find the same information on the internet, she realized she really didn’t need them anymore.

3. Be easy with yourself.
Letting go of things you’ve held for a long time can be an emotional process. Reward yourself for the progress you make, and don’t beat yourself up when you’re not ready. As we were going through her garage, Denise told me she was especially appreciative that I never made her feel bad for wanting to hold on to something.

4. Make your own decisions. 
Someone else may have opinions about what you decide to keep and/or let go of. It’s good to be open to input, but ultimately, it’s your stuff. You have to live with it, or without it. It’s your decision what to do with it.

5. Think of it as an on-going process.
Remember: You didn’t amass all your things in a day or weekend. And you likely won’t be able to pare down that quickly, either. You’ll probably want to spend some concentrated time downsizing at the beginning. But once you make it a habit, you’ll see that moving things along becomes easier and easier to do.

After working together to clear out her garage, and then her house, Denise is reveling in how much more space and time she has. “I used to spend so much time reorganizing just so new things would fit. Now,  I can see what I have – and I end up buying a lot less!”

And what about her husband?

“He still has his stuff,” she says. “But now that I’ve created space for myself, I really don’t mind.”

Would you like more space, time and serenity in your life? I can help! Call me, and let’s get started!

Whether you’re moving to a new house or you’d like your present home to feel like one, On The Move can help.  Drop a note to or call 650-740-4911 to find out more.

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