Generations Magazine - Downsize & Declutter the Easy Way - Image 01Most of us who have lived in the same home for decades have collected a good amount of personal treasures. And before you know it, you’re shocked by all the things you own. Some people may call these things clutter or trash, but to the owner these things could be a lifetime of memories. The difficulty comes when we have to think about downsizing or decluttering because it’s a safety concern (trip hazard), or we need more open space for a walker or wheelchair or move to a smaller home. Many say that they have “so much stuff” that it’s “just overwhelming.” Sometimes people even become trapped by their own personal belongings and can’t seem to break the “cycle.”

Over the past three years, Senior Move Managers has helped more than 300 clients downsize and declutter their homes.

The most frequently asked questions include:

  • Where do I start?
  • How do I get rid of all my things?
  • I really hate to throw everything away, where should all my things go?
  • Are there places that I can donate or sell my valuable items?
  • I may need it later, so should I store it or do something else with it?

If you’re like most people, starting the process can be the most challenging step. However, once the ball starts rolling, people can see the progress and experience what success actually feels like. Sorting through belongings (and emotions) becomes easier, and the feeling of accomplishment changes attitudes toward the clutter. This is a sign that the homeowner is on his/her way to some significant changes in life.

Here are some decluttering tips:

  • Schedule a time to start and set mini goals so that you can see progress over time.
  • S.O.R.T. your things into four categories: Sell, Offer, Retain and Toss. Everything in your home can fit into one of these four “piles.”
  • Begin with high-traffic areas to increase safety, since safety is the first concern.
  • Limit the number of new items coming into your residence. Even if an item is on sale, hold off on buying it and bringing it into your home. It will come on sale again when you really need it.

When you SORT through your items, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I really need it?
  • When was the last time I used it?
  • When will I use it again?
  • How often do I use it?

These questions will help you think about each item and figure out which SORT pile it belongs in. They will also help you detach from your belongings.

There are many small steps that lead to success. The most important step is to ask for help. Going through belongs is a big job — emotionally and physically. Items can be large, heavy and dangerous. When you decide to downsize or declutter, make sure you have some helping hands.

For information, call Dan Ihara, Senior Move Managers
808-256-7873 |

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