7 Tips to “Unstuff” Your House

By 9  am on

by Ellen Limes, Julie Riber, Debra Heimann owners

Transitioning Through Life Statistics show that over the next 20 years, 76 million Americans will retire. Many of them will downsize, which can be a very difficult event for many seniors. Whether a move is already planned or you are just planning ahead, simple steps can be taken to make it less stressful.

By dividing the downsizing project into small parts, the feeling of being overwhelmed should be lessened. Start with the furniture. Removal of furniture that is not used or is crowding the room should be dealt with first. If there are some pieces that relatives are fond of and are no longer being used to their fullest, giving them away can be the best solution. Look to see if any pieces of furniture are in the way of getting around. Moving some furniture out or just in a new location might allow you and your guests to move about more freely.

  • Rugs are dangerous, so remove these next. If they are valuable, consider selling them or giving them to relatives who have expressed interest.
  • Divide each bedroom into closets and stored items. As the stored items are gone through, ask how long it has been in storage — unused — and consider that if a move occurred today would the item be needed? Antiques and valuable items can be auctioned, or an estate sale might be a good idea.
  • Discuss photographs with the family to determine who has an interest in them. Eliminating some of the pictures that you have in boxes will free up some needed storage space or make the area more accessible and safe.
  • Arrange for shredding of old papers and eliminate the fears of identity theft at the same time you are making more room in your home.
  • The kitchen should also be tackled. How many dishes are used daily? Are they in a good location? Eliminate pots and pans that are never used and place those you do use in a space that is easy to reach.
  • If getting on your hands and knees is no longer an option, move the items to a better location and use the lower cupboard to store items that are used only when guests are expected. Someone will be happy to reach the items for you when they come to visit.If getting on a chair or step stool is unsafe, follow the same rules as above. Put the items you use daily in a place that is within easy reach.

Downsize your “stuff” today while time is on your side. If you commit to just an hour a day, you will be on your way to living a clutter free life. Make life simple.

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