Posts tagged Downsizing Seniors
THOSE PROJECTS THAT KEEP HANGING AROUND

The lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer. Oh Bliss!  

Why did I ever think last spring that I would have time this summer to tackle those projects that have been hanging around for ages?  

I frequently hear those words from others, and I have been known to say them myself (today!). 

What are those projects that are still sitting on shelves?

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LET IT GO!

How do we let go of a beloved treasure from our homes without feeling attachment?  How do we let special family items pass out of our hands and into the hands of others without wondering about the item's future?

Last week’s blog post considered a question from a recipient’s point of view.  How do I find the balance of saying YES and NO to my parents as they ask me to TAKE items? (See Gratitude: Sometimes We Just Need To Say Yes).

This week’s post is a companion piece.  As the giver of an item, how do I truly LET IT GO? Especially those very special items.

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GRATITUDE: SOMETIMES WE JUST NEED TO SAY YES

"How do I find the balance of saying YES and NO to my parents as they downsize their home and ask me to take items?”  This common question comes from adult children who are helping their parents right-size or downsize their homes. 

The adult child's question about a balance of YES and NO frequently follows a time of saying: “I can’t take any more of your stuff, Mom!” (See YOUR DOWNSIZING CAN’T BE MY UPSIZING)

Although “upsizing” was not their goal, two friends offer their wisdom about taking more-than-less as they help their parents downsize.

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WHAT TO DO WITH OLD AWARDS

"What do I do with old awards, trophies, and plaques?” ask several clients as they downsize their homes.

Physical items received for a sports championship or a prize-winning 4-H heifer or recognition of community or employment service remind us of hard work and accomplishment.  Perhaps we also have an award that was presented to a parent or grandparent.

What do we do when we are downsizing and have less space to keep them?

Ask yourself, do I want to display this item and am I inspired when I see it?   If the answer is YES, display it where you can appreciate it.

If the response is NO, perhaps it’s time to let it go. 

Here are a few options as you consider YES or NO: 

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PACKING DECISIONS: IT'S ALL ABOUT TIMING

Ten people in my circle are moving homes in the next two months. As they pack, all are downsizing decades of accumulated stuff. They all have lots to say about the timing of decisions at a time when the ground feels as though it is shifting beneath them. 

in the midst of this upheaval in their lives, they offer these helpful hints:

  • Set limits on what times during the day you will make decisions. Although some of us are morning larks and others are night hawks that doesn't mean that the best decisions are made upon first waking or late at night.

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ONE BOOKCASE ~ ONE LIFETIME

One bookcase can contain the books of a lifetime! 

Some of us have a lifelong love affair with books. They helped us escape to a fantasyland as a child and continue to inspire us today. For others, a book collection represents the tools-of-a-trade or career or tells the story of family life through the decades. 

Do you feel that you can’t part with books yet your own downsizing means you need to?  

Here’s one plan to consider.

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DOWNSIZING BOOKS

Are you someone who owns many books and the time has come to rightsize or downsize?

For any of us who are book lovers or whose career has involved collecting books, there comes a time when we know that at least some of them must go.  This can be a very challenging task! 

For some readers, organization guru Marie Kondo’s question does a book “spark joy” may help you quickly decide to save a favourite children’s book or let go of one that is only partially read or you will never read again. 

However, for many of us, we look at our bookcases, and joy abounds on every shelf!   

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CHALLENGING CONVERSATIONS WHEN DOWNSIZING WITH SENIORS

No matter how much we are able to tap into our compassion (see Mindful Compassion While Seniors Downsize ), there are times when we need to initiate challenging conversations when we are downsizing with our elders.

Their energy is flagging, and so is ours. There's a time limit on this project as their move is happening next week. It feels as though there are too many decisions to make, and too much stuff lined up for the moving truck. 

If you have been firm about not taking on your parents’ stuff (see Your Downsizing Cannot Be My Upsizing), this may be the time to give a little.

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YOUR DOWNSIZING CANNOT BE MY UPSIZING

YOUR DOWNSIZING CANNOT BE MY UPSIZING

I love this pithy line shared by an adult daughter who is helping her mother downsize.  After selecting what she would take to her new smaller home, the older woman suggested that her daughter could take much of what was left. Her daughter’s response was “Mom, your downsizing cannot be my upsizing.”

In Mindful Compassion While Seniors Downsize, I shared some reasons why seniors struggle with downsizing.  For many of these generous folk, an easy solution would be for their adult children to take everything that the senior no longer needs and incorporate the items into their own homes.  

How many of us have been asked to do just that? And can’t or choose not to. 

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MINDFUL COMPASSION WHILE SENIORS DOWNSIZE

Many adults are helping senior family members downsize because of an imminent move to a smaller home or because their current home feels too full of stuff. 

Unless continuous clearing of possessions has been a priority for older generations or they have strong minimalist tendencies, most seniors have a lot of stuff.  This may be difficult for younger generations to understand. I commonly hear “Why can’t you get rid of stuff? or “Why did you buy all this stuff?” as younger family members struggle with their feelings of frustration and weariness in supporting their elders.

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CORRALLING SENTIMENTAL ITEMS

How do you keep on downsizing and not get stuck with YOUR OWN sentimental items such as photos, letters, greeting cards, and mementos?   This question came from a client whom I will call Laurie who has read Downsizing INHERITED Sentimental Objects.

Laurie is rightsizing and organizing her own home, and at the same time is helping her parents downsize to a smaller home.

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MARIE KONDO & WHY DO WE HAVE SO MUCH STUFF?

Marie Kondo. Does that name ring a bell?  
You may have heard Kondo's name on a talk-show, watched her on Netflix or YouTube, read about her on Facebook, or spotted The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in your favourite bookstore or library.  
Marie Kondo is a Japanese home organizing sensation whose minimalist methods of downsizing are front and centre in various media.  
Kondo asks “Does it spark JOY?” as she encourages everyone to touch each item in their home.

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DOWNSIZING INHERITED SENTIMENTAL OBJECTS

How do you let go of inherited sentimental objects when there are just too many tools, teacups, kitchen utensils, ornaments, or (add your category)?

This question came from a client whom I will call Dave who had inherited 20 old tools from his father. He had vivid memories of his Dad using each of the tools around the farm or house. Every time that Dave saw the tools, he remembered his Dad with great affection. However, he was moving to a smaller space and had his own more up-to-date tools of which he needed very few. HIs Dad's beloved old tools had become a burden, yet he couldn’t bear to put the tools in a garage sale as he felt like he was ‘selling’ his father. 

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THE KEY TO NEW YEAR’S DOWNSIZING RESOLUTIONS

What’s the key to start my New Year’s resolutions about downsizing and organizing?  I heard several versions of that question over the holiday season. 

I learned awhile ago that one-size-does-not-fit-all when it comes to downsizing!  Personality, motivations and circumstances all impact how we best start and keep downsizing resolutions.

What method or key is going to unlock consistent downsizing possibilities for you? 

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DECKING A DOWNSIZED HALL

In the midst of this holiday season, are you one who decorates inside and out creating a home festooned with garlands and lights from every doorframe and fencepost?  Or are you a minimalist who gives your unique nod to the season with a small display?  Or are you somewhere in between?

I love the decorations of this season! I am always glad to put them up and sad to take them down.

However, I recall a year where I hardly had the energy to drag the tubs and boxes upstairs let alone unpack them. 

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GIFT-GIVING EXPECTATIONS: ROOTS & WINGS

Parents give their children roots to grow and wings to fly. This may apply to family treasures as well!

How do we gift from our collections without placing heavy Expectations on the recipient?

Recent blog posts focus on gift-giving from our abundant collections and story-telling about family treasures.

While helping people through downsizing, I often hear:

“The next generations don’t want my stuff or won’t take good care of it." 

How do we gift from our collections without placing heavy Expectations on the recipient?

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STORY-TELLING ABOUT A FAMILY TREASURE

Gift-Giving from Your Collection (last week’s blog posting) suggests how gift-giving during the holiday season from one’s ready-made collection can help the downsizing process. 

Perhaps you have chosen family treasures to pass on. Or family members have asked if they can eventually have an item, and you have replied “Yes! Now!”   

Telling the story of the gift may help ensure that it is treated with some of the respect that you hope it will be. Reminiscing can also help you emotionally let go of your possession with your best wishes. 

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GIFT-GIVING FROM YOUR COLLECTION

As we move into the traditional gift-giving time of year, here’s our invitation to consider if there are items in your home or your parents’ home that might support a family down-sizing project.   

What might gifting from an abundant collection look like for a multi-generational family?  Significant and meaningful items could be passed on to younger generations as part of the holiday season. 

Where might small appliances such as a rarely used bread-maker or furniture such as an old bookcase find a new home? 

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