Monday, 13 August 2018 17:28

5 Stumbling Blocks to Decluttering

We spend our working days assisting seniors with downsizing and moving into smaller homes or retirement complexes. The decluttering and letting go always comes first, and then the move. The process is the same with each home, and the progress is similar.

Often the decluttering gets off to a good start as we decide on the furniture, cushions, curtains and rugs that will go to the new home. We usually sail through kitchen cupboards, bathroom cabinets and excess linen. Paperwork and clothing take a little longer but we get through it with plenty of breaks for tea. And then we come to a grinding halt!

There are 5 categories that our clients really struggle with and that take the most time. Over the years we have found ways to help clients make these decisions. Here are some ideas:

1. Sentimental items

There is a limited amount of space in the new home, so it’s important to be selective when choosing the sentimental items you want to take with you.

  • Make sure you will have somewhere to display or have to hand those items so you can appreciate them every day.
  • Have a small memory box for special letters and cards that can be stored in a cupboard.
  • Pass on other items to family members who would appreciate them.
  • If it’s helpful take photos of items you are letting go.

2. Presents

A gift is chosen with care and given freely with love.

  • It is important to accept the gift in the spirit in which it was given.
  • But after that, it’s up to you what you do with it.
  • Letting it go does not diminish your feelings for the gift giver.

3. Photos

People often see photos as their most treasured possessions. Yet, so often they are stored in no order or care in boxes, bags and cupboards.

  • Now it the time to go through them and let go all the photos that have no meaning any longer, the photos that are blurred or spoilt, and photos of people and places you don’t recognise.
  • Ensure that the photos you keep are labelled and dated for the next generation.
  • Remember, a few great photos you look at often is far better than boxes or albums of photos you will never look at.

4. Inherited items

You will find you don’t want or can’t keep all the inherited items but feel disrespectful and ungrateful letting them go. But is it honouring the person if those items are left in storage, or in the back of a cupboard?

  • Ask your children what they would like
  • Be clear about who inherits what at a later stage
  • Pass heirlooms on in your lifetime if you no longer need them

5. Collections

It’s easy to let collecting slip over from pleasure to compulsion. Now is the time to prune out your collections you have outgrown and will have no place in your new home.

  • Limit the number you keep. One or two pieces will act as a reminder of the original collection
  • Let the entire collection go if it no longer relevant or brings you joy
  • Display the ones you keep and enjoy them daily!

Remember that the goal is a new home that is comfortable and easy to manage and maintain. You do want your favourite things around you, but you don’t want a cluttered home that is high maintenance.

What is your decluttering stumbling block?

Contact Us

Telephone: +27 (0)82 926 3531
Email: judith@allsortednow.co.za 

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