As a Professional Organizer I often come across situations that are just too overwhelming for people to undertake. Maybe it’s the garage. Maybe it’s the boxes or bins of memorabilia that you saved of your child’s artwork throughout the years. Maybe it’s just all the stuff you’ve accumulated over time.
Things have gotten out-of-control and it’s just too overwhelming. I get it! Sometimes, it’s all too much. The thing is, the stuff is not going away by itself. Someone has to do something about it or it will continue to grow and get out-of-hand or, at the very least, stay the same, which is still too much.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with clients who have been unwilling or unable to downsize and get things under control, only to leave it all behind for their loved ones to deal with. I have even had clients tell me straight out, “Let my kids deal with it when I’m gone”.
All I can say is, while that is an option, it’s really not the best one. It’s best to make decisions about your stuff while you still can. Furthermore, it’s not fair to leave all of it for someone else to deal with. Especially those that you love.
It is so important for you to make sure that you’re not leaving your children or loved ones with a ton of stuff to go through when your time on earth is through.  It’s difficult enough for them having to deal with the loss. Imagine how difficult it would be for them to now have to figure out what to do with all the stuff you left behind. Moreover, it is time consuming and quite expensive.
As I’ve said so many times in my newsletters (FYI, if you’re new to my email list head on over to my blog which includes all newsletters dating back to 2010 organizing and downsizing is a process and should be done consistently on a daily, if not regular basis.
So, here’s some suggestions to get a jump on things so that you don’t leave this all behind for your loved ones to deal with:
1.     Paperwork: Go through and get rid of old files, documents, recipes, newspaper clippings from long ago. You can do this a little at a time so that it’s not overwhelming.  If you don’t know what to keep, what to toss or what to shred, check with your CPA. If you don’t want to do this, call me. We’d love to help.
2.     Parents: When your children visit, make some time to go through the memorabilia you’ve been saving for them. Let them decide what they want and toss the rest. You might even consider making them a lovely book of the artwork and give it to them as a gift. Call me for the name of the company that provides this service.
3.     Everyone: Go through your home, inside and outside, and get rid of anything that is ripped, soiled, stained, missing a piece, no longer useful or broken. It’s of no use any longer, it’s just taking up space.
4.     Ladies: Go through your make-up and toss the old stuff. Old expired make-up is not good for you anyway.
5.     Gentleman: Toss the deflated balls, the rusty old tools and the athletic equipment you can’t or don’t use anymore.
6.     Working people: Figure out which electronic devices are no longer in working order. Gather those old computer towers that have important information on them but you can no longer access. Contact your IT service or bring them to the Geek Squad to retrieve the important info and toss the old equipment. They’re taking up valuable real estate in your office.
7.     Homeowners: Oh yeah, let’s not forget the garage. If you’re not parking your car in there, it’s time to tackle this area.  Think about it…you’re paying thousands and thousands for the car and parking it on the street and protecting the “stuff” in your garage instead.  How does that make sense?
8.     Storage: Ugh. It’s just not worth it. It costs a fortune and, you probably can’t access what you need anyway.  Unless you’re storing things temporarily due to a move or remodel, you need to re-evaluate the storage unit. If it doesn’t fit in your home, perhaps you don’t need it. Your call but definitely something to think about.
9.     Retired folks: Do you really need all of those office supplies that you used to use?  Why not give them to those that can use them? Donate to a school, church, synagogue, Good Samaritans, etc.  It will make you feel good to give something to someone in need.
10.   All together now: We are all guilty of having expired medications and expired food. Go through and discard old lotions/potions and healthcare items.  Take time to go through your pantry and freezer and get rid of the food with freezer burn and the cans that are about to explode. Time to discard the old and free up some space.
Again, none of this has to be done in one day BUT, start somewhere. Pick a corner and start making decisions. Or, start with a category…tackle the gardening supplies or the party supplies you haven’t touched in years.  Or, once again, call us. It’s what we do!
I get that none of this is fun BUT I promise you will feel a lot better when you do any one of the above. It just feels better. So, make some time this summer to get some STUFF done.  Do if for the people you love so that they won’t have to!
If you or anyone you know needs help with Organizing, Downsizing, Relocations, Estate Sales or Clearing a Property, let them know that we’d love to be of service!