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Senior Downsizing

Senior Downsizing

Downsizing Can Be Overwhelming

According to the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), people aged 65 and up will account for 20% of the U.S. population by 2030. 

Families may no longer be the first line of contact in relocating seniors due to various everyday life challenges. On the other hand, downsizing and moving can be emotionally overwhelming and physically demanding for individuals who have not moved in 30, 40, or 50 years. In addition, many older adults who have not relocated from their current homes in over 30 years have many things to sort through. Families need help! A Professional Organizer can be a much-needed resource when relocating the seniors in your life. 

A Professional Organizer Can Help

The following is a list of services that a Professional Organizer might offer in helping their client downsize:

  • Developing an overall move plan
  • Organizing services
  • Move coordination/oversight – before, during, and after the move
  • House de-cluttering services
  • Professional packing
  • Junk removal
  • Shipping heirlooms to family members
  • Arranging for storage services
  • Unpacking and setting up the new home
  • Connecting the client with realtors who specialize in selling homes for seniors
  • Organizing and staging the property to be sold

SeniorAdvisor.com is a helpful resource for making confident decisions about senior care and services for your loved one.

My Space Reclaimed, LLC is your best choice for selecting a Professional Organizer to help you downsize.

 

That Buzz In Your Head

That Buzz In Your Head

Could that buzz in your head be clutter chatter?

Cheap Thoughts and Stuff

Making that noise disappear requires a commitment to living a simpler life with fewer (higher quality) things instead of hoarding cheap, unnecessary stuff.

Refrain from fooling yourself into thinking that you save money when you find something at a low cost and buy more than you need. You spend money when you buy stuff, not when you get rid of it.

When you buy cheap stuff by volume and refuse to discard or donate what you don’t need, you continually waste money and reject better possibilities in your life.

We All Know This Person

Here’s an example. Consider someone who finds no money to have some home repairs done but has bought all gadgets sold by infomercials between midnight and 5 am for the past year.

This person now has every possible iteration of cat litter boxes, 18 different lines of weight loss products and programs (because nothing works), seven different mops, laptop gadgets, several high-end electronic toys, four Roomba vacuum cleaners, and three other systems of oil diffusers, to name a few.

If added on a whole year, the amount spent on all those things could be enough to tackle significant repairs or upgrades in the home and buy the top-quality items in every category they genuinely need.

Yet, they continually spend their money on useless things (on sale), continue living in a house that is falling apart due to lack of maintenance, and continue hoarding cheap, low-quality versions of items they might or might not need. Does that make sense?

And remember that the more you have, the more you need to keep up with, more to clean, more to store, more effort to find what you are looking for, and so on.

Ah, let’s remember the cost of storage. You pay for every square inch of your home, which should be living space, not storage space. And what is the monthly fee for a storage unit? Do not even go there! Why do this to yourself and your family?

Turn Those Feelings Around

It seems very hard for people to let go of useless things accumulated in this manner. They might need to shift their emotions around stuff and money if they wish to break this spending cycle and upgrade the quality of their life.

Shifting how they feel about money and themselves would be a fundamental change if they aspire to live a simpler, stylish life that makes them proud.

Please understand that an elevated lifestyle has less to do with your financial situation or the size of your home. Instead, it is about your mindset, priorities, how deserving you feel to receive the best of life, and where you direct your attention to and your intention from now on.

Creative Ways to Maximize Space in a Small House

Creative Ways to Maximize Space in a Small House

Redfin is a real estate brokerage that represents home buyers and sellers. In their blog, Redfin asked some organizing experts about Creative Ways to Maximize Space in a Small House. My Space Reclaimed was one of the Organizers consulted. Here’s a link to the original blog post. Read along and see how you can make the most of your space in a small house.

Creative Ways to Maximize Space in a Small House

February 12, 2020, by 
 

When you have a smaller home, every inch of space counts! If you’re feeling cramped in your tight quarters, don’t worry, making a small space more livable can be easy. To help you get started, we asked organizational experts for their best tips and tricks for maximizing space in a small area. Check them out and you’ll feel like you’re living large in no time.

1. Start by purging your items. 

Set up three boxes and label them “keep” “donate” and “trash.” Set a timer for two hours and start categorizing the items within the three boxes. Don’t step away to put an item in the room or area that it belongs, just place it in the keep pile for now. If you come across things that spark a trip down memory lane, set them aside for now in the “Keep” category. Plan a “Memory Night”, order some food in, and take that trip with family and friends! – Organizing by Ali, Alison Monaghan

2. Store less frequently used kitchen items elsewhere.

In the kitchen, look for small appliances, big cookware, extra canned foods, and extra paper products that are not used regularly and move to another storage area in your home. This frees up space and allows for a less cluttered feel. – Cleared Spaces, Amy Van Arsdale

3. Work with the space available

Accommodate the storage spaces you’re working with, versus attempting to accommodate your belongings. So many of us feel we don’t have ample storage, however, we may just need to pair down our belongings in an effort to truly work towards a simplified space in a smaller home. – Organized for Life, Lauren Silveira

4. Incorporate storage within your decor. 

For example instead of having shelving staged with only home decor and books, mix in beautiful bins to house other items. Think of electronic accessories, envelopes or office accessories, and even toys. – Freshly Organized, Melanie Schmidt

Tall bookshelves or cabinets can also store clothes, crafts, and toiletries. – Arranged by Erin, Erin Kelly

5. Use over-the-door organizers.

The back of a door can be a wonderful storage place. Buy an inexpensive clear hanging shoe organizer, place it over your door and use it to store items such as scarves, socks, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, travel toiletries, or hair products. You can even use them for shoes! – Aim 4 Order, Cindy Bernstein. In the absence of a linen closet, utilize over-the-door organizers for fun and functional linen storage. – Let Your Space Bloom, Amy Bloomer

6. Remove doors from closets. 

If you have bedroom closets with bi-fold doors and you need more space, remove the doors. They pop out easily. Once they’re gone, the space will feel larger, and you can put up a curtain instead if you like. The closet can become an office, too, with a desk, computer, and other office accessories.

7. Have a paper filing system. 

Every household needs one. Every piece of paper worth keeping should have a permanent home where you will know to look for it. There are things that will have to be kept and those need to be filed. Most likely, those files will have to be created as you go. – My Space Reclaimed, Maristella Bertram

8. Utilize vertical wall space. 

New York City apartment dwellers are always looking to maximize their tight spaces. Make use of vertical spaces with shelving, hooks, or other mounting options.  Backs of doors are hidden gems, as can be tight spaces to the side of fridges, washer/dryers, etc.  Using wall space can be a great way to blend the functional with the visual hooks for a decorative hat display or floating shelves with color-coded books are great ways to add personalized decor while also adding storage. – Embrace Your Space NYC, Sarah Grace

9. Clear the medicine cabinets. 

Medicine cabinets are often home to mostly expired medicine, lotions, and all manner of potions.  Find inexpensive drawer organizers at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, or The Container Store. Keep first-aid stuff close at hand. Use baggies to gather hair clips, razors, nail supplies, etc. – A Clear Path, Dr. Regina F. Lark


10. File fold. 

Things tend to get lost in deep shelves that hold clothing. To solve this problem, plastic boot boxes from The Container Store allow one to “file fold” so clothing isn’t stacked. File folding allows you to see what you have and eliminates the clothing from falling all over if it was in a pile. – Lisa The Organizer, Lisa Haubenstock

11. Remember that less is more. 

We can all cut down on the number of products we buy. If your space is overwhelmed with products, that clutter can make an already small space feel tiny. – Clutterless Home Solutions, Lahni Carney

12. Turn cleaning into a game for the kids. 

To de-clutter the playroom and instill de-cluttering habits in your kids, make cleaning fun by turning cleaning into a game! Use clear packing cubes as a smart storage solution for toys and other knick-knacks. Categorize each packing cube and ask them to match the toys to the corresponding packing cube. – EzPacking

13. Save space in your laundry room. 

Use open shelving or a hanging rack system placed on the back of a door. Both are good options to keep washing supplies organized and easily available. Zone the shelf space and use containers to keep categories together. – Everyday Organizing, Nancy Patsios

14. Use clear or mesh wall pockets for mail. 

These are a must for organizing mail when you don’t want papers piling up on your kitchen counter or dining room table. Designate one wall pocket for magazines/catalogs, one for bills to pay, and the third one for all other types of mail. Be sure to label your wall pockets and go through them once a week to keep the papers from piling up. – reSPACEd, MaryJo Monroe

15. Find storage solutions for “dead” space. 

These are places where furniture or full-size wall shelves won’t fit. Some examples of dead space are:

  • The wall underneath stairs  – Perfect for hooks to store coats, keys, hats & bags, a dry-erase board/bulletin board/family calendar, or wall pockets to store mail.
  • The inside of kitchen or bathroom cabinet doors – Ideal for 3M Command hooks or magnetic hooks or cups to store small items like pot-holders, dish towels, Tupperware lids, scissors, make-up, or toothbrushes. – Cluttershrink

16. Be careful when using vacuum-sealed bags. 

Never use vacuum-sealed bags for delicate textiles like cotton, suede, silk, leather, etc. Only use them for durable fabrics such as denim or ski gear. Natural fabrics need to breathe or else the fabric will be irreversibly damaged. Don’t ruin your clothes in order to save space using a vacuum-sealed storage bag. – Garde Robe, Doug Greenberg

17. Give your items a consistent home.

If you notice piles of clutter, it is likely that you have never designated a particular spot for them. Every item needs one consistent home, so when you are done using it, you know where to put it, and when you need it again, you know where to find it. – Cocozza Organizing + Design, Heather Cocozza

18. Invest in storage containers.

Invest in storage containers like baskets and bins to organize valuable square footage. Whether it’s reorganizing your kitchen, decluttering a storage room, or tackling overstuffed closets, implementing an organizational system is a vital storage hack for maximizing each area of your home. – DFW Packing Pros

19. Install a custom space. 

Built-ins tailored to your needs can utilize every available sliver of space. When they’re part of the walls, you don’t lose as much valuable square footage. For example, turn a wall into an office or craft space. – SolutionsForYou, Anne Blumer

20. Double-duty furniture. 

This allows you to not only maximize your physical space but also the functionality of a space. 

  • For example, my ottoman holds a dozen shoes, my mirror is hiding all of my jewelry, and my nightstand doubles as an underwear drawer. It’s all about getting creative while finding homes to store your things and the possibilities for multi-purpose furniture pieces are endless!
  • In your living room, choose a coffee table or end table that provides storage below for books, blankets, etc. either by neatly placing the items or by utilizing baskets to conceal the items in the space.”  – Orderly by Danica, Danica Finocchario-Smith

 

The Universe Conspires And The Energy Follows

The Universe Conspires And The Energy Follows

The Universe Conspires

Paulo Coelho, the author of “The Alchemist,” said, “And when you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”

This quote makes me think of a blog I wrote some time ago, highlighting the importance of summoning your strength and will and using your head when your heart won’t take you where you ought to be. And when you do that, the universe responds accordingly by boosting your journey.

The Energy Follows

Some weeks ago, a dear friend wrote to me recounting her story, reminding me of the words from Paulo Coelho and my blog.

Thinking about her journey, I saw that some instances are more challenging than others. However, no matter the circumstances, when we put our attention and intention towards a goal, the energy around us will carry us forward.

When emotions prevent us from acting, we must do whatever it takes to bypass those emotions and raise our energy. Soon, that energy will change your feelings. In time, it will feel easier to achieve your goal.

A Story of Hope

Here is the story of my dear friend and her emotional journey following one of the most challenging times of her life:

After my marriage ended, the kids and I returned to our previous home in the Fall of 2017 after Hurricane María. We came to a sad, dark, beaten, dirty house without running water or power. Even remembering this makes me so emotional.

Right after we moved back, as sad, dark, and dirty as the house was, I knew I had to face this move with grace, determination, efficiency, and elegance, or the situation would defeat me.

So, I started cleaning, decluttering, and organizing right away. And then something fantastic happened! Plants welcomed me with palpable excitement, birds would come to watch me rebuild our life here, and orchids suddenly bloomed. I felt like Snow White!

I had stimulated the home’s energy, and it came to my rescue. I felt at peace. Only the home office remained to tackle. But one day, I just felt exhausted. So, I shut the door to the home office to avoid dealing with that room for a while.

This room quickly became chaotic because I had momentarily abandoned my systematic decluttering and organizing efforts. And maybe because this room was already messy, the movers continued piling random things and unopened boxes in that room whenever something else came home from the last house.

As time passed, I recognized why this home office was a pause point for me. It carried a heavy emotional burden for all that it represented:

  • a broken business partnership
  • the place where we envisioned so many family plans
  • pictures and memories of a once happy couple
  • past team effort toward my professional goals
  • a smaller space where I needed to start all over again now
  • physical and emotional clutter I needed to let go of to move forward

It was a lot, and I had placed all these emotions in that room. So, finally, I had to pause and decided to shut the door.

Although that room still needs attention, my feelings have now changed. At this moment, I feel the strength to open that door and face it all. Even more, this change in feelings has a lot to do with the fresh energy brought by the much-needed pause I gave myself. I recharged my emotional battery by keeping the house organized and clutter-free.

Maristella, your blog validates my path on this journey. Along the way, reading your blog, that connection between clutter and emotions you write about dawned on me. I saw how the states my home had been through correlated with my path to emotional healing!

Your blogs are very helpful, even for those of us who have already experienced what you preach. The life principles you promote through your business are a vital ministry that enhances the lives of others, helping us heal and live with greater peace and well-being.

So, please send me your best wishes and energies to engage in this final effort – I promise to send you pictures of the room once I finish!

You’ve Got This!

When you direct your attention, intention, and best effort toward those big goals in your life, the universe conspires in your favor. It whispers: “You’ve got this! I’ve got your back.”. Don’t doubt it!