I checked this book out a long time ago from the library and kept renewing it with the thought it would help go through my parents' home as my sister, brother, and I went through all their possessions and either divided them among ourselves, donated them, or threw them out.
After going through the majority of their home and being able to make relatively easy choices about where things would go, I looked at this book and thought it would be better for my sister who is moving from her home after living there 17 years and into a condo.
The plans and ideas offered in this book are for people transitioning to a new home more so than closing out a home due to death of parents. That being said, there were a few things that did apply in my situation that I wanted to remember:
- "That belonged to my late (parent)." If you have items that fit this category and are trying to downsize, ask yourself:
.....How many items like the one I'm considering did the person leave?
.....Can I choose one or two and then distribute the rest to other family members?
.....Do I have photos of the person wearing, using, or standing next to this item?
.....Will other family members I'm living with like this item or will it take up space?
- Ideas for dealing with inherited possessions:
.....Create an album that holds swatches of fabric from clothes, combine with photos, and/or buttons
.....Take the stones out of setting you don't like and have them reset in jewelry you design.
To us, our house was not unsentient matter -
it had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and
approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies;
it was of us, and
we were in its confidence, and
lived in its grace and
in the peace of its benediction.
- Mark Twain
Week One: Make a Plan / Create a Budget / Research Movers
Create a move notebook and easy filing system for the notes and materials you’ll amass over the weeks.
Create or adjust your family budget so you know exactly what you can afford in terms of your move.
Research sources for moving boxes.
A little detective work will yield the names of reputable movers.
Schedule meetings with three to five, and see who offers the best deal and with whom you feel the most comfortable.
Do the “fresh eyes exercise.”
Eliminate one difficult item or category from your home to release stuck energy.
Week Two: Mover Meetings / Self Move Research / The Kitchen
Meet with representatives from at least three moving companies. If you decide to hire one, book your move this week.
If you are planning a self-move, get prices for the tools you need to rent, like a truck and a dolly. Be sure they are available on the day you will need them.
Secure transport for unusual, valuable, or oversized items like artwork or a piano.
If you are shipping your vehicle, investigate your options.
If your household is moving many miles and you are shipping your vehicle, research plane, train, or bus tickets.
Engage friends and family for specific move-related duties. If you are doing a self-move, you need a mix of strong and organized friends.
Be sure the charity of your choice will accept the items you wish to donate and can pick them up on the day you designate.
Begin dealing with the emotional issues that threaten to keep you attached to items you no longer need, want, or use or that you can’t fit into the new space.
Clean out cupboards and drawers in the kitchen.
Pack some items if time permits and you have decided not to let the pros simply do it all.
Begin making a shopping list of helpful items you’ll need in your next kitchen.
Start planning a kitchen moving-day box to be loaded onto the truck last.
Week Three: Who Needs to Know / Bedroom / Are you Wasting Time?
Make a list of people and entities that need to know your new address as well as all businesses that serve your home.
Clear out the items from your bedroom that need not make the journey with you.
Pack some items, as this will give you a sense of accomplishment.
Pack items in this room that do not wrinkle easily. If nothing else get the off-season clothing in a box.
Consider which organizing tools will help you enjoy your wardrobe more and preserve it.
Check for the secret time suckers in your life.
Week Four: Bathrooms / Linen Closet / Micro-Living
Downsize the contents of all bathrooms.
Pack whatever items you won’t need until you get to the new location, including linens.
Clean out the linen closet, and donate discards to your vet or local emergency animal hospital.
Consider the benefits and how-to’s of micro-living.
Week Five: Paper Organization
Defang your paper phobia by uncovering the fear behind it.
Investigate the three main reasons people avoid making decisions about paper.
Sort paper piles; toss, shred, or recycle as needed.
Archive old tax records and projects.
Set up files to catch current material.
Sort through reading matter like magazines, catalogs, newsletters and so forth.
Clean out the existing filing cabinet.
Gather all warranties and instructions, and sort for ease of retrieval.
Set up a simple office file system.
Set up action files.
Consider purchasing basic office supplies.
Cull through small office supplies and decorative items.
Consider the set up of the next office.
Read packing tips.
Week Six: The Family Room / Yard Sales
Go out into nature.
Do a speed elimination in the family room.
Cull your book collection.
Consider creative sources for media donations.
Consider ideas for (non digital) media collections.
Investigate popular outlets for cast-off stuff.
Hold a yard sale.
Plan for the next family room.
Consider the concept of completion and the importance of chores.
Week Seven: Children’s Rooms / Memorabilia / The Dorm / Retirement
Talk to your child about the concept of self-care, and share with her a self-care tip.
Do a speed elimination in your child’s room, or if she is older, let her do her own.
Organize your child’s media collection.
Purge the closet.
Make plans for the next bedroom.
Consider the hold all memorabilia has on us, but especially that pertaining to our children.
Prepare for a dorm move.
Downsize for a move to a retirement home, and think of this new life phase as a time of freedom.
Make the move to assisted living as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Week Eight: The Attic, Basement & the Garage / Final Plans
Clear clutter and pack the garage, attic, and basement.
Plan for storage areas in the next home.
Prepare for moving day:
Set aside first-on, last-off moving-day boxes.
Make sure your labeling system is in place.
Have moving-day supplies (bottles of water, snacks) ready.
Pack any remaining items.
Begin unpacking and getting rid of boxes.