|It's Time to Move.|
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READY, SET, GO – MOVE THAT STUFF
MAKING A PLAN
The time has begun to get rid of the stuff whether moving yourself or the assisting an elderly parent with a move. The first step is to set a date on the calendar. ALLOW NO EXCUSES. It may be helpful to take pictures - “before” pictures so when the going gets tough you can see that you are making progress. Also, for sentimental reasons it is helpful to take pictures of items, especially if you’re not taking them to the new environment. These pictures can then be placed in a memory book providing a life review for all family members. Even if you’re the one moving, keep a non-judgmental attitude towards yourself. Instead of beating yourself up over the amount of stuff you have allowed to accumulate, pat yourself on the back that at last you’re actually doing something about it. Keep positive and reframe the messages you’re giving yourself. You’re not downsizing or de-cluttering -you’re rightsizing and creating the right space for the right time. As you may be grieving over the losses of ones life’s possessions, remember the “beach wisdom” of Anne Morrow Lindberg in her book, GIFT FROM THE SEA. Middle age is, or should be a period of shedding shells: the shell of ambition, the shell of material accumulations and possession, and the shell of the ego. Simplification of one’s life can provide inner and outer harmony as well as a sense of liberation.
It is also important to allow yourself enough time to rightsize. In the book RIGHTSIZING YOUR LIFE by Ciji Ward, she recommends planning approximately seventeen days to sort and purge a two bedroom, two-bathroom house. Add five additional days if there’s a garage, basement, attic or workshop. Having moved five times in the last seven years it is my opinion that this is NOT enough time. I would describe our Household as Level II on the Disorganized Clutterer- Hoarding Scale. Even with professionals doing the packing, boxing, and moving it took approximately thirty full-time days to de-clutter and right size a three bedroom, three-bath house with garage and basement. If a strict timetable is not necessary, set a day or two each week to right size. If working daily for a period of time, it is important to allow yourself a pampering break – even if it’s only for a cup of tea or to close your eyes and listen to a cd. You’ll need to keep your head free of clutter!
Dealing with pets, and animal hoarding, is beyond the scope of this paper. If you know that pets and animals might be involved, though, give some thought now to how you might deal with them when the time comes. Dumping a no longer wanted pet at the pound is NOT an option.
The first rule to rightsizing is to PRIORITIZE. Unless you are planning a move in another year or two there will be time constraints. Prioritize the timing of rooms and areas of space. It is important to tackle only one room or area at a time. It is often helpful to start with a small area until one gets into the routine. Another way is to start with the safe or less used rooms to rightsize. With each room or area it gets easier to rightsize. Practice does make perfect. Prioritize the other tasks that could get in the way (like closing bank accounts or saying goodbye to neighbors). These tasks can be used as necessary breaks, or opportunities to visit dumpsters. They can also be used as excuses, however. Then prioritize the usefulness of the items themselves.