Smart Ways To Prepare For A Successful Declutter

de-cluttering sounds easy until one gets overwhelmed with all that must be accomplished, but help is there if you are using a professional organizer like A Clear Path

 

Disorganization causes 80% of all household clutter, according to one study by the Soap and Detergent Association. For those looking to declutter their homes, however, getting started often seems like a daunting task — especially if you’ve just moved, or your home is on the larger side. From preparing yourself mentally before you begin to making yourself actually get started, here are just a few fundamentals when it comes to getting the job done successfully and with as little stress as possible.

 

Set goals before you begin

 

Physical and mental preparation are key to successful organization, with one important aspect being to let go of any guilt beforehand. This will make a world of difference when it comes to actually being able to part with items and meet your organizational goals, especially if you have a difficult time parting with things that others have given you. Making a plan that includes a task list and creating a set schedule before you begin decluttering is also necessary to ensure productivity, and will allow you to set and reach your goals clearly. This will be particularly beneficial if you have a larger house, or if you plan to declutter your home over a longer period of time, since you’ll have a written record of what you plan to accomplish.

 

Choose an organizational system

 

After preparing to declutter your home, actually getting started and making progress often follows with difficulty, which is where having some kind offrom messy to clean all done with a professional organizer with a specialty in decluttering organizational system or strategy in place will help greatly in getting the job done productively. One smart way to do this is by doing one room at a time, and tackling the rooms that need decluttering the most first. This allows you to break up the task of decluttering into smaller, more attainable goals.

When it comes to actually sorting your belongings, using a system such as the “four box technique” will help in prioritizing your things. With this method, you simply label four different bins (keep, donate, throw away, and store), which will allow you to have a visual aid as to how much you’re keeping vs. donating. If you’re finding difficulty in deciding what to keep, one rule of thumb is to keep in mind whether or not you’ve used the item recently, which will aid in determining how useful it is to you. When putting things away again, it’s also important to keep elements like convenience in mind to ensure that things stay organized in the future — for instance, designating a place by the door for your keys will prevent you from misplacing them. 

 

Make a plan for your unwanted clutter

 

Perhaps one of the most important things when preparing to declutter your home is having a plan for getting the unwanted items out of your home once and for all. If you have the time, organizing a garage sale or setting up a page to sell the items online is one way to do so effectively while making a profit, which will be useful in getting your money back out of those expensive, lesser used items. For instance, if you put some thought and planning into a garage sale, you can easily make between $500 and $1,000, according to the New York Times. Any items that you don’t sell can be just as easily donated to local organizations that will give them a second life. 

 

Decluttering and organizing your home is often distressing — especially if you’ve recently moved and your things are in disarray, or if your home is particularly large. However, by preparing beforehand, having a system, and considering resources for getting your clutter out of your home, you can effectively organize everything you own.

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Use Organizing Services to Transform Your Home Into an Income Stream

clean-up and decluttering is best accomplished with help from an expert organizer like Regina F Lark

If you’re thinking of picking up a side hustle, you aren’t alone. According to Zapier, one in three Americans now have a side gig to supplement their primary income stream. The key to success is utilizing resources you already have at your disposal, like your house. There are a number of ways that you can monetize your property and turn it into another source of income. If you’re successful, you might even turn your side gig into a full-fledged business.

Before you can monetize your home — for example, by showing it off on social media — you’ll need to get it looking its best. A Clear Path offers decluttering and organization tips to help. Read on for more tips to follow if you want to create a clear home to transform into a gorgeous, money-making machine.

Document your home improvements

HGTV shows like Fixer Upper have become popular in recent years. Country Living notes that ratings for such “home genre” shows are high. Seize the momentum of this trend. Document your own home improvements, big and small. Make sure to use appealing visual formats, like YouTube or Instagram. Shane Baker provides tips on figuring out which platform is best for you, like considering your niche and current follower counts.

decluttering is one of the specialties of A Clear Path a professional organizer.

Monetize your blog or website

You can also document your home improvement journey in writing via a blog or website. This opens up yet another source of possible income — selling ad space. For example, if you write about a plumbing disaster, you might have ads for plumbing services. Diggity Marketing provides other pointers for monetizing a blog, from using Google AdSense to accepting visitor donations.

Check out affiliate marketing opportunities with home organizing services and more

Look for affiliate marketing opportunities that make for logical collaborations. As Big Commerce explains, this is a type of performance-based marketing where marketers (called affiliates) earn a commission for marketing another company’s products. Their sales are tracked via links. You might team up with home organizing services like A Clear Path, home remodeling companies, homewares providers, and more.

No clue how to do affiliate marketing? Ahrefs provides a quick step-by-step guide. Here’s an overview:

  • Pick a platform, like a YouTube channel or blog.
  • Select a niche to narrow things down. For example, maybe you want to focus on gardening and houseplants.
  • Research affiliate programs that are a good fit.
  • Sign up for your chosen program.
  • Create compelling content to engage your audience.
  • Drive traffic to your affiliate collaborator.

From there, all you have to do is cash in, and you’re already making money from your clean and clear home.

Boost traffic with social media ads

If you’re going to monetize a blog or website, you need to have consistent traffic. More visitors means more visibility. When it comes to points like selling ad space, this ups your brand’s value. Goins Writer explains how to drive blog traffic through social channels. They recommend asking others to promote your blog through social bookmarking sites, like Reddit and Stumbleupon, and implementing sharing tools on your platform. 

preparing to rent or sell your property? Use a professional organizer like A Clear Path

Transform Your Home-Related Business Into a Real Company

Ideally, you will grow your side hustle with time. You will attract more followers on social media, boost website traffic, and raise your profile overall. At some point, you may discover that your “side hustle” has become a legitimate business. Grasshopper provides tips for determining whether you’re ready to quit your day job, such as:

  • Try a beta test: Start treating your side business like it’s a full-time business for one full day per week and see how it goes.
  • Assess your confidence: Making the leap can be daunting. Assess your confidence and determine if you’re emotionally ready.
  • Write a business plan: Writing a business plan that includes financial projections will help you determine if this is a viable path forward.
  • Consider financials: Finally, consider whether you need additional funding to get your business going.

If you do think that it’s time to create a full-time business, make it official. Establishing a formal legal entity like a limited liability company (LLC) protects your personal assets in case you run into business problems. You have to register your LLC with the state. While this requires some paperwork, it’s not a super complicated process. Business formation services can help you get it done in as few as five steps.

The Final Word

You won’t transform your home into a money-maker overnight, but you have to recognize the signs. Be patient! With perseverance, you will be able to take your home-related side hustle to the next level.

A Clear Path Professional Organizing and Productivity can help you get your home ready for the spotlight through decluttering, virtual organizing, and other services. Check out reviews from former clients.

 

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels
Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Home Organizing for Downsizing Homeowners

Downsizing is always about boxes, packing them and then unpacking them. Pack by room is the best.

Downsizing homeowners are often overwhelmed by the stresses of moving as well as everything involved in packing up their belongings and getting the house ready for their buyer. We know how difficult it can be to manage everything at once, which is why we’ve put together this handy article to make things easier for you!

Consider home organizing services

There is so much to do when moving house, and sometimes we all need a helping hand to get things going. If you’re struggling to get your house packed up or aren’t able to move furniture as easily as you’d hoped, then looking into home organizing services could be the right step for you. Generally, these services offer you –

  • Staging support, which will involve your house being decluttered and organized to entice viewers
  • Moving materials provided to keep your items safe in transit and well-organized
  • Services to both donate or throw away items that you no longer need or want
  • A guarantee that your items are packed carefully
  • Help and support contacting any other services that you may need. 

This can be a much easier approach than doing everything of your own accord and can also save you a lot of time too, letting you focus on the other aspects of your move!

Decluttering

A lot of homeowners like to declutter themselves, especially if a lot of the items that you own are sentimental. It can be a difficult task but with the right approach you can make it easier for yourself. There are a few key things to remember when you’re looking to declutter

  • Start small:
    You may think that you have to declutter the whole house in one weekend but giving yourself more time and taking the pressure off will lead to much better results. A great way to get started is to focus on one area at a time, such as under the stairs or a junk drawer in the kitchen. Small achievements help you stay on track and will keep you motivated, and in no time, you’ll be seeing great results!
  • Before and after photos:
    It can be easy to lose sight of your progress and see just how far you’ve come, which is often where people will give up on their decluttering journey and start to struggle. Taking before and after photos is a wonderful way to remind you of all of the work that you’ve done and help keep you focused. 
  • Date checking:
    We’re all guilty of keeping things longer than we probably should, and whether it’s cosmetic products, toiletries, or dried food, most households will have a good amount that they can get rid of. Most cosmetics and toiletries have a shelf life of 6-18 months, so check your items and get rid of anything out of date. Empty your food cupboards and you’ll likely find things at the back that you’ve forgotten about that have been there for several years, which you can get rid of. 
  • Empty tables:
    Flat surfaces such as shelving, small tables or cabinets are incredibly easy to clutter, and so focusing on them is a great way to declutter. Try and keep them as empty as possible, and if this feels too bare to you, you can try the rule of 3. This means that you can only have 3 things on any surface (apart from books on bookshelves!) which keep things clear while still allowing you to have your items on display. 

Decluttering is perfect for a fresh start when you downsize and benefits you in more way than one – it can also help you sell your house fast as it will leave your home more organized and more attractive to your viewers. 

  • Utilize storage

It can be incredibly difficult to let go of your belongings, especially if they have been in your family for a long time and are meaningful to you. When you downsize, generally, you’ll be moving somewhere smaller so you’re unable to take all of your belongings with you which is why decluttering is such a popular option. If, however, you’re finding that you can’t part with a lot of your items, you can decide to –

  • Put them in storage and give yourself some time to detach from them before you sort through to declutter
  • Gift them to family and friends. 

Gifting things to people you know is a popular option for those homeowners who know that they no longer have space but want to see them being used and appreciated as they did themselves. 

planning properly is a key reason to hire a professional organizer for downsizing tasks.Make a floorplan 

Downsizing to a smaller home will mean that you’ll likely need to reconsider your furniture and get rid of some things, especially if you’re going to have less bedrooms than you do currently. Some downsizers only realize this as they’re moving in which adds more pressure to the day and can cause a lot of problems. 

Making a floorplan of your new place and outlining where your furniture will go and what will fit will help you plan ahead and give you time to either sell it or rehome it before moving day. You should also measure them too so you know that they will fit where you’re planning to avoid any problems on the day. 

Doing this will show you what you can take with you and what you won’t have space for, helping you stay organized. 

Organizing your home can be incredibly difficult, especially combined with the stresses of moving, but following these steps will give you an easier moving day and help reduce the chances of unexpected problems when moving day comes around.

 

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

3 Ways to Practice Self-Care During a Move

While moving to a new home can be an exciting event and an opportunity for a fresh start, it can also be extremely stressful. Packing, cleaning, unpacking, then cleaning again. It feels like a never ending process. This is especially true for seniors, who may not be able to do all the “heavy lifting,” when it comes to the end to end process of the move. The good news is, there are many ways in which you can combat and stress and get through the moving process with ease. 

Accredited Sr. move manage shoud always be used when when moving boomers and other seniors.Below, we’ve compiled a list of ideas to help the senior community navigate the relocation process. Keep reading for a few tips on how you can practice self-care during your next move. 

Hire Professionals 

Whether you’re moving to a new home and plan to take all of your belongings with you, or you’re downsizing to a smaller space and are only packing the essentials, hiring a professional moving company is a great way to take the stress off your shoulders as well as your families. When searching for the right moving company for you, you’ll want to consider the following: 

  • Price: Is this company within your budget? If so, what are they able to provide you for the price you want to pay? If not, are there specific items on your list you can omit in order for them to be more affordable? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself before making a final decision. Sure, price is quite important, but quality is key if you truly want to make this a stress-free experience.  
  • Customer Service: Before signing any type of contract, you want to do your research. Check into the company website and take a look at their reviews page. If they have received a lot of positive feedback based on their past work, you may feel more comfortable choosing them. On the other hand, if the reviews aren’t so great, or there’s none at all, consider keeping your search going and look into some other options. If you’re not super tech savvy, you can always check around with people you know and go with a company based on word of mouth recommendations. This is, afterall, the best form of advertising! Be mindful of the fact that seniors can be taken advantage of in situations like this and do not let your guard down. 
  • Licenses and Insurance: When hiring movers, it’s crucial you ensure they have their own insurance and licensing. Any reputable company will carry their own property damage and cargo policy which deems them liable should anything happen to any of your belongings during the move. Movers should also protect their employees by providing some type of workers compensation policy should they get hurt on the job. This also protects you from any liability should an accident happen.
  • Equipment: This is especially important if you’re planning to move heavier items such as televisions, washing machines, or any other items that need to be handled with extra care. Sure, a bunch of people may be able to lift these items, but how safe are they really being? The right equipment includes box carts, elastic moving strips and even a small forklift depending on the size of the items. In addition, you’ll want to consider what types of vehicles this company has to offer and if their size is conducive to your items.  

Embrace Convenience 

When you’re in the midst of a move, or even once you’ve settled into your new home, the last thing you want to do is worry about is an everyday task such as grocery shopping. If you don’t feel like heading out to a store, or simply don’t have time, utilize a grocery delivery service to stock your new space with your everyday essentials. You’d be shocked at just how many items are available for delivery. From bread and milk to cleaning supplies, and even vitamins and over the counter medications, the list goes on and on. Having everything delivered to you, and in a timely fashion, will lend you more free time to get settled in your new space. 

Another great way to embrace convenience during your move is hiring a person or a company that specializes in home organizing services. Regardless of whether it’s to help you with packing and unpacking or decluttering, you want to start out in your new space on the right foot from an organizational standpoint. After you’ve lived somewhere for so long, it’s normal to accumulate many items. Sometimes these items can hold sentimental value, making it more difficult to part with them. 

That said, it is important to recognize what items you should save and which items you should consider donating or recycling. If you’re curious as to what items can and cannot be recycled or donated, check out our list here. If you feel your problem with holding onto things is more serious, check out our page on chronic disorganization.    

Utilize Estate Clearing Services

Sometimes, the move we’re making isn’t always one we make by choice or we’re not able to be hands on in the moving process at all. This is the perfectProfessional in moving, packing and unpacking eases stress and quickens the entire process opportunity to utilize Estate Clearing Services. Our team provides compassionate and professional care during these critical circumstances and anyone should feel safe knowing we treat your belongings as if they are our own. Families of those who receive our estate clearing services can rest assured that we will handle all items with care and follow directions when it comes to heirlooms and anything else that carries out your desires to preserve your family legacy. 

The estate clearing team can assist in any cleaning and decluttering you’d like done as well. This will make the moving process much smoother as you’ll be able to identify the items you’d like to take along with you to your new home as well as those you’d like to sell or donate. To learn more about estate settlement, check out this article from our blog.  

Moving on to a new residence can drum up a number of emotions. At Clear Path, we know that moving can signify the beginning of one chapter and the end of another. We’d like to do everything we can to help you throughout this process. We also think it’s important to treat yourself kindly and embrace convenience as much as possible. If you’re a senior considering a move, don’t hesitate to contact us directly to learn more about the ways we can help you! 

Stuck On Repeat

By: A Clear Path employee, Lauren Brennan

For a month that centers around warm and fuzzy feelings, February can be an ironically depressing time. Winter festivities are behind us and we’ve settled back into our monotonous routines. For some of us the mid-month dose of candied hearts and sappy greeting cards has us rolling our eyes, especially when we’re still fighting our way through a global pandemic. What do we have to look forward to? Spring cleaning? Didn’t we just do that last year?! Ugh. 

Organizing is an unending effort. It’s a job that can feel like it’s never done. in the northern hemisphere, hearts inform us that spring will be here soon and de-cluttering and removal is in the airIn the 1993 movie Groundhog’s Day an arrogant journalist named Phil Ryerson finds himself stuck in a supernatural cycle where, for reasons unknown to him, he must relive February 2nd indefinitely. Forced to repeat the same day in a snow-blanketed town that worships a rodent, eventually he loses his mind. Looking for the twin to a set of socks in a messy drawer can have a similar effect. 

Valuable Lessons

For Phil Ryerson and those of us living in the real world, repetitious endeavors can lead us to the brink unless we learn a valuable life lesson: while our circumstances may be unvaried, our perspective is not. With all the time spent at home watching dust collect on top of clutter that never stops materializing, it’s easy to feel stuck, out of control of the world around you. Messes can be ignored when we aren’t surrounded by them all day long. Now, with many of us at home most of the day, it’s unavoidable. Each morning we wake up and the clutter is still there. But the truth is, you’re not stuck. You can get it together regardless of that pesky Groundhog declaring four more weeks of winter. Here’s how: 

Start small.

  • Tackle one junk drawer a day until everything has a place and a purpose.
  • Clean up the desktop on your laptop or computer.
  • Leave no family photo or online receipt behind!
  • Rename screenshots so you can find them later with ease or simply delete them entirely.
  • Screenshots of photos that already live forever on your Facebook page may not be necessary to keep.
  • Photos and large files take up valuable storage space on your hard drive.
  • Clear a space for new memories.
  • Eliminating objects crowding your physical space can be very empowering.
  • The simple act of deleting a few files can leave you with a sense of accomplishment and the inspiration to continue clearing more. 

Use what you have on hand.

  • The KonMari shop sells beautiful, albeit expensive, boxes that act as drawer separators making your folded clothing more easy to spot.
  • If you have deep dresser drawers, use empty shoe boxes instead of purchasing fancy paper ones.
  • Upcycling is friendly on your wallet and the environment.
  • Don’t save every little box that Amazon sends your way, but do keep sturdy packaging that can be repurposed for later storage.
  • Utilizing what you already have lying around saves you time and money. Don’t get lost in the pages of a virtual Container Store.

There’s no need to waste any more time waiting to get organized, we all know the postal service has more important things to deliver these days. You probably have the tools already, you just need to get a little creative. 

DIY is easily done every day, but those large organizing jobs need a professional organizerGet crafty!

  • Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, literally.
  • Not everything needs to be hidden away. Remember that form follows function when considering where to store and place items.
  • You can repurpose unconventional spaces like the space underneath a kitchen cabinet or in front of a backsplash for hanging pots or mugs.
  • Pinterest is a great resource for creating mood boards and finding inspiration for new projects.
    • It’s a photo-centric mood board in and of itself, with many of the photos linking to helpful articles or online shops.
  • Type in “upcycled organization” or “diy storage” and you’ll find a slew of hacks and tips for getting your life in order. 

Not that crafty yourself?

Etsy is an excellent online shopping alternative to Amazon and other corporate distributors. The shops on Etsy are largely run by small business owners looking to broaden their market. With farmers markets and art fairs put on hold, it’s a great way to support artists and local vendors. It’s also a pathway to connect with real people, something you can’t get from a big-box retailer. Sellers often include handwritten notes, stickers or homemade cards with purchases. If you don’t have the materials on hand to DIY a shoe organizer or sock drawer divider, consider shopping small first. 

Donate it!

Spring time isn’t the only suitable purging season. Take stock of your household inventory not once but twice a year. Autumn, before the holidays, is a great time to clear your space. Go through old decorations and any back-to-school items you may have lying around and donate them just in time for someone else to enjoy. Donating items during times that correlate with events throughout the year increases the chance that someone will actually find and use the item you’re giving away. 

The next time you are feeling victimized by your clutter, remember: you are in control. Tomorrow can be different if you choose to act differently. An emotional weight is lifted when we physically remove what no longer serves us. Incorporating recycling and donating into our organizing practices helps us waste less and connect with our community. Perhaps you spent last year in a vicious cycle of daily online shopping. A Groundhog’s Day scenario that transpired for many of us was reaching for the phone and hitting the “Buy with 1 click” button before we even had our morning coffee. Giving away old (or even new) items to someone in need can help with the guilt of past purchases and free up valuable space in your home. Next time, look around your space and see what you could repurpose before you reach for the credit card. Finding out that you already have everything you need, now that’s a warm, fuzzy feeling. Contact us for help for what might seem to be an overwhelming task.

Should You Hire Unpacking Services After the Move

moving companies can help wiht a move, but a certified move manager can make sure the move is done properly

Having good organizational skills may come in very handy in a lot of life situations. If you are an organized person, you may excel at your workplace or keep a tidy house, especially if you have children or pets. But, being organized doesn’t mean that you will always be on top of every situation life throws at you. One of those life occurrences is certainly relocation. Usually, people perceive relocation as a stressful period in life; now, even more than ever, with the busy schedule we all keep. That is why relocation specialists have their work cut out for them. The fact is that some of you don’t have the time or the money to go through the moving process by yourself, so hiring a move manager is the right choice. Know that they offer all possible services you can think of and are moving-related: packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking services, storage, you name it.

Which type of services is fundamental when opting for professional move management?

Some excellent moving companies offer a full pack of services that don’t just include the loading, transportation, and unloading of your belongings and household items. Their teams also do your packing, storage, and unpacking if needed. If you add time management and home organizing services to the list, you will have a somewhat clear picture of what senior move managers have in their job description. Suppose you are a working mum of two, relocating for business across the country. In this scenario, your exceptional organizational skills are good to have. Still, you may lack time and focus because of all the things you must think about and care about in the process. If your relocation circumstances are like the above scenario, a good option is to hire professional help to assist you in the moving project. Hired professionals can help you save time, and with good budgeting also money. 

Busy parents with small children can benefit from professional move management.

 

What can you expect after moving day?

Your moving day is approaching, and you feel you have done everything right. Suppose you opted for hiring a senior moving manager and his team to help you through this endeavor. Besides, imagine that they also did your home inventories and left you a clear home on the moving day. But what happens when you arrive at your new house or apartment? What about all the boxes and wrap-upped furniture? Firstly, take a deep breath and acknowledge that there are many things that need to be done. It surely would be good to have someone navigate you through the unpacking process so you have more time to focus on your new job, your kids’ new school, or meeting the new neighborhood. That is why it would be beneficial to plan unpacking services after the move if the budget allows you to do so. For a more detailed outlook on the matter, look up professional organizing and what it involves.

moving day can add stress to anybody's day, but using certified move managers can eliminate the stressList of tasks included in professional unpacking services

Depending on your budget and your requirements, you can opt for full service or partial unpacking. Maybe you need assistance only with one room, your library, or your closet. Then, it would be wise to choose partial organizing services. On the other hand, if you need help with organizing your whole house after moving day, hiring professionals will entail the following:

  • Unwrapping all the furniture and appliances
  • Unpacking all the boxes with other household items
  • Making an inventory of every item
  • Assembly of furniture if needed
  • Organization of kitchen, bedroom, closet, bathroom, or other rooms
  • Putting all items in place
  • Clean up, removal of all packaging material 

To make this process go smoothly, it is essential to brief the team about your requirements. Give clear and concise input on where you would like your things to go. Most (un)packers will professionally do their job with little or no bother to the owner.

Does it cost a lot to have relocation specialists help you settle?

One of the questions you will think a lot about is how much it all costs. Well, it depends. Firstly, it depends on the size of your home. It is not the same to have a team unpack a one-bedroom apartment and a 4-bedroom house. Secondly, it depends on the time frame you need your relocation to finalize. Mostly, professionals can do the unpacking in a day or two, but sometimes people need the service quicker. If you are on a budget but still need help and assistance in this department, think about opting for partial unpacking services. For example, if you have a case of a boomer downsize in your family and you are helping, it will be useful to choose a package with estate clearing services. This way, the senior relocation process will come full circle, and the price will be complementary to a complete package deal.

Are you in need of hiring home organizing services after the move?

certified move managers are an excellent source for moving boomers and seniors that are downsizing.Certain situations almost impose hiring professional unpackers. Here is a list of such cases to help you decide whether you need these services or not:

  • You move a lot for business and don’t have much time to transition because of your busy work schedule.
  • Being a senior citizen without the help of family or friends, where packing and unpacking is a physical hurdle.
  • Maybe you are a busy parent with a large family, little time, and a lot of responsibilities.
  • You have the budget, and you want good value for your money.
  • Having already made a complete package deal with a moving company, from packing, clearing house estates, transportation, and unpacking. 
  • You might have a time constraint on your unpacking for any reason, and you need the service done quickly and efficiently.

Conclusion

Whatever your reasons are, if your budget allows you to, hiring professional unpacking services can turn into an investment; you ultimately invest in more time, allowing you to take care of some more important things, like your family or your job. Time is, after all, our most valuable asset. If you have the budget and the opportunity to take advantage of a stress-free moving experience, you definitely should.

Downsizing & Move documentss

Used photos:
Featured image – https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-smiling-behind-the-headboard-3616688/
Image 1 – https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-crew-neck-t-shirt-sitting-on-brown-couch-4568697/
Image 2 – https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-in-black-leather-boots-sitting-on-brown-cardboard-boxes-4553277/
Image 3 – https://www.pexels.com/photo/elderly-couple-walking-on-the-street-5637575/

6 Tips for Downsizing Your Home as a Senior

There will come a time when seniors will need to downsize and there are several professionals: organizers, move managers can help

Living as a senior has its own challenges. Many tasks, which once seemed simple, present a challenge now. This is just a part of life, but there are certain things you can do to make your life as a senior easier, more comfortable and to ensure you have more time to enjoy the finer things in life. Downsizing your home as a senior is probably the best way to free up more time for yourself and your hobbies.

At the same time, downsizing can be emotionally draining as well as physically demanding. Therefore, hiring relocation specialists to help you with your move management can make things a lot easier. Ensure that you are familiar with the key issues related to using a senior move manager. They know all the tips and tricks to make your move smooth and hassle-free.

Downsizing in a few easy steps

Reputable relocation specialists know the main rules when it comes to downsizing. There are a few things that can help make your move easier. We will share six tips for downsizing your home as a senior that will help make your life simpler. They will allow you to spend more time doing the things you like.

  1. Face the facts and be emotionally intelligent

Emotional intelligence can significantly influence our decision-making process. Senior relocation is not easy. Some moments might tug on your heartstrings, but it is important that you deal with your emotions. Recognize that downsizing will benefit you in the long run. It might seem difficult when going through old, cherished memories, but keep in mind that it will enable you to create new memories.

Get your kids involved. Ask your family members to help you sort through your belongings and spend time with them, as this will make you feel at ease. Family can get us through the toughest of times, so don’t be afraid to recognize your feelings and discuss them openly.

If you like the neighborhood you currently live in, try consulting a senior move manager and asking them to help you find a smaller place in the same area. If, on the other hand, you wish to move somewhere else, you can always ask for help with the transfer to your new neighborhood. Downsizing and moving don’t have to be stressful and tiring. If organized properly, it can be a simple step towards a lifestyle transformation. Don’t hesitate to search for help, contact your movers today, and let them provide you with the best senior relocation services.

  1. Plan on time and organize in advance

If you feel like you have good organizational skills, you should try to create a system that will allow you to plan and organize the tasks that need to be completed prior to your move. If not, you can look for a move manager or senior moving specialist to help you organize the tasks at hand. Whichever route you choose to take, keep the following in mind:

  • It would be best if you didn’t rush sorting through your belongings. Go through your current home one room at a time and take breaks whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed.
  • Going through your belongings is going to be emotional. It is a good idea to start by going through the items you aren’t too emotionally attached to first. This will get your mind used to the idea of downsizing and will help when dealing with your more cherished belongings later on. You should recognize that you are downsizing and that you won’t have space for all of the items you currently possess.
  • Getting professional estate clearing services can help you if the going gets rough. However, knowing some of their estate clearing secrets can go a long way if you feel up to the task.
  • Pay special attention to the things in your current home that make your life easier and more pleasant. Write notes down to keep track of these things and remind you to create a similar setup in your new home after downsizing. This will help you adjust to your new home faster.
  • Professional home organizing services can help you organize your new home in a way that best suits you and your current needs. You can also use these services to reorganize your home if, at some point, your needs change.

 

  1. Consider getting help

Move management has been around for a while, but specialized senior move management is a relatively young industry. It is, however, a growing industry. This is because it offers an array of senior relocation services that many aging community members find very helpful. This is just one of the reasons why you should consider hiring a senior move manager and getting help with your downsizing and relocation.

movers and the moving expreience is greatly enhanced when you you use a move manager

  1. Consider your storage options

You will also need to think about storage. The fact that you are downsizing means that you won’t be able to take everything you own with you. There might be some items you don’t wish to get rid of, or you don’t use very often but still need them from time to time. You should consider your storage options for these items. The most common and most easily stored items are:

  • Oversized furniture and home items.
  • Documents and paperwork.
  • Items of emotional value.
  • Seasonal items.

Make sure to choose the right type of storage for your belongings. Some items might require special storage conditions.

using a public storage facility is great, but can be better with a move manager and organizing professional

  1. Pack light and pack right

When your moving day arrives, you will need to have access to your essential items as soon as you arrive at your new home. This means that you will need to pack in a way that enables you to get to the things you use most often, such as toiletries, cutlery, and such. You won’t be needing seventeen sets of dishes and cutlery on your first day. If you do pack that many, you will probably need to learn about de-cluttering your kitchen sooner rather than later. Make sure to pack light and pack right. Basically, what this means is that you need to pack a few boxes with just your essentials. These are the things you will need during the first few days of your move, such as a towel, your toothbrush, a few plates, a set of cutlery, and a good book or perhaps your favorite CD to help you relax the first few evenings. Label these boxes clearly and concisely and when loading them into the moving vehicle, try to pack these boxes last.

  1. Get to know your new home in advance

Getting to know your new home before you move into it can help you adjust to life after downsizing your home as a senior. Try to obtain a layout or floorplan of the place. Decide where you wish to put your furniture and try to imagine what it will look like. Try to find the best fit for your furniture and other belongings. Don’t be scared to rearrange your items several times. Also, getting to know your new neighborhood and the locations of grocery stores and doctors’ offices will make you feel more at ease once you move in.

having good checklists before starting a downsizing move

See the upside

A common mistake seniors make when downsizing is that they view it from the wrong perspective. Don’t think of downsizing as a loss of any freedom or space. Instead, think of it as optimizing your life. Why spend precious time cleaning square footage that you very rarely use? Why spend hard-earned money on heating and electricity for empty rooms? As a matter of fact, if, as a senior, you still plan on working from home, there are plenty of tips on how to upgrade your workspace for maximum productivity and happiness. With downsizing come savings, both in terms of financials and time. This means you will have more time and money to spend on more important things. These are the things that fill your life with joy and laughter.

Imagine yourself happy and relaxed in the near future, enjoying life to the fullest. Downsizing your home as a senior will help you achieve that.

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

 

Used images:
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Dual Success: How To Start A Business And Move Your Household At The Same Time

Many successful business ventures got their starts in garages, home offices or at kitchen tables. If you’re ready to launch your small business with a goal of operating primarily from a home-based location, it might be time to consider a move that provides both your business, and your family, room to grow. Let A Clear Path help, starting with the following tips:

Plans and Professionals

While launching a new business and moving to a new home simultaneously might feel like a daunting task, when done in a well thought-out manner and the right people on your team, it can pay both personal and professional dividends!

As HRchitect explains, pre-planning is key to a successful startup. Of course, this is all the more complex when you’re moving at the same time you’re getting your venture off the ground. For your enterprise’s purposes, a formal business plan can help you structure your goals and how to meet them. It will also come in handy if you apply for any loans or grants.

For assistance with finding and purchasing a new home and sorting out details related to your venture, partnering with a professional organizer can make a world of difference. From decluttering to arranging a professional mover to packing and unpacking, turn to a professional you can trust for solutions.

Moving and setting up a a new office is a job for a professional organizer. Setting Your Budget

As CNBC explains, you need to create a budget that takes into consideration all of the usual home-buying financial needs, such as down payment, closing costs and fees. You may want to look for a reputable lender with experience in home-based business ventures who can help you find the best loan products available for your situation. If your new home will require any type of retrofitting (like the addition of a separate business entrance), factor anticipated costs into the budgeting process.

Striking The Perfect Balance

Of course, you’ll want to take your family’s needs into consideration when situating both the household and the business in a new location. Give thought to how you will collectively use the property. Consider a home that has a mother-in-law’s quarters or a detached casita that can be used specifically for work purposes. If that’s not possible, look for a layout that can accommodate both work and home – for example, a design where office space is on one side of the house, and communal living space is on the other.

Getting Things Organized

Don’t allow the moving process to derail your business start-up efforts. Create a “go box” that has all of your most critical files, documents and essential materials, and keep it with you, rather than pack it into storage containers. This will ensure you have all relevant business info with you throughout the move. Encourage family members to do the same by packing their own essential items and keeping them at hand. This approach will reduce any “down time” around getting your business up and running.

Making Work From Home Work

According to the Hartford Co., working from home can have numerous rewards, including having more family and personal time,An organized office is best completed with the help of a professional organizer and operating on your own schedule. Running a successful business from home requires exceptional time management and organizational skills, as well as a commitment from the rest of the household to draw a firm boundary between work and personal life. 

Dedicated office space and equipment can help. For instance, buying modular furniture for your office space gives you the option of changing up your environment as your business grows; a new laptop, desktop, printer, scanner or other office essentials, such as filing cabinets, chairs, lighting and  phone systems, can ensure professional operations. You can shop online for the latest offers, discounts and specials to aid in this effort.

There are many upsides to starting a new business and operating it from home. In addition to taking advantage of Internal Revenue Service home office tax deductions, you may also have the ability to set your own work hours, and cultivate a fulfilling work-life balance. There’s also the added benefit of not paying rent for office space, which potentially means you can put more of your income toward housing. 

Having all of your personal and professional objectives top-of-mind before getting started will help ensure a smooth and successful venture. And remember to partner with A Clear Path, who can ease you through this challenging process.

Images: Unsplash.com

My Kids Don’t Want It- Now What?
Estate Settlement: Tangible Personal Property

By: Regina Lark, Sheri Samotin, Noelle Valentino

When downsizing, there are many precious items that need to be organized with great care

There are many challenges to dismantling an estate – from recovering important documents and hopefully avoiding probate, to deciding what to do with elegant (but worthless) tchotchkes and table linens. The size and scope of some projects can be daunting, even for the most dedicated of adult children, who likely have too much stuff in their own homes to tackle the clear-out of their parents’ household. There are so many moving parts, and often requires a team of experienced, dedicated professionals who work together to settle the estate and get the home ready for sale. An estate attorney, a realtor, and a good handyperson ought to be part of the team. 

Dealing with the contents of the property is a different matter. Three professionals: a private fiduciary, an appraiser/valuator of tangible personal property, and a company that specializes in de-cluttering and downsizing, walk us a through their process to dismantle an estate, and the considerations that must be made when helping a family going through this process. 

How to Get Started: Build Your Team

Sheri Samotin, Private Professional Fiduciary, LifeBridge Solutions

One of the most frequent comments I hear in my first conversation with a prospective client is, “I’m overwhelmed.” If the prospect is the family member indecluttering and organizing means that everything will be put into a proper place and can be easily found. charge of administering a trust or estate, they have many unfamiliar tasks to handle. Sometimes, I am my ownDocuments need to be organized professionally uasing a checklist to insure all are in place “client” if I am serving as a designated trustee or administrator. I must make the magic happen regarding clearing and distributing the personal property in accordance with the trust and/or will.

After I have reviewed the relevant documents, it’s time to lay out my strategy. Typically, the first step is to go through the home to locate any valuable items that could “grow feet” and disappear. Those items need to be secured. In addition, we search every nook and cranny for any papers that might be needed to support prior tax returns or to help us file a return. In one recent case, we

thought the decedent was a single man. In fact, when going through his papers, we learned that he had been briefly married as a young man and that the marriage was annulled. Sometimes we are looking for information related to the “family tree” to make sure everyone who is legally entitled to notice receives it. At the same time we are going through the paper, we make “shred” bags for documents that don’t need to be saved but require proper disposal.

Once the paper monster has been tamed, it is time to get an idea of the value of the personal property. 

Valuing Tangible Personal Property, Appraisal and Disposition at Auction

Noelle Valentino, Fine and decorative arts specialist; household contents appraiser, John Moran Auctioneers & Appraisals

More often than not, the bulk of the value of an estate’s tangible personal property can be found in just a handful of items. It is important to engage a specialist early in the process to identify the items of significance before they are claimed by relatives, given away, donated, or worse. A qualified tangible appraiser will produce an inventory of household contents, or a formal appraisal report, depending on the needs of the estate. The intended use of the document must be disclosed in the report: equitable distribution, charitable donation, estate tax filing, or something else. 

A Clear Path can coordinate the valuation and selling of collections as part of their organizing serviceFor IRS purposes, estates approaching the exemption limit will require a household contents appraisal. The IRS defines art broadly: jewelry, paintings, silver, rugs, decorative objects and more. Outside of tax regulation, there are often issues that arise due to family reasons and an estate appraisal may be recommended to avoid later conflict. For the purposes of distribution among beneficiaries, it is helpful to discuss a minimum value threshold with the appraiser. A fair market value of several hundred dollars is often a good starting point for an object’s inclusion in the report.

Appraisals are considered legal documents and can be relied upon by an attorney, the court, or the IRS. Selecting a personal property appraiser who is USPAP compliant, with membership in one of the three preeminent appraisal organizations, is imperative. Qualified appraisers in your area can be located on the websites of the Appraisers Association of America, International Society of Appraisers, or American Society of Appraisers.  

When considering the eventual disposition of assets from an estate, an auction house can also be helpful in identifying the items of greatest value in the home. With the intent to secure new consignments, they will provide free auction estimates. With that said, auction houses are likely to include only the items valued over $1,000 and appealing for bidders in today’s market. Note well that an auction estimate does not take the place of an appraisal. It is however, an advisable sale venue for estate property due to its the broad reach and rapid mode of sale, together ensuring fair market value has been achieved.

When the ‘good stuff’ is gone… Now what? 

Regina F. Lark, Ph.D., downsizing and organizational specialist, A Clear Path, LLC

The typical household contains thousands of pieces of tangible personal property. Every room has stuff – some rooms have more stuff than other rooms. Drawers and cupboard and closets are filled with flatware, dishes and clothes. Even if considerable downsizing had already happened, there’s no getting around this fact: we all have to deal with our clients’ stuff.  

To get the job done in an efficient and timely way, look for a professional organizing/downsizing company with access to a broad range of resources to complete the dismantling of an estate. Find out what they know, and who they know, when you ask these questions: 

  • What does your business liability cover? 
  • Do you have a project management fee? 
  • Are you able to ship items across, or out of, the country? 
  • Have you encountered a hoarding situation? If so, how do you handle the massive volume of ‘stuff?’
  • Do you have the ability to sell what the auction house doesn’t want? 

After the auction house reviews and removes what I call the “big ticket” items, the remainder of the household contents can be photographed (to attach to donation receipt), packed-up, and hauled to the nearest non-profit. If removal is all that’s required, a good downsizing company can have the estate cleared and ready for the realtor to put on the market.

Another option is working with a traditional estate sale company. They usually spend two weeks tagging everything in the house, around the yard, and in every kitchen drawer.  Many estate sale companies charge a percentage of the sale’s gross profits. For example, if the company charges 40% of gross profits and the sale yields $10,000 then you will owe the company $4,000. Be sure to ask about any additional services such as trash removal, post-sale clean-up, etc. If the estate is thick with clutter, does the estate sale company address that, too? 

Over the past couples of years, online estate sale auctions have become wildly popular, and MaxSold, a Canadian company with a robust platform, has generated a large footprint in the United States. The concept is simple – an organizing team catalogs every item in the house into what are known as “lots,” distinct groupings of one or more items sold at auction– creating lots of lots! The sale is live online for 7-10 days and every lot begins at $1 (yes, one dollar). The bidding is particularly fast and furious on the final day of bidding. The ultimate split is 70% to the estate and 30% to Max Sold. If a fiduciary hires a team of professionals to dismantle an estate, it will likely come close, break-even, or make money on the sale of the remaining tangible personal property, and quite often, offset the cost of their service.

Conclusion: 

Due diligence regarding the estate’s personal property is an important aspect of fiduciary duties. Sentiments tend to run high when it comes to the “stuff.” Suspend bias and remain objective with assets you are unfamiliar with, calling in experts where appropriate. Moreover, encouraging your clients to update their estate plans ahead of time, including a review of existing appraisals with personal property assets, as this can prevent later confusion. Proactive steps in identifying items of value and having a working plan for the disposition of tangible personal property can mitigate the risks and avoid family conflict, or a professional headache.

Using a Checklist before downsizing will create an easier less stressful move

How to remove stress from a household junk removal

A cluttered home is a home with constant risks of injuries waiting to happen. That is why you should take a day or moving and de-cluttering is stressful, but is better with a professional move manager and NAPO organizertwo every six months or so to clear out all the unwanted junk you have lying around your household. Stressful as this process can be, there are steps that you can take to make it organized and seamless. Whether you wish to hire professional junk removal specialists or to handle the task on your own, this article is your guide to success. Continue reading to learn more about how to remove stress from household junk removal.

A clear home through planning

Planning is key, no matter the project you’re taking on. When it comes to household junk removal, it is particularly important to know what you’re doing in advance. You’ll need time to go through your belongings, declutter and put in storage what you intend to keep. Having a plan on how to do this will eliminate stress and anxiety.

We suggest the following course of action:

  • Determine clutter hot spots within your home that you think should take priority.
  • Review your belongings room by room or area by area.
  • Make three piles – keep, throw away or donate, and store. When dealing with bulky items and pieces of furniture, you could use sticky notes of different colors to mark the items.
  • Organize friends and family members to help you with household junk removal or hire professionals to take care of it for you.

You’ll want to set a deadline for yourself for each of these stages and areas. The more structure you introduce into this process, the easier it will be to remove stress. Pick a timeframe that is attainable but not too ambitious. If you don’t give yourself enough time, you can end up feeling frustrated with how slowly it is going.

Where to start

If you haven’t decluttered and organized your home in a while, starting this project can feel quite intimidating. One of the ways of getting around this is by starting small. Pick a shelf, desk, or even a drawer. Then, give yourself some time and go through it until you finish it. Doing this will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to tackle some larger areas next.

Stressful jobs: junk removal, decluttering, pack and unpack for a move. All of these are helped by using a professional organizer and move managerIf you have hoarding tendencies, you may feel particularly listless about where to begin and how to choose what to get rid of. Our resources on hoarding and disorganization might be helpful here.

Safety first

Besides careful planning, another way of removing stress from a household junk removal is to take certain safety precautions. Most of these apply in both cases – whether you decide to do DIY this project or hire professional services.

One helpful tip would be to remove doors off their hinges. This will provide either you or the movers with more space, especially if you are removing some bulky items. Try using dollies and straps for any heavier pieces of furniture or appliances as well. This is the only way you can be sure you are protecting your back.

Also, try to disassemble all of your belongings that will allow it. For the most part, large furniture pieces can be torn apart into manageable pieces. There will be no other way to manage certain items, such as your pool table. Doing this can cause a lot of anxiety for some people, especially those that don’t fancy themselves the handyman around the house. The easiest way to stop stressing about it is to get someone who knows what they’re doing to handle it. 

Protective equipment

Being scared of injuring yourself comes hand in hand with any estate clearing or downsizing. You are bound to have to deal with bulky and heavy pieces of furniture and appliances. Worrying about yourself or your family members getting injured can be quite a burden. 

Ensure you are safe from injuries by wearing the right clothes and accessories:

  • Clothes that will give you good coverage but that you won’t mind ruining.
  • Protective gloves for your hands – the most exposed body part during household junk removal.
  • Sturdy boots that will protect your feel in case anything falls on them but also give you a good grip.
  • Safety glasses if you are using tools.
  • Wheelbarrow if you are doing any household junk removal in your yard. Your back will thank you.

Hiring the right organizing services and junk removals

As mentioned above, if you are wondering how to remove stress from a household junk removal, your best bet is to hire professionals to do it for you. However, even picking the people who are right for the job can cause a lot of worries. Here are a couple of things to look out for:

  • The company should be licensed and insured.
  • They should be able to manage the removal of any junk, anywhere on your property.
  • Ask if they handle recycling or donating items that are in good condition.
  • See if they will provide a free estimate in writing – this will make things much easier for you.

Conclusion

Chances are there will be some larger items you will want to get rid of, especially if you are conducting a boomer downsize project. You don’t want to cut corners here, because removing bulky items on your own in a hurry can lead to injuries or damaging your property. Your best bet towards getting this stressor out of the equation is to hire professionals who will handle your senior move and downsizing.

 

You might be interested in a free copy of the Table of Contents and 1st Chapter of my Book

Download a complimentary copy of the 1st Chapter of Regina’s 3rd Edition of her book, Psychic Debris

Dr. Regina Lark

regina@aclearpath.net

 

 

 

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