If you want to make things a little easier for both you and your family, consider starting the decluttering process and then adopting a more simplified lifestyle going forward. This way, you’ll already be prepared if you decide to move to a smaller home. Further, when your loved ones go through your home after you’ve passed away, you’ll have made that difficult job a little easier for them. Here are some points to consider.
Decluttering can mean making a lot of decisions about things you hold dear. But try starting with things without emotional ties. For example, how much nonfunctional stuff do you have in your house and garage? Outdated technology that you’ve been accumulating over the years, broken items you meant to fix but haven’t, and things that don’t work shouldn’t be taking up room.
Then consider any duplicates you may be holding on to. Do you have multiples of the same tool taking up space in the shed? Spare bedding that you’ll never use? More than one copy of the same cookbook? Getting rid of extra things is another easy way to begin the process of decluttering.
How about those filing cabinets or boxes of papers? While some documents need to be retained, many can go. Shred any papers that may contain sensitive information to protect your privacy; recycle the rest. Paper takes up a lot of space and can be quite heavy. While your stacks and boxes and files may look overwhelming, if you take on one small section at a time, you’ll conquer your paper stash in no time.
For that matter, just set small goals when it comes to decluttering. One drawer, one shelf, one box at a time. If you stick with it and do a little each day, the task of decluttering will get done.
Take Your Time
Sometimes, it takes a little time to find the right place for what you’ve got. Your family members may be interested in some of your things. Some of your things may hold some resale value. You may be able to work with a consignment shop or find a good online site for selling your usable or collectable items. When it comes to donating, some organizations are particular about what donations they can accept whereas others will come and take everything you’ve got to offer. Finding the right place for your items is well worth the effort! When you take it upon yourself to declutter over time, the things you’ve accumulated over the years are more likely to be put to good use.
Streamline Your Life
Once you’ve gained some decluttering momentum, try to adopt a simplified lifestyle. Consider making room for something new by getting rid of something you no longer use. Some people adopt a “one year” policy and anything they don’t wear or use in a year goes out the door. And, of course, there’s the popular question, “Does this spark joy?” No matter what ongoing strategy you adopt, try to be intentional about what you choose to keep so you don’t end up needing to declutter all over again.
Be Prepared to Downsize
People decide to downsize for all kinds of reasons such as enjoying the equity they’ve built up in their home, moving to a retirement community for companionship, or relocating for better weather or being closer to grandkids. If you decide to downsize, you’ll be well prepared for the move when you’re already living a more streamlined lifestyle.
Work with an Experienced Corning Estate Planning Attorney
If you’re thinking about decluttering, it may also be time to speak with an estate planning attorney. Call Roth Elder Law, PLLC today to schedule an initial meeting at 607-962-6162 or complete this intake form and we’ll be in touch.