I recently helped a brother and sister clear out their childhood home and put it on the market. This particular home had been empty since their father passed away a year ago and their mother moved to an assisted living home. During that year, the daughter was only able to empty the kitchen cabinets. Here's why:
- Every trip to the home was met with emotion and anxiety. It stirred up feelings of loss and sorrow.
- There were so many childhood memories in the house.
- She wondered... Where to begin?
- She couldn't decide... What should we keep?
- She wasn't sure... Should things be thrown out? Is there something better to do with unwanted items?
As a Professional Organizer, I encounter this type of situation all the time. Sometimes it is the parents looking for help to downsize after the children have moved out, or the children trying to downsize after the parents have left their home.
The process of downsizing a home of 10, 20, or even 50 years, doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you have a plan.
It is never too early to start. Start with one room at a time. One cabinet, closet or bookcase at a time.
Donate. Trash. Gift. Sell. Share stories, tears, laughter and... Let it go!
What could be better than passing on those family heirlooms and photos while you still can share the stories and identify the people and places in the photos.
So many times, these special items are left behind and none of the children know the names of the faces in the photos or the origins of a family treasure. Share them now with all the stories and details.
Professional Organizers, like myself, are experts at helping you through the process in an efficient and stress-free manner.
Not only are we professionals with lots of experience and resources, but we also are not emotionally attached to your items. This allows us to help you make those decisions, especially the hard ones. Recruiting the help of family members and friends can be helpful, as long as everyone can get along and be objective.
5 Great Reasons to Start Downsizing Your Childhood Home Now!
1. It makes moving to a smaller home easier when the time comes.
2. It will increase the value of your home when you get ready to sell it.
3. You can enjoy gifting those special family treasures now to see the recipient’s reaction and pleasure.
4. It prevents you from leaving the project behind for your children, which will avoid unnecessary stress and possible sibling conflicts.
5. You will not feel rushed or overwhelmed if you start now!
I am happy to share that I emptied the childhood home mentioned at the beginning of this post in less than 8 days.
The realtor that I recommended received an offer a day after listing it. Below is the lovely testimonial I received from the realtor afterwards....
"Deanne is a God-send! She cleaned and organized over 50 years of living for my clients. It was an extremely emotional task for my sellers to get their childhood home ready for the market. Deanne stood right beside my clients and helped sort through decades of memories. She really cares and never judges. I can't say enough. A house is a home and should be respected and cherished. Honestly, Deanne does just that. She has a special way about her. I love the way she stays on task and keeps clients on task, moving forward in a gentle yet assertive way. Deanne pays attention to details. In fact after the property was cleaned out we found gorgeous hardwoods hiding under decade old carpets. Needless to say, I listed the property and two days later it sold for very close to list price. I am more then sure that if Deanne didn't prepare the property to be listed it wouldn't have sold so quickly and for such a ROBUST price!" Jazzmine N. (Barrington RI)
I truly love helping my clients minimize their stress. Remember, downsizing doesn't have to be overwhelming if you start now! You can do this.