Successful Living Takes Courage

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Successful Living Takes Courage
Written By: Elisa Hawkinson - How 2 Get Organized ~ 11/23/2021

BLOGPOST_SuccessfulLiving112320201.jpg“Editing” a home from decades of accumulating furniture, bedding, dishes, artwork and family pictures takes courage. It is a daunting task to decide what to keep, what to donate or even let go to the dump. Dump, what a rude four-letter word. Begin letting go as soon as possible: whittle everything down to what is still used and needed for living in the home along with meaningful decorations and family photos.

Avoiding or delaying this process burdens loved ones who must make all the decisions. My current clients are all dealing with serious editing of their home’s contents for several reasons:

  • An awful health challenge requiring assisted living for a gentleman under 55.
  • A woman’s older brother and his wife died, and no one had been in their home for over forty years! It was the most densely packed and crammed home I have ever seen. Yes, it is called “hoarding.”
  • Finally, adult children are clearing their parent’s home with decades of memories/contents, and it is a daunting task.

NOW is the best time to edit the contents of your home so it could be listed on the market in 30 days, if it became necessary. Setting this goal helps reduce the stress and energy that would be needed if a home HAD to be listed for a sudden move to less square footage, for instance.

AND that is not an easy conversation with spouses or older parents that have accumulated a lot of stuff. Here are a few tips for that conversation:

  • Thank and praise the loved one for all the good memories and let them know your concern for what most likely lies in the future: change.
  • The potential need for less square footage or even assisted care is real.
  • Talk about how helpful it would be to begin the process together now and enjoy it as you work through it.
  • Set a time, possibly the first weekend of every month, to get together and look at each item and ask lots of questions: from where, when, why? Enjoy the memory and time together.
  • Ask to whom it would go to upon their passing and document that on paper. Your time together will be a treasure.

For over a decade before my mother’s passing, she asked each of us six daughters what we wanted in the home when she died. Near the end of her life, all of us had identified and marked what we’d like. Much of the 60’s furniture was not marked so I asked her where she wanted the proceeds to go when the items were sold. We girls were able to honor her wishes and that was rewarding to all of us. The process of clearing out her home was so much simpler with her involvement in the process.

I am calling each reader to age courageously and begin the process of whittling down the contents of your home now.

LifeSkills Academy educators are business professionals, some with academic backgrounds, and all have proven success in the world of commerce.

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