Your Kids Don’t Want Your Stuff-Time to Start Downsizing

| July 19, 2013 | 0 Comments


As an occupational therapist providing treatment in the home, I am constantly interacting with people who are facing the daunting task of downsizing. Most are baby boomers or seniors who are either preparing to move to a smaller home (private, assisted living, in with the kids) or want to stay right where they are but want less stuff to manage.

One of my organizing colleagues, Diane Campion, likes to impart this advice when taking on a downsizing case. She knows a secret.  “It’s not a little secret, it’s a huge secret. A secret so blasphemous its hardly uttered above a whisper, a secret the fact of which will be denied by vast numbers of boomer and senior humans, a secret so valuable I shouldn’t be giving it away but selling it on Oprah. This secret is so powerful it can move mountains-mountains of stuff. It is a secret that many will go to their graves having never discovered. The secret is …YOUR KIDS DON’T WANT YOUR STUFF!”

Diane says that if you’re saving your life’s accumulation of treasures for your kids – “forget it.” She notes that the assumption that  treasures of decades past will likewise be treasured by future generations is,  for the most part, a wrong assumption and often these “treasures” are viewed as a “burden drenched with all types of emotions.”

One of the hardest issues is helping clients deal with the emotional ties they have to their treasures. I remember my mother threatening my siblings and me to come pick up our basement boxes, including high school yearbooks and other precious memorabilia, by a certain date or she was throwing them out. We had packed them and gone off to college, never to retrieve. She figured if they were so important it was time they lived with us. This was a good strategy. If you have other people’s stuff (OPS as Diane calls it) have them get it out of your house. This is a great first step in the purging process.

To begin the decluttering  contemplate the following:

Downsizing is an emotionally draining process. In upcoming blogs I will share some tips on how to get organized to get rid of your stuff without the stress!

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