My siblings and I banded together to help my 78 and 83 year old parents downsize to a smaller 2150 square foot ranch (bigger than my house) a few weeks ago. One of the main purposes in moving from a house they loved, but which they knew they couldn’t stay in long term, was so they’d be forced to purge some of their possessions. Mom and Dad have their own set of “crap” and neither wanted to deal with the other persons stuff so the thought was they’d be forced to get rid of a lot of it in the process of moving.
Things didn’t go according to plan. The house sold 4 days after being put on the market (they receivied four offers, two over their asking price). The details of the deal were finalized as they left for their annual month-long trip to Florida. They returned to their Amherst home to start frantically packing and ended up closing and moving less than a month later. Needless to say, they didn’t have time to sort their belongings and instead packed and moved most of them. As my siblings, husband, brother-in-law and I hauled boxes out one door and into another we all vowed to purge our own belongings long before we got to my parents’ age.
I recently came across this great online article entitled: Organizing is Turning You Into a Hoarder and it really hit home with me. In the past, my husband’s solution to having too much stuff was to go out and buy more totes and shelving units to store it. I’d hit my limit a while back and decided maybe we should get rid of some items, but he hadn’t hit his. I’m hoping the experience of moving my parent’s “useless” stuff will hit a chord with him and make him rethink his strategy.