By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

As a single mom who raised two teenage boys many years ago, I certainly heard many very creative excuses in my lifetime.

  • Why homework wasn’t done in time…
  • Why chores weren’t even started…
  • Why mowing the lawn wasn’t nearly as important as talking to a girlfriend…

In my own lifetime, I’ve certainly made enough of my own excuses.

  • Why I couldn’t get to the gym…
  • Why an important project needed to wait until the last minute…
  • Why it’s so hard to lose those extra Covid pounds…

And when it comes to downsizing and decluttering our homes, we baby boomers are so full of excuses!

  • Why we hold onto things we don’t want need or use…
  • Why it’s too hard to get started…
  • Why it’s okay to put off downsizing and decluttering just a little while longer…

Let’s face it! We all make excuses.

We all create our own reasons and rationale for why we can’t, shouldn’t, or don’t do something.

We create excuses to defend our thoughts, our behavior, our actions, or lack of actions.

But there comes a time when you just get fed up with the endless excuses and lack of action!

 

You want to downsize and declutter

You want that simpler life with less.

  • Where you have more time and freedom to do what you want when you want.
  • Where you have more flexibility and mobility to travel, visit family and friends, start a new business.
  • Where you have less stuff… and more life!

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You also realize that as a baby boomer the clock is ticking

You want to downsize and declutter before it’s too late!

 

You’re ready to stop making excuses and just stop procrastinating

You’re ready to do whatever it takes to downsize and declutter so you can begin living that simpler life you dream of.

 

How to get a jumpstart on your downsizing and decluttering journey

1.    Extreme Packing parties

I will give you a brief overview of how to create them towards the end of this blog post.

 

2.    No excuse guide to downsizing and decluttering: What is an extreme packing party?

You’ve decided to sell your home.

You’re downsizing to a much smaller home. You’re excited!

Family and friends hear about it and say, let me know if I can help in any way.

But you say, thanks, but I’ve got this!

 

You get started downsizing and decluttering.

You’re on a roll, 3 to 4 weeks into your downsizing and decluttering journey you hit a wall!

  • You’re physically and emotionally exhausted.
  • You’re overwhelmed. You had no idea that you had accumulated so much stuff over all those years.
  • Your realtor calls. There’s a full price offer on your home.

 

You find yourself saying, I need help! And I need a huge jumpstart NOW.

You are crunched for a time now, so you humbly call those friends and family who had offered to help and invite them to your Extreme Packing Party. When they ask what that is, just tell them to dress casually and be ready to roll up their sleeves, but promise them it will be fun and there will be food and wine afterward.

Read this: How to Make Decluttering Easy, Effective, and Fun

Pick several dates and times for your multiple Extreme Packing Parties.

Let your friends and family know that you will be packing for 3 to 4 hours and then you’ll have food and plenty of time for conversation.

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Invite just 3 to 4 people for each packing party. Too many create chaos. Remember that you will be managing this project, so fewer at a time is better.

Pick an area or a few areas of your home that you have already removed items you don’t want, need, or use. You’ve already decluttered that area and all that remains are the items that you will definitely be taking with you to your new home.

 

When the day of your extreme packing party arrives:

Have food and drinks prepared in a separate area of your home.

Have the areas to be worked on prepared with these materials.

  • Boxes of several different sizes
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper, bubble wrap
  • Large strong trash bags
  • Markers

 

When guests arrive, show them the areas to be worked on i.e. garage shelves, dining room cabinets, and kitchen cabinets.

Designate one task for each person, i.e. pack all china, crystal, and silver.

  • Show them how you would like them to mark the boxes, i.e. dining room, china, etc.

 

Set the timer for 3 to 4 hours or until each area is complete.

When finished, put all boxes in one area of that room so that when the movers stage the boxes on the truck, it will be easier to deliver them to the correct rooms.

The next part is easy. Enjoy the food, friendship, conversation, and memories.