By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer
I had a wonderful conversation with a client the other day that I want to share with you because she shed valuable insight on the impact of decluttering your home… and what she said is so true!
I first met with my clients about six months ago. They asked me if I could assist them with discerning whether they should downsize or age in place.
I’ve developed a design process that helps clients determine which might be the best direction for them to take, so we went through my step-by-step process which included some preliminary designs for living in a smaller home and for aging in place in their current home.
Ultimately, they decided to age in place…
but before they could do that, it was quite apparent that they needed to declutter… a lot!
When I first walked through their home with them, there was the obvious clutter.
From too much of just about everything to furniture that had been passed down to them or inherited.
But would also become evident was their penchant for visiting…
- Antique shops
- Flea markets
- Resale shops
They knew that they didn’t need one more thing in their home, but in her words, “We can’t resist a good bargain!”
Their home was filled with knickknacks, collectibles of many kinds, old books, old records. You name it, they had it and they had collected so much stuff they probably could have started their own resale shop!
And in addition to having too much furniture and too many collectibles, they also had a room full of “good finds” from yard sale excursions they took each week.
Because they were both in their mid-60s and still in good health…
- They realized that one day one of them, or perhaps both of them, could have health issues that would prevent them from using the stairs on a regular basis.
- They knew they had to declutter before they could downsize and sell their home.
Together, we created a 3-month plan to declutter their entire home from top to bottom, week by week.
We use multiple decluttering methods to help them stay motivated and inspired for the 3-month decluttering journey.
Because we set a 3-month goal, because they were highly motivated, and because we created a week-by-week plan with milestones and accountability, they were able to accomplish their big goal of donating, selling, or disposing of much of their excess accumulation in just 3 months.
She was very proud of the fact that they had completed that huge task, and I was happy to have been able to assist them in accomplishing their goal. While the decluttering process was not easy, and it took a lot of hard work, they were committed and stuck with it so their house was ready to put on the market.
The funny thing was, the more they lived in their now-decluttered home, the more they fell in love with their “new” home all over again.
So, when she called me the other day, she said…
“Now that we’ve decluttered our home we don’t want to move!
We’ve decided to stay.
Will you please help us create plans for aging-in-place?”
This is why I love what I do! And that’s why I love my clients!
I just wanted to share what a day in the life of a designer is really like!