The Upside To Downsizing

Believe it or not, there is an upside to downsizing.  In addition to the benefits of getting organized in general, such as:

  • Reduced stress and frustration
  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased energy & productivity
  • Paying your bills on time

there is also an opportunity for you to start a more secure and socially active way of life with more free time and the ability to do more of the things you enjoy and things that are important to you.

When you downsize you reduce the amount of stuff you own.  In doing so, you may also find you have more space.  For example,  wouldn’t it be great if you could actually store your car in the garage! I can’t tell you how many clients I have that are simply unable to do that because of the all the “stuff” currently situated in that space.  Imagine that! Actually putting your car into a garage!

And let’s face it.  Many seniors need room to move around in a space.  Too much stuff creates barriers to safe living.

If barriers exist due to excess furniture and belongings, you’ll need to downsize your living space to reduce the amount of furniture in your home.

But scaling down from many rooms to just a few is a massive job.  What’s really important is the type and amount of furniture that will fit in your new space. There will be instances where some spaces may have to do double duty.  For instance, in your new home the living room may also have  to serve as your office or your craft room. This means looking for items for your home that are multi-functional, such as a console/sofa table that you can also use as your desk. You’ll need to be creative.

When it comes to downsizing, start with a single step.  If you love it, keep it, if you don’t, use the opportunity to let it go.

 Ultimately, downsizing is also the process of sorting through all kinds of stuff to determine what is most meaningful and important. By removing the clutter, the treasures that are most meaningful will have more space so they can be treasured EVEN MORE!!!



Many are doing it for a better quality of life.  So can you.  Are you up for the challenge?

Organizing a Pinball Workshop

This has to be one of my favorite projects to work on.  This wonderful gentleman with a great sense of humour called to say he really needed my  help with his workshop.  As a pinball hobbyist in his spare time he fixes and refurbishes pinball machines back from the time when I was growing up including the newer models of machines.  When I visited his basement workshop to assess the project, there were literally hundreds of tools and miscellaneous items strewn throughout the shop, various pinball machines in different stages of repair (or disrepair as the case may be) as well as tons of little parts, glass templates, schematics, and various household workshop items. It was virtually impossible for anyone to work in the space or let alone find anything.

Workshop Entry View Before Organizing

 As we began the process of sorting items, we came upon dozens of items for which there were doubles, triplicates and more.  All  because this gentleman couldn’t see what he owned, so he just kept buying more of what he thought he needed. I’ve never seen so many utility knives and screw drivers in one workshop before!  By the end of our project, my client had generously donated literally hundreds of dollars of tools to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  Of course, part of this process of sorting and categorizing provided me with a pretty good education in  pinball machine parts one could only dream of.  In fact, I dreamt of pinball flippers, thumper bumper parts, coils, bulbs, fuses, ball bearings, springs and more! Of course, the goal for this project was to have every item sorted, categorized and contained so that my client could see exactly what he had for tools, parts and accessories. This took a lot of planning and a clear vision for the outcome.

The end result was pretty spectacular given that we were working within a budget and making every attempt to use containers that were already available to us in the space.  We did need to purchase shelving for the shop as well as a number of specific containers, but overall cost for products was less than $250.00.  At the end of  the last session when I was completing the final set up, my client asked that he be led into the room with his eyes closed just like on television. Upon entering the room and opening his eyes his reaction could not have been any better.  After a couple of  “omigods” and “wows”  from both him and his wife, they could not seem to believe their eyes. Workshop After Organizing

 This was the first time I actually received goosebumps from a client’s reaction.  Maybe I should have them all come in with their eyes closed! It was great and they are thrilled.  And even better than that?  He invited me to play a game of pinball on one of his refurbished machines.  I scored over 100,000 points (probably not too exciting for most people) and it brought me back to my teenage days. And today he sent me an email saying he was moving into his workshop he loved it that much! Goosebumps, pinball, happy clients…..what more could I ask for!?  When was the last time your clients gave you goosebumps?

Downsizing for Seniors

Downsizing is a tough process in and of itself. For seniors, taking the plunge is even harder. One thing to make it easier it to remove the guilt factor. Although you may feel you’re the one who has to be the keeper of all heirlooms in the family, there are other options. Perhaps there are other family members who would like some of the heirlooms you are closeting in your home, especially if you are in fact storing them as opposed to using them. In sharing with other family members you can feel secure in knowing that they really want them and will be the one to inherit them. I recently did this myself with some items that my father had given to me before he moved back to Amsterdam. I no longer had a physical place to store them, and knowing that they always have a place in my heart made it easier for me to share the items with others in the family who would be in a position to enjoy them more. And remember, the item is not the memory. The memory lives within you, not in the item itself.

Downsizing And Discovery

If you’re downsizing as a result of an impending move, and you’ve lived a long time with plenty of space, when you sort through and begin culling your belongings it might well become a trip down memory lane. Many of my clients find unfinished crochet or knitting projects, unused art supplies and such along the way. This often provides inspiration to return to hobbies that have been lost. When this happens, I suggest that you create a special nook just for your hobby, such as finding a place for your easel or weaving rack in your new home. Bring these wonderful creative activities back to a place of prominence in your life by giving them a prominent place in your new space.