Don’t Agonize, Get Organized!

Downsizing Across Generations

We All have our lists…

The energy absorbing lists – organizing our physical space, our headspace and juggling personal administration can be daunting. For many of us in the “sandwich generation” it’s not just our lists, it’s our parents and our children too. Thinking over all the pieces and executing on them efficiently with positivity is attainable though. With a little help from our friends at The Downsizers. 

We were fortunate to have Elizabeth Hirsh and Jennifer Harris of The Downsizers join us for Purpose & Power to lend their expertise on downsizing across generations and we thought we’d share some top takeaways from the evening. 

YOU MIGHT NEED MORE THAN ONE BOX

Start Small and Start Simple

Whether you are downsizing a whole house or tackling one room, don’t start with something that holds a lot of emotion which can ultimately cause unneeded stress. Do start with something small and simple – much like working within your  financial plan, consistent steps forward add up to a completing a larger task at hand. 

Generational Phases

Different challenges in managing “stuff” present as you move through life. Open a dialogue with your family to be proactive about understanding parent’s wishes for aging and downsizing and how to work through transitions. Lean on resources such as The Downsizers for move management and Erickson Now Transitions, a proactive approach to ensuring a smooth transfer of an estate to help execute family plans. 

Emotionally Attached? 

Find a good home for the object. If it’s something you love or your parents love but cannot keep, remembering that someone might need it or want to give it a good home is helpful in letting go. 

Things you can do ahead – baby steps

  • Send your photos off to be scanned. Companies like ScanCafe can take care of the labor of scanning and the result is something the entire family can enjoy. 
  • Look for duplicates and weed them out – the kitchen is a good place to start…do you really need three cheese graters?
  • Treasured collections – if the interest is gone in that snow globe collection, it’s probably time to let it move to a new home. 

Offices and Files 

Could your family find important papers if they needed to? Cleaning out offices and file cabinets are best done with guidelines – both from your professional downsizer and yourself or family member. That way you can trust the process, the guidelines keep everyone on track and you build out the best organization for your files from the start. Reach out to Jennifer for help with this one!

Paper

Jennifer Harris brought us home with her wise words, “stacks of paper are postponed decisions”. Jennifer, a former CPA, has developed a process for building your organizational system vision and paper management that gets to the heart of what we are always looking for: Self-care! Getting rid of paper really is self-care because what isn’t cluttering your space isn’t cluttering your mind. So, tackle that loathed stack of paper on the counter and give yourself some space to breath!

Organization starts here.

Pulling all the pieces of your financial life together in one place with an investment strategy designed just for you. 

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