In Death Do We Inherit

In Death Do We Inherit

My Dad passed away about two months ago which I shared with you in my last blog, In Death Do We Organize.Now, it's another take on this whole experience, In Death Do We inherit!

Some of you folks, have lots to potentially inherit; money, cars, homes, stocks, etc., and that is great, for you. But, there are many of us that don't have a pile of stuff coming our way, in fact, more than many. I'm one of those who inherited a few precious items from a few precious possessions. And make no mistake, I am so grateful!

See this picture of Saint Nickolas? That's a very old doll, over 100 years old, from the Swedish side of my Mom's family. Boy, do I remember every Christmas seeing him come out of the tissue paper for a few months of holiday. When I was a child, I was scared of Saint Nick, as an adult, he still freaks me out a bit! LOL Yet he is FABULOUS! 

I remember to this day, the moment when my Father said in front of my sister, Janet, (thank goodness) that HE would be MINE. WOW, I felt then I won the lotto! And still feel so fortunate to have this amazing family treasure.

Next, you'll see a little basic cordial glass of absolutely no value. But, it's the memory of this that takes my heart away.

My Mom was a heavy smoker, (menthol, Salem Lights), and never stopped until the final last years.

However, her way of self medicating was to fill this little glass with maple syrup and as she stated,

"It will coat my throat so I won't cough as much."  Now the medical establishment may disagree with Mom here, and as a kid I used to think, really? But I still see her sipping out of this glass while doing dishes at the sink, her yellow Playtex gloved hand holding carefully not to slip.

This Holiday Season, no matter what you own, may you embrace beautiful and hilarious memories and inherit them in your heart forever. 

Happy Holidays!

Written by: JD Farley, Project Manager

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Too much storage!!! Is there such a thing? 

Too much storage!!! Is there such a thing? 

Yes, this is a real issue.

A big selling point to any living space is how much storage there is.  The reality is that we like our stuff and need a place for our stuff.  There is nothing wrong with that.  I moved to a new home last February and was so excited about the walk-in closet.  Having all my clothes (and my husband’s) in one closet and able to see them all, feels so great. 

Not having enough storage is a very common issue but over the years I see more and more cases of too much available storage space.  You may be asking how is that not a great thing?  Here is what I have observed as a professional organizer…

Too much storage can…

  • Make it difficult to find what you are looking for as there are more options to where it could be.

  • Increases the volume of stuff you purchase since space is not an issue.  A side effect of this is you increase waste as many bulk items may expire before they get used or you forget you have them and buy more.

  • Create more clutter – excess surface space just gives you more room to create “piles” that just stare at you and make you want to run away. 

  • Cause procrastination in downsizing.  Out of sight, out of mind….until you have to move and end up doing a stressful crash downsizing session or paying movers to move things you do not need or want.

These are just a few of the negative consequences of too much storage.  I’m sure you can come up with more once you start thinking about it.  You can acquire stuff to fill your storage or create storage to fit your stuff.  I am a big supporter of the later.  There are so many creative ways to create storage space when it is needed.  And a good purging session can take so much weight off the shoulders!

So, what is your situation?  Do you have just the right amount of storage?  Are there cabinets, closets, rooms that you have no idea what you would find in there?  Do you need to get those creative juices flowing (either yours or a professional organizers) and get smarter with the little storage you have? Come up with a plan and take action today – it will be well worth it.

 

By Jennifer Gowler, Project Manager 

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In Death Do We Organize

In Death Do We Organize

There are times when our organizational work requires an added element of care, especially when a family member has passed. Recently, this happened to me.

My father, Peter, passed at at 90 years young, seven years after my Mom. He had a good run and died as they say, with his boots on.  My sister, Janet, still living in the house was  paralyzed on how to move forward through all of Dads stuff. Though I consider myself a professional organizer, it hit differently in my own circumstance, my own family.


But, I put my Org & Relo hat on and dug in. It was truly a moving and therapeutic experience.
We all grieve differently, however I decided that being in action was needed for my healing. I guided my sister  through each room, drawer, closet and corner of the house. We sorted, purged, categorized and put aside Dad’s gems for family members to keep and cherish. It’s so much easier with someone who knows what they are doing by your side! We got through this process together and she is so grateful. In fact, the entire family is because no one else was able either by distance or health issues. 


As a Organization and Relocation Project Manager, please allow me to be by your side not only during difficult but any huge transitional times. I and our team will help you move forward too.

Written by: JD Farley, Project Manager, Professional Organizer

 

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The Not So EMPTY Empty Nest

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One of the issues that comes up with the empty nest situation is what to do with the belongings of a child who is slightly nomadic but still needs a home base to store things. I have two at the moment and I have come up with a pretty good system to keep things orderly and accessible.

The first thing I do is wrangle them to spend at least half a day with me systematically going through their items and sorting into piles of keep, donate, and archive. I like to use The Container Store’s Deep Sweater box for clothing and larger items, and their regular Sweater Box for smaller things. Labeling with a label maker is essential to the process which makes it much easier to locate specific items. We then put the bins in a closet of their designated room, and then archival items we place in our storage room. It goes without saying that this process requires occasional editing and more purging.

We have found that this process makes it easy for them to either call me from the road and send them certain items, or when they do return they have a much easier time finding that flannel shirt they love.

Written By: Leslie Dietrich, Project Manager, Professional Organizer

The Older You Get, The Less Stuff You Need

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I cannot seem to remember exactly where I heard this, but I recently read an article that made me think about the elderly and how much “stuff” they hold onto and why they should let most of it go. In order to achieve this necessary step in downsizing, you will need to identify what items bring you happiness and in order to achieve this, you will first need to define what makes you happy.

One thing I read was that when elderly people begin downsizing their belongings, they should not only hire a professional organizer to help facilitate this transition, but they should also keep a memory box/container of items that is known as their “throw out” box. As sad as it sounds, we all are going to eventually pass away and when that time comes, we don’t want our families to have to go through all of our belongings while trying to mourn their loss, so why not make it easier for them to enjoy the happy memories? This idea of the “throw out” box is as simple as it sounds - make a box dedicated to items/memories that only you, yourself, hold onto because of personal feelings or reasons you never shared with anyone else, that way when you are no longer with us, that will be the one box that your family knows won’t hurt your feelings if they just threw it out!

Also, another good tip would be to create bins for each person whom you want your belongings to live with :)

Whether your next phase in life is downsizing into a smaller home, moving into assisted living, or passing away - you shouldn’t have to worry about all of your “stuff” weighing you down!

Written by: Lindsay Gomez, Professional Organizer

What to do when the kids leave but their stuff stays?!

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One of the issues that comes up with the empty nest situation is what to do with the belongings of a child who is slightly nomadic but still needs a home base to store things. I have two at the moment and I have come up with a pretty good system to keep things orderly and accessible.

The first thing I do is wrangle them to spend at least half a day with me systematically going through their items and sorting into piles of keep, donate, and archive. I like to use The Container Store’s Deep Sweater box for clothing and larger items, and their regular Sweater Box for smaller things. Labeling with a label maker is essential to the process which makes it much easier to locate specific items. We then put the bins in a closet of their designated room, and then archival items we place in our storage room. It goes without saying that this process requires occasional editing and more purging.

We have found that this process makes it easy for them to either call me from the road and send them certain items, or when they do return they have a much easier time finding that flannel shirt they love.

Written By: Leslie Dietrich

Downsizing your SPACE, Up sizing your WORLD

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If you had said to me ten years ago, I'd be living in a 1,014 square foot condo in a HIGH RISE no less, I would have fallen of my chair! What? Really?

Yes, really.

Much has been written about downsizing, the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of leaving the familiar, the steady, the home.

Yet, on the other side of this coin, treasures many have not dreamed of, I certainly didn't, are there for the taking.

We brought up our sons in suburban Connecticut, not far from the high school. WE had gardens, land, an outdoor shower, (yes, I miss that a lot), a basement, an attic and lots and lots of stuff. A typical American family rising two kids with all the accoutrements, paraphernalia, things; sports equipment, school items, toys, games, you name it, along the way during those precious years. 

Then the kids hit the college scene, grew up faster than my heart could take, secured jobs, their own insurance (YES!) and the family home, became a little sad, a little lonely, though still safe for my way of being.

When my husband got a job offer to Denver, we thought, how can we leave this place? How can we? But we did!

As the years went by, from the lovely Eastern home in Connecticut to our fabulous Western pad in Denver, the "things' we thought were so precious began to fade, began to become heavy. 

One by one, year by year, we starting shredding, keeping the things we LOVE, USE and TRULY WANT.  And you know what? The freedom from our stuff has given us freedom for so much more! 

Rather than raking leaves, we hit the art museums! Rather than shovel snow, we are skiing!  Rather than cleaning out the garage, we are playing golf!! 

I treasure our magnificent years in Connecticut and still get teary eyed at those fantastic memories. But, my husband and I decided that WE, must make new memories and see our beautiful world in a bigger way, and I'm so glad we did. 

By: JD Farley, Project Manager & Professional Organizer