Stuck at home? Start decluttering!

Maris Grove Personal Moving Consultant provides tips for decluttering.

Of all the tasks associated with moving, downsizing can seem the most daunting. Sorting a lifetime’s worth of possessions takes time. It also can be emotional, because we associate items with people and events that mean something to us.

Due to the recent COVID-19 situation, many people have contacted Jan Schecter, Maris Grove’s Personal Moving Consultant, about making a move the Erickson Living managed and developed senior living community in Glen Mills, Pa., to ensure they are in a community where needed services and safety measures are in place.

Schecter says, “Now is the best time to get a handle on organizing and downsizing, so you can be in a position to easily make a move when you are ready. We’re all following stay-home directives, so you have an excellent opportunity to make real progress without the pressure of a firm deadline.”

Top tips for decluttering

Schechter says that decluttering has multiple benefits. “You want the highest sales price for your home and to simplify your move,” she says. “Decluttering helps you accomplish both. Buyers will be able to envision themselves living in the space, and you’ll take only things you love and need to your new home.” She reminds everyone that your home is your most valuable asset. “The box that holds all your stuff—your house—is worth more than everything in it. What you’ll get for your used furniture is tiny in comparison, so focus on making your house look its best.”

Here are her top tips for getting through the process:

1. Imagine your new living space: Think about the rooms you’ll have in your new home, and get rid of the stuff in the rooms you won’t. If there’s no den, you won’t need that extra couch.

2. Start small: Leave the garage, basement, and attic till last. Start with a small space you can complete relatively quickly.

3. Work on it daily: Think of it as your part-time job, and show up ready to work a minimum number of hours each day. If you’re motivated to put in some “overtime,” even better.

4. Box by category: Keep, Trash, Donate, and Sell. Clearly mark each box, its contents, and its final destination. Group boxes by category for easy identification.

5. No “maybe” piles: Each item gets a yes or a no, or you’ll have to downsize again after you move.

6. Keep one, toss one: If you have duplicates, give away the extras. How many can openers and cookie sheets do you really need?

7. Apply the six months rule: If you haven’t used or worn it in six months, you probably never will. Don’t box and cart it to your new home. Let it go.

8. Take time to reminisce: Things spark memories, so enjoy those as you sort. But don’t hold on to things unnecessarily. Memories, not stuff, are what matters.

9. Keep the best, leave the rest: If you’re a collector or have tons of family mementos, retain the items with the highest monetary or sentimental value. Take photos of the rest. Create a real or digital album that you can view any time. It won’t take up space, and your collectibles won’t sit in boxes.

“These tips can help you complete this project in a timely, methodical, and practical way,” says Schechter. “Don’t think of it as leaving things behind, but as getting ready for a new, exciting phase of your life.” She adds, “Decluttering your home declutters your life. You might find it freeing to be rid of stuff you don’t use anymore. Go at the pace that works for you, and make progress every day.”

People moving to Maris Grove have direct access to Erickson Realty and Moving Services. This special program offers complimentary coordination of all realty and moving needs, including downsizing, home staging, packing, and choosing a real estate agent. Personal Moving Consultant Jan Schechter will help guide you through the entire process.

Call 1-800-520-2916 to learn more about how Jan Schechter can help you with your move to Maris Grove.

About Maris Grove: Maris Grove, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 87-acre campus in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,900 residents and 1,000 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information about Maris Grove can be found at MarisGroveCommunity.com.