Spring into action

April is the perfect time to clear the clutter and get a fresh start

Created date

March 19th, 2020
Vera Ballard is the personal moving consultant for Erickson Realty and Moving Services, a free service offered exclusively to Charlestown priority list members designed to help them sell their homes.

Vera Ballard is the personal moving consultant for Erickson Realty and Moving Services, a free service offered exclusively to Charlestown priority list members designed to help them sell their homes.

It’s spring! The flowers are blooming! The birds are singing! The basement is waiting? Yes, that’s right! The basement you have been avoiding for the last decade, stuffed with things from the last thirty years is calling your name. More and more Baby Boomers are tackling the job of downsizing their living spaces. So, this spring, while you’re cleaning your windows and packing away your winter clothes, it’s also a good time to go through those boxes hidden away in storage and get organized!

But where do you start? 

As Charlestown’s personal moving consultant, one of the questions people ask Vera Ballard more than any other is how do you start cleaning out a house you’ve lived in for 30, 40, or even 50 years? 

As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The key is to start small. Then, whether you one day plan on downsizing to a more manageable home, relocating to a retirement community like Charlestown, or retiring and traveling abroad, the hard work will already be behind you.

Tips and tricks

Here are some tips from Ballard to help you get started:

Plan to only spend one hour each day sorting through things. Sorting through stacks of boxes and stuff can be stressful and emotional. Don’t overdo it!  

Stay organized by sorting things into five groups: items to keep, items to be sold, items for charity, items for family members, items to throw out.

As you box up things, make a running list to post on the outside of the box so you know exactly what’s inside without opening it and removing the contents.

Figuring what to keep can be a challenge. If you already have plans to move, it’s helpful to get a floor plan of your new space with measurements of each room. This will help you determine what you can comfortably fit. (Arranging your new space is Ballard’s specialty! She is happy to help you with your new Charlestown apartment.)

If you can’t decide on what to do with an item, set it aside until you can give it further thought.

Arrange for an estate sales agent to hold a sale for those items you would like to sell. Or try selling items on eBay or through local consignment shops where they sell your items and you receive a percentage of the sold price. 

Make a list of all the heirlooms and items you would like to stay in the family. Send each family member a list asking them to mark which thing they would be interested in and send it back to you. Then organize a family get-together so you can distribute your things. Be sure to share your memories before giving them the item, so they know and understand its importance. This will help them appreciate your generosity even more.

Dispose of items you plan to throw out gradually. This way you’re not overwhelmed with bags and bags of trash to remove all at once. 

Take pictures of important things you will leave behind. This might make the ‘letting go’ process much easier.

Remember why you’re organizing. The goal is to simplify your life. So, whether you’re just toying with the idea of downsizing or ready to box up everything and hit the road, getting a head start on organizing will pay off in the long run.  

And if after all that spring cleaning, it turns out you are ready to move to Charlestown, Ballard can help simplify every aspect of your move. She will introduce you to the network of Erickson Living-preferred real estate agents and movers who have helped hundreds of retirees relocate to Charlestown and will assess your individual needs to make your move to Charlestown effortless and stress-free.

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