Plan Your Move with Tiny steps
I’m reading the book “One Small Step Can Change Your Life – The Kaizen Way“by Robert Maurer. The book talks about making small, sometimes tiny steps to make major changes in your life. I began to think about this in how real estate could use this book. One such way is to use this happens when someone needs to sell their family home. You know the one, it’s the one that they have lived for 40 or 50 years; the one that’s loaded with possessions, let alone memories, of those many years. What often stops people in their tracks is the thought of having to sift through everything. It is overwhelming.
By taking tiny steps, changes can be made in our mental thought patterns according to Maurer. Why not do the same thing with your house? When we have too much to tackle it’s easy to become paralyzed with fear and the thought of selling the family home can be frightening.
Where to begin?
You begin with one small step. Start with one room at a time. Take one corner of that room and begin. Sort your items and make four piles of things.
- Pile One: items to keep
- Pile Two: items to give to family or friends
- Pile Three: items to donate
- Pile Four: items to throw away.
Before you throw anything away bring the family in and let them see what you want to throw out, just in case. There might be a treasure in there that someone wants, even though you don’t.
This first small step, and first corner may take a while to complete. No worry. Take your time and once you’ve finished that corner, move to the next and the next and finally the last corner. Hopefully, the middle of the room is now filled with the four piles and then you take the next step.
Throw out the junk. Donate the items in that corner. Have the family take their items away with them. Finally pack the items you want to keep into boxes. Label the boxes and have them put into your garage for the move.
Repeat this process with each room of your home. As you move around your house it will become a little easier with each room. You’ll have a clear idea of what is in that space. What you want to keep and what you don’t. Continue on with the same four piles and clear out each room as you go.
Be ruthless. If you are downsizing you can’t take everything with you so you must decide exactly what it is you want to keep. What furniture will fit in your new home? What pictures and knickknacks. What will go and what will not.
The two year rule
A good rule to follow in this process of thinning down your life is the two year rule. Have you used this item, garment, kitchen utensil, pot or pan within the past two years? Yes? Keep it. No? Out it goes into one of the three piles for family, donation or garbage.
This whole process takes time. If you are getting ready to sell the family home, begin this process well in advance of putting your home up on the market. Your friendly Realtor will tell you to get rid of clutter and the earlier you can do this the more you’ll be able to do this with thought and consideration . If you can have another pair or two of hands to help, a child or friend or spouse, it may go a little faster. But more than that, it will be a wonderful time to reminisce about old times when you used that thing and tell family stories.
One small step at a time in the house clearing process not only makes it more manageable but relaxing and maybe even a little fun. Sure you may shed a tear here or there, but you also will have laughter and conversations about your life’s memories in your family home.
After all, this move will allow you to shed the burden of things and possessions and let you move into your new home with everything you really want and that really means the most to you. What an uplifting feeling!