I recently drove past a car detailing establishment in Huntingdon Valley, when the message on its sign board attracted my attention: “True wisdom is knowing when to let go!” The words, which were almost hanging in air for every passerby to read, were the perfect message after a long and full day.
Now I’m sure that if I took a poll of the people who actually read this message, I would get a variety of different impressions as to what it meant to them. But for me, a certified senior move manager who helps individuals make good downsizing and organizing decisions, it was like manna from heaven, especially if I add “of your stuff” to it.
Over the past 10 years of offering transition services to our clients, I’ve encountered lots of stuff. Sometimes the stuff needs to be “let go” for safety reasons or to simplify one’s life, remembering the adage “less is more.” But for most of our clients, the reason to purge decades of possessions is motivated by a need to prepare a house for sale and move into a smaller residence. For many, this task of “letting go” is daunting and challenging, one that can become emotional and seem endless. And that’s when a “Stuff Strategy” is needed.
To make the process of “letting go of your stuff” easier, I offer a few suggestions:
• Eliminate what you don’t like, want or need. Lighten the emotional load by finding another good home for items by asking your family and friends if they would like some of your possessions.
• Host a gifting party for family, neighbors and friends. It’s a fun way to have your treasures disappear.
• Sell selected things. Research and work with reputable dealers, auctioneers and consignment shops to achieve a return on your investment. Don’t be disappointed if your items don’t bring in the amount you expected or sell at all. The market is saturated with china, collectibles, books, etc. for which there is little to no demand. It’s basic economics 101: the price of an item is determined by the law of supply and demand. You may quickly determine that there isn’t much of a demand for your things.
• Donate, recycle, repurpose. There are many local charities, some of which offer free pickup services, and online groups, like Freecycle.org, that can assist you. Don’t forget animal shelters. They are especially grateful for used blankets and towels. Libraries may accept books for their own fundraising purposes.
• Discard household hazard waste (hazmat) and obsolete technology responsibly. The following websites can help: Hazmat events: montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/12953; computer recycling: montcopa.org/1950/Computers; TV/monitor recycling: montcopa.org/2019/Televisions.
• Have PECO pick up your old, working fridge or freezer, recycle it and send you $50: peco.com/WaysToSave/ForYourHome/Pages/Recycling.aspx.
• Take sensitive paper documents to community shredding events, many of which are free, for proper destruction.
Summer is the perfect time to sort through and purge your stuff. Happy “Letting Go”!
Marlene Stocks is the owner of Senior Transition Services, a senior move management company based in Huntingdon Valley. As a certified senior move manager, Stocks provides her clients and their families “peace of mind” by managing every detail of the client’s move, as well as their content removal needs. Senior Transition Services has proudly served 750 families in the five-county area and South Jersey since 2008. Senior-Transition-Services.com; 215-947-5490.