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Rightsizing What You Own

Right-sizing is used in the business world when executives speak of reducing or restructuring. It’s defined as converting something to a more appropriate or optimum size. Let’s make 2022 the year you begin to right-size! Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

1. Begin with the easy stuff. Eliminate anything that is broken, damaged, or no longer wanted. Eliminating by picking this “low hanging fruit” helps to build momentum for tackling the “harder-to-decide on” items later.

2. Take the magician test. Ask yourself, “If this disappeared tomorrow, would I run out and replace it?” And, if the answer is no, then it’s not really worth keeping.

3. Don’t be a storage unit for others. If friends or relatives have left things for you to store, it’s time to ask them to pick up their possessions. You may need to be tough and set a firm deadline, after which you will donate the items to charity.

4. Ask for help. Although you can do much of this work yourself, family members, good friends, or even a professional organizer can help make the job more manageable.

5. Decide what’s important. Pretend you are moving to another country, and you can only take a limited number of items because of shipping costs. From that perspective, the items you choose to keep will be those that matter most to you.

6. Keep it current. Ask yourself, am I holding on to clothing or equipment to participate in a lifestyle that I no longer live? If you have three cabinets full of plastic containers, pots and pans, but these days you only cook for one or two people, it is reasonable to eliminate some of these items.

7. Schedule right-sizing like it’s a part-time job. Select a regular time each week — or several days a week — to work on eliminating clutter. Realize that right-sizing is a life-changing marathon, not a sprint. You did not accumulate everything overnight and you will not right-size overnight.

8. Value what you keep. The fewer things you keep, the more you will treasure and enjoy what you have. These will be the meaningful items that have earned a space in your home.

9. Prevent new collections from forming. Instead of material gifts, ask people to spoil you by sharing time and enjoying new experiences together.

10. Use age to your advantage. Have you earmarked items for family or friends? Well, this is a great time to give those items to the family and friends you eventually want to have them. Take photos of your loved ones holding their treasured gifts and create a memory book. This serves as a powerful reminder of your most cherished possessions while also leaving a photographic legacy for those special people in your life.

Realtor Tricia Winborn is a seniors’ real estate specialist with Keller Williams Home Realty. She can be reached at, or 248.266.5628.

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