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Jump-Start Your Spring Cleaning

It’s spring break and if you’re anything like me and not taking a break, here are some simple yet effective tips to jump-start your spring cleaning.

Granted not everyone likes to clean but a couple of times a year it’s necessary to tackle some big projects. So whether you hire it done or you are the cleaning lady, make a list this week of 5 things you should do around your house and get busy.

5 ideas to jump-start your spring cleaning

  1. Wipe down your kitchen cabinets and appliances – whether you have painted or stained cabinets, they can get pretty grungy after a few weeks. Use a good cleaner or lemon oil and wipe down the outsides of all your cabinets. Clean your knobs and pulls as well. Then tackle your appliances. Take your stove apart, clean the oven and do the same with your refrigerator.
  2. Clean your baseboards all through your house. This includes moving the furniture away from the walls and getting behind there. If you have pets, you’ll be surprised how much pet hair is trapped.
  3. Wash your throw rugs, furniture throws and store them away for spring and summer.
  4. Shampoo your carpets or have them professionally cleaned. If you need a referral to a professional carpet cleaner, contact me here.
  5. Open your windows and let some fresh air in and stale air out. Clean your window sills and wipe down your blinds – one slat at a time.

Those are the 5 things I do every year. You can copy from me or create your own 5 projects to jump-start your spring cleaning. Either way, keeping your home clean is not only good for your health but your house will love you for it as well.

Once you get these big things out of the way, the rest of the spring cleaning will naturally fall into place.

The faster you get this done, the more time you will have for fun stuff. What will you do to reward yourself for a job well done? I’m having lunch with friends, making a carrot cake with my granddaughter, Brooklyn, and vintage shopping, of course.

If you have any questions, you can call or text me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

How to Declutter to Downsize Collections

When it comes to declutter to downsize collections, I mean anything you have too much of. It doesn’t have to be a collection of Beanie Babies or the like. Merriam-Webster defines collections as something collected…especially an accumulation of objects gathered for study, comparison, or exhibition or as a hobby.

Probably if you are attempting to declutter to downsize collections, it also helps to know WHY you have accumulated these things. Is it for study, comparison, exhibition or is it just a hobby? It’s obviously the feelings you get from having them. Whether it’s feelings of joy, pride, happiness, success or the complete opposite feelings of the fear of not having them is for you to figure out.

First of all, I’m not here to criticize you for any feelings you have about any of your collections. What I do know is that if you are on this journey of declutter to downsize, you cannot take it all with you. As a result, at some point, you have to let it go.

Many of you know, I have downsized twice and currently live in 800 square feet. I also laugh and say I have 2,000 square feet of stuff. I like my stuff and continue to add to my current stuff. There is not a week that goes by that I don’t buy something for my house. Shopping and decorating my house is my favorite hobby. I don’t collect for any other reason. Decorating for the current season also plays a big part in that. I especially love repurposing, reusing and recycling old things. Above all else at my house, everything has a place and everything stays in its place. When you have too much stuff, it has to be organized. Then we can call it organized clutter.

Declutter to Downsize Collections

The first step when you declutter to downsize is always to focus on the task at hand. That’s where so many people get sidetracked. It’s easy to start one thing and then find yourself doing something else.

For example, if you are sorting through your coffee cups, you decide to have a cup. While making the coffee, the mail comes and you take time to go through that. Then your coffee is ready and you sit down and look at the new magazine you got in the mail. Then you turn on the television. Three hours later you’re still watching your favorite Netflix show and you completely forgot you were sorting your coffee cups.

Does that ever happen to you? Certainly, it quickly becomes one of those days that’s over and you wonder where the time went.

Stay on task by first identifying the collection, start small, have a goal of how many items you are going to keep, and then focus. Ask yourself…how much space does this collection take up? And…can you make a decision about it now?

For example, if you have a stamp or record album collection, that might be very different than 50 pairs of shoes, or 100 Storybook Dolls. If it requires research or takes too much time, skip it today or this week altogether. Set it aside for another day. The House Weight Loss Plan is all about making quick decisions and creating a get rid of pile. Surely it’s easier to try on 50 pairs of shoes versus listening to 50 albums.

Some collections take longer than others to make a decision about!

Here are 5 easy ways to get it done:

  1. Take a before picture – or take smaller group pictures of the collection depending on what it is so you at least have a visual memory of it
  2. Remove everything from its container (drawer, bin, shelf, closet, etc.)
  3. Do a clean sweep into 2 piles – keep and don’t keep – you may have to come back to this a few times if your keep pile is bigger than your don’t keep
  4. Focus on putting the keep pile back into the container (if you have time, organize it)
  5. Decide whether the don’t keep pile is trash, donate, sell or give away and sort it accordingly

The object of the declutter to downsize session is to get rid of things you know you no longer want or need. If you are following The House Weight Loss Plan, on Facebook, you are doing a little each week to pare down your belongings. At this point, you are just trying to get rid of stuff. As always, don’t get hung up on your stuff. If you can’t make a decision, keep it. This is not rocket science. Some days you will be more willing to get rid of stuff than other days. It’s just the way it is. And if you’re not in the mood, watch some Netflix and come back to this tomorrow.

Case Study

I have a friend who is selling her house in September to move to Texas. She told me last week, she donated 29 coats to Goodwill – which Goodwill I wanted to ask as my love of coats in me was coming out. That’s progress! But she’s on a mission because she is selling her house. She knows she is moving to a warmer climate but she also knows how much and what kind of space she will have in her new place.

We actually sat down together last week and looked at her new floor plan. She is making decisions about what furniture pieces she will keep and what she will get rid of. For example, she currently has a formal dining room with a long 7-foot dining room table. Her new house doesn’t have a formal dining room and has an eat-in kitchen instead. Needless to say, she won’t be taking that table with her to Texas.

She also donated at least 30 pairs of shoes the week before last. Somewhat due to Covid, her lifestyle has changed as it has for most of us. Shoes she was wearing a year ago, she no longer wears. As much as she’s a shoe girl and loves her shoes, she also knows it’s pointless to pay to move things she no longer needs. Her lifestyle in Texas is going to be much different than her life here.

Your Declutter to Downsize Collections Goal

I donate things every week – some weeks more than others. As I collect new things, I let go of other things. There is a box in the trunk of my car. When I make a decision about getting rid of something, I move it to that box. I don’t think twice about it. Then when I’m in the area of a donation site, I stop and empty the box. If it no longer serves you, get rid of it. I promise you won’t miss it. Life is stuff. And it’s all stuff.

By the end of each week, you should have accomplished something. Have a goal to drop your donation items over the weekend. Get things in the trash by the end of the week. Call your friends and have them stop by on a certain day to pick up things they have said they wanted.

In other words, finish up your week every week. Don’t let one project bleed over into next week. Baby steps with start and finish goals is the way to win the race when decluttering to downsize.

Need More Assistance?

There are many people I help every week on a more personal basis. Needless to say, they all waited too long to start their declutter to downsize journey and now have health issues that prevent them from doing things on their own.

These are people who have no family in town and don’t want to ask their friends to help them sort through their kitchen cabinets. It’s a slow process but when I haul off a car load of stuff every time, it’s a great feeling for them. Some of these people I’ve been helping for a long time. They all have a vision for a life different than how they are living now. And most of them want to move out of town to be closer to family to live out their next chapter. Every week they make bigger decisions about getting rid of their stuff. They are slowly reaching their goals of living life differently.

Are you still wondering why you should declutter to downsize your home? Or are you of the camp that the kids can do it once you’re moved into “the home”? Believe me, if you leave your downsizing to your kids, you’ll be lucky to make it to the home. John Dutton and Rip will have you going to the train station for sure if you have that attitude. (That’s from Yellowstone if you haven’t watched it!)

Seriously, it’s your stuff. Step up and take care of it while you still can. It’s up to you how you want to be remembered, don’t let your legacy be tainted forever because you didn’t take responsibility for your job. Your kids will never, ever forgive you.

If you or someone you know needs help getting started on a plan to declutter to downsize their home, there are many options to choose from. Please call or text me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here. We start wherever you are in your journey and that’s different for everyone.

The Cost of Waiting to Downsize Your Home

In real estate there is always the cost of waiting. The biggest issue is because you’re not ready. The same holds true for downsizing baby boomers. You tell yourself you’re not ready to move yet. In all actuality, you’re not even close to being ready to move.

I talk about this all the time. It’s the 3 phases of selling your home. Most of the selling your home process is in getting ready. And it takes the average baby boomer months to be ready.

When the Cost of Waiting Becomes Urgent

On the 4th of July, I had a call before 9:00 a.m. from a lady that wanted to know if I could meet with her within the next hour. Those calls are the desperate downsizers that will end up doing the wrong thing, with the wrong people if they aren’t careful.

So, in an effort to save her from her own self, I agreed to stop by her house at 10:30 for an initial paid consultation.

The No Surprise Consultation

Nothing surprises me. After all, I’ve been selling real estate for 35 years and doing home staging for 15 years. When I ask people how ready they are to put the for sale sign in the yard, they always lie. Well, they don’t mean to lie. They just aren’t being realistic or honest with themselves. They usually tell me on a scale of 1-10, they are around a 7 or 8. That number better represents how many months or sometimes years it’s going to take for them to really be ready to put the sign in the yard.

This lady was ready though. It was like she woke up that morning and a bolt of lightning shot through her. When I asked how she found me she said she googled how to get started downsizing and there I was.

Yep. I’m here, there, and everywhere. I’ve done it, I currently live large in a small space and I am settled in for my final chapter. The question is, are you?

Just a Typical Baby Boomer

Linda was no different than anyone else her age. She was still in the big 2 story, in south Overland Park. She’d been there for over 20 years and her house was loaded. There was a path from the front door into the kitchen. She told me over the phone that the door would be unlocked and to let myself in.

As I announced my arrival, I almost couldn’t find her sitting in a chair across the 1st floor. There was so much stuff I couldn’t see past the path ahead of me. After touring part of her house, we ended up back at the kitchen where I offered her one of my programs to manage her move. She not only needed some guidance on what to do when but also needed someone to box the stuff up and haul it off. And then there was the accountability part of it. After some add-ons to my Move Management Program I designed years ago, we came up with something that would work for her. After all, she had so many health issues, she knew she was never going to get out of there without someone else physically doing the work for her.

By the end of our appointment, I had removed all of the items that were above the kitchen cabinets. You know the ones. They’ve been there for years, are so dirty, dusty, and grimy from kitchen grease it’s embarrassing. I loaded them into my car for donation and we scheduled our next appointment.

The Cost of Waiting – Priceless

Linda is a perfect example of somebody who is now experiencing the cost of waiting. Her health has deteriorated and now prohibits her from being on her feet for over about 15 minutes at any given time. Little did she know a year ago, this change in her health would ever occur. After all, she was a vibrant business owner in her early 70’s and had lots of years left. And then she got the diagnosis from her doctor.

Her cost of waiting is now costing her in dollars. She didn’t start the decluttering to downsize when she should have, and has no family in town (not that they WANT to help). Her only option is to pay someone to help her get rid of years of stuff.

The Good News

The cost of waiting for her comes down to the fact that she’s now ready. I believe she has finally faced the fact that the good days are behind her. She knows her health will not improve, she will never be able to box anything up on her own or get anything out of her house without help.

Her health scare motivated her beyond belief. She knows her days are numbered and she wants to be ready to move when the time comes. Linda isn’t ready to move just yet but might be by the time we get all of the clutter out of her house. She is my perfect client and would benefit so much from any one of my downsizing baby boomer programs. Trouble is, the cost of waiting has affected her as it does so many. She waited too long and is now unable to do the work.

What’s Your Plan?

Linda and I put our heads together and came up with a program that will work for now.  At the end of the day, we’re both good with our agreement knowing full well that things could change at any time. After all, it’s not how it’s going to happen, it’s more about getting the job done so you can be ready for that next chapter.

There’s no better time to assess where you are in your life and your own downsizing experience. If nothing else, I hope you are participating in “The House Weight Loss Plan” on Facebook. It’s a year-long program and is totally FREE! While that’s not as detailed as one of my paid programs, it’s a great start to rid your life and your house of things you no longer want or need.

What About You?

Do you feel like you’ve waited too long to downsize? What are you going to do about it? You can take charge of your future or do nothing. It’s your next chapter and your decision. You can take charge of it or leave it for someone else to do. If you’d like to have a conversation to see if you’re making the right decisions for your own personal situation, call or text me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

The House Weight Loss Plan

The Baby Boomers Guide to the House Weight Loss Plan

The House Weight Loss Plan is for you if you are a baby boomer and your house needs to lose some weight. Especially after Covid, you probably aren’t entertaining like you were or you are doing it on a more limited basis.

First of all, you may not be going out as much as you were and probably need fewer clothes. In addition, you have multiples of things you’ll never ever use again. Wouldn’t it be great to start preparing for your next move and your 3rd chapter in life?

I’ve been on a mission for the last 12 years to help baby boomers downsize their homes. But it wasn’t until October 2020 that I decided to take it online versus only offering in person consultations. I am in the process of turning my entire, Move Management System, from my real estate business into an online version that will serve all baby boomers – no matter where they are in their journey to declutter their lives to downsize their homes.

The House Weight Loss Plan                                                                                     

This is an easy house weight loss plan to eliminate some extra pounds from your home. It follows the master plan of the Declutter to Downsize Challenge (coming soon) but without the specific daily things to do or accountability. You will be your own project manager.

After receiving the task each week, you can choose to do it or not. After all, you’re not making a commitment so some weeks you’ll participate, other weeks you won’t. But be sure to check in every Monday with the Facebook Group to see if the task is something you want to do.

  • It’s a FREE community for baby boomers – specifically a group Facebook page – you can sign up here: (www.facebook.com/groups/downsizingbabyboomers/)
  • Just getting started eliminating your things will make you feel really great!
  • This version is not goal-related – so there’s no pressure. You just want to eliminate some of the stuff you have.  
  • Since there is no commitment, you will be happy to get out of it whatever you put into it
  • The weekly to-dos will be posted every Monday on the Facebook group page
  • You’ll be able to share your challenges and funny stories with the community!
  • Or you can just check in to see what other people are going through
  • This is an awesome place to start your journey

Decluttering Your Life

Decluttering your life to downsize your home can be an overwhelming task for most people. Can you do this on your own? Absolutely! But just like anything that’s hard to do, most people get overwhelmed with the mere thought of it. It’s like going on a diet – easy to start and hard to stick with. It’s nothing the average person wants to tackle every day and yet most people need to if they have plans on moving.

Take a quick walk through your house and ask yourself:

  • Does your house need to lose some weight?
  • If something happened tomorrow and you had to move, what would you do? No burn the house down answers here.
  • Will you do the work?
  • Are you physically capable of doing what it’s going to take?
  • Are you committed to living a simpler life?

It’s Totally Up to You – But For Goodness Sake, Please Do Something!

I don’t know about you but I had to help both of my parents move from where they were when they couldn’t live on their own anymore. It usually comes with an emergency situation. As baby boomers, we only have a few good years left. Sadly, that’s the truth. I’m one of the optimistic baby boomers that believes I’ll live forever. And I may. But I did the hard work, while I still could, on my own. Now, I am living large in my 800 square foot forever home – forever until the day they take me away.

Above all else, decluttering your life doesn’t mean becoming a minimalist. It means weeding out the things you no longer want or need. I have a house full of my favorite things surrounding me. But my kids know where the important documents are, what I want to take with me should I have to live in an even smaller space and the rest is fluff. Therefore, they won’t need to spend any time looking through things. It’s all right there ready for them to grab and go.

That’s what I want for you. To get rid of everything that you no longer want, need or love. When it’s all fluff, it’s much easier on those you love. The House Weight Loss Plan can help you get started.

It’s your life and your stuff. Do something in 2021 to make it easier on yourself, your loved ones and to simplify your life as you live the best years you still have ahead of you.

Want to Know More?

If you have any questions, please reach out at info@downsizingbabyboomers.com or text Melinda at (913) 515-3250 to set up a FREE 15 minute phone conversation. I love helping other baby boomers live large in a small space!

Is Downsizing Your Home Right for You?

5 Questions to Ask Yourself…is downsizing your home right for you? Will you be ready when it’s time to move?

If you are anything like many of my baby boomer clients, you may be ready to kick 2020 to the curb. Ready to start off 2021 living life your way? Between Covid, the recent election, and everything else going on, many baby boomers have decided to quit living on everyone else’s terms and take their future into their own hands. After all, it is your life. To continue to live your last few good years on someone else’s terms, is definitely not the baby boomer way.

If you are having thoughts of downsizing your home and moving on with your life while you still can, here are 5 questions you should ask yourself first:

Where are you living now?

Are you living in a home that will serve you as you grow older?

Are you still in your big family home where you raised your kids or have lots of stairs that won’t remain your friend as you age? This just might be the time for you to move on. After all, the benefits of living in a home that better suits your current lifestyle is good for you. It’s great for your health, your soul and might make smart financial sense as well.

If you have a home to sell, learn the 3 easy steps to selling your home here.

Where would you move?

Many of you may already have an answer to this question. If you were Samantha from Bewitched and you could wiggle your nose and be out of here by the end of the day, where do you see yourself?

You might choose to:

  • Move to an apartment
  • Find a smaller house to buy (like I did)
  • Relocate to a warmer climate and be sipping a fun drink on the beach
  • Be closer to your grandkids or other family members
  • Move to a 55+ community of other people much like you

What’s your BIG WHY for downsizing your home?

If you don’t have a BIG WHY, you probably won’t downsize your home. After all, you must have a reason why you would uproot yourself from your comfy home.

And your BIG WHY might change. I’ve downsized twice and have had different reasons each time.

What was my 1st BIG WHY? I was living alone in a 13 room 3,500 square foot house that I no longer loved and had more stuff that I no longer wanted or cared about. Every month I was spending money on expensive maintenance and high utility bills when I lived in 4 rooms of the house. I finally woke up one morning and said, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore! I’m tired of babysitting my stuff and this house!”

When I downsized the second time, I went from an apartment back to another house. I knew I wanted to be able to live in my current home, with the things I loved, until I could no longer take care of myself. I bought an 800 square foot house with no basement and in a safe area. The best thing is – I have gone through my stuff. My kids know where my important papers are and they know what to do should something happen to me. There’s nothing not to talk about. No one lives forever.

That’s my BIG WHY now. I don’t want to be a burden on either of my children. They can take what they want of my possessions, have an estate sale, and sell the house, if that’s what they choose. I have sorted through my lifetime of possessions. There is no hidden money anywhere. They know exactly what to keep and what to get rid of. That in itself, makes me happy!

If you don’t start eliminating now, when will you start downsizing your home?

Nobody wants to move. And especially downsize. It’s one of the top 5 most stressful experiences you’ll encounter in your lifetime. You may not feel like it now because it’s never easy. But waiting another 3-5 years to start going through your stuff? Are you going to have more energy, or be in better physical condition then? Why not do it while you still can so you can live the 3rd act of your life on your terms, not someone else’s. If you end up having to call in your family members or your kids to help you sort through your stuff, they will have your lifetime of stuff in the dumpster asap. They don’t want your stuff and will never forget that you left everything for them to do.

The best gift you can ever give your kids is to downsize yourself. It’s your responsibility because it’s your stuff. It should be part of your life plan.

Live your life while you still can

Then when it’s time, you should move to a place for suitable for your lifestyle. Live your next few good years outrageously doing everything you haven’t yet done. Quit babysitting your stuff and live your life. Be free!

I can’t tell you how many of my real estate clients are currently on my 5 Year Plan to downsize their home. One lady recently told me she wished she had done it sooner. She felt like she lost 5 good years of her life dealing with her stuff in a home that was way too big for her. She would have rather been living her life.

Maybe you’re just ready to simplify your life…

There’s alot to be said about preparing for your next chapter in life. What it comes down to is – do you want to call the shots or let someone else decide where you will move to and what you will take with you.

Personally, I wanted to call my own shots so I downsized to an 800 square foot home where I can live until I can no longer care for myself. Living large in a small space gives me the freedom I want, the flexibility to live my life the way I want and hopefully will buy me some years by not being stressed out in a too big of house full of stuff I didn’t care about anymore. Less is more when you are a baby boomer. But to be surrounded with only the things you love will also prolong your life. How many good years do you have left?

After helping hundreds of baby boomers over the years with downsizing their homes, I created an online Declutter to Downsize Challenge 2021.

Why do you need help downsizing?

Maybe you don’t need help. After all, anybody can do anything they set their mind to. You can do anything on your own. The biggest problem with decluttering your life and downsizing your home is it is typically so overwhelming, people never get it done. They jump right in but since there is no system, they get so frustrated, and they give up.

Declutter to Downsize Challenge

The Declutter to Downsize Challenge 2021 is an online 12 month transformational journey that will take you step by step, each and every day so you wake up every morning knowing the challenge for that day.

You’ll learn to get good working through the struggle of knowing what to keep and what to get rid of when decluttering your life and downsizing your home. 

You’ll learn the proven strategies and systems that I’ve used for years with all of my baby boomer real estate and home staging clients. You will not only get started, you’ll stay on track and get through your stuff – once and for all – even if you’ve tried and failed before. You’ll learn why you struggle and will master the secrets of learning to make quick decisions even if you haven’t been able to do that in the past.

And you’ll do it faster, more efficiently, and with less stress, emotion and drama when you’re held accountable and have a community of others who have your back.

If you see yourself living a different life than you’re currently living, I can help. I did it and you can too!

In conclusion

I hope you consider joining us on this journey. In the mean time…be dreaming about, envisioning and working on what you would do with your life if you were free of your stuff, living where you wanted, how you wanted and with only the things that you love.

Many people have had questions. Feel free to call or text me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

3 Easy Steps to Downsizing Your Home

I really wish baby boomers understood that the 3 easy steps to downsizing your home aren’t as simple as putting the sign in the yard, the lockbox on the front door, and the photos on the internet.

The real work comes long before the selling part has anything to do with it. As the owner of Overland Park Home Staging since 2006, we get lots of calls from people who want to stage their house.

Trouble is, the home staging comes in the second step. They have to do Step 1. Why is home downsizing so difficult?

Did you know that 1 in every 11 Americans rent off-site storage and spend at least $1,000 a year to keep stuff they don’t even know what it is? Selling your home has become difficult because people just keep buying more stuff without eliminating the old.

The 3 Easy Steps to Downsizing Your Home

 There are actually 3 steps to downsizing your home. Even if you’re not thinking of selling anytime soon, it’s important to get the first two steps of selling complete while you still feel like it. After all, you probably aren’t going to feel younger, be more adept, in better health or have more energy as time goes on.

Step 1 – Declutter Your Life to Downsize Your Home

The first stage is knowing where you will be moving. You may not have thought much about it yet. If you are still living in the big family home, it’s probably time to get settled into a home that will serve you well as you age.

You may not know exactly where you will move but you should have an idea of the amount of space you’ll have in your new place. For example, if you are moving to a 2 bedroom apartment, you probably will only need one couch…not the three you have in your current home.

Knowing your space will then help you eliminate things you currently own. This will help you Declutter Your Life to Downsize Your Home. Once you decide what you’ll take with you, what will you do with the things you aren’t taking? Will you give them to friends or family members, donate to a non-profit that helps the less fortunate or will you have an estate sale?

Step 2 – Preparing Your Home for Sale

The second step of downsizing your home is preparing it for the market. The days of putting the sign in the yard without any preparation are over. Today’s buyers want turn-key ready and are willing to fight over the right house with the Model Home Look. So, prior to selling you need to spruce things up and it will pay you big rewards if you do.

The average seller needs to do a little painting, fixing, updating the things you’ve been putting off all these years. But now is the time to make those repairs – especially if you want top dollar for your home. Talk to a real estate professional (like me) who is experienced and specializes in working with downsizing baby boomers and has a sense of style and knows what’s trending in today’s homes. A little bit of an upfront investment will be worth the time and effort.

Choose your agent carefully and create a list of updates that won’t cost you an arm and leg but will be a great return on investment when it’s time to sell. Go ahead and get those things done now so you’ll be ready when the time comes. Your real estate professional may have a list of vendors that can help get the various jobs done.

Step 3 – Selling Your Home

And finally, the third step of downsizing your home is actually selling your home. This will entail a thorough cleaning, home staging, photo shoot, showing your house, receiving the contracts, negotiating the multiple offers, getting through inspections and the appraisal and firming up where you are moving. The move out is the last part of selling your home.

Be sure you understand the difference between a Home Staging Consultation and an actual hands-on Home Staging. The Home Staging Consultation will be a walkthrough of your house and the stager will provide you with a list of things for you to do to the house before it comes on the market…paint the kitchen, change out the dining room fixture, move that chair out of the living room, etc.

The hands-on Home Staging is where the stager actually does the work and sets your home up with The Model Home Look using your own furniture and accessories so it looks fabulous for its Professional Photo Shoot. You will be surprised with the difference it makes when your home looks like a Model Home.

Home Staging is proven to sell homes faster, with multiple offers and for thousands of dollars over asking price. You do want the most money, don’t you?

When You Wait too Long

What I encounter over and over is that people wait too long to start the process of eliminating their things. After all, why do it before you have to? Most people tend to avoid it because it’s sooo much WORK!

And are you also avoiding making the updates and repairs until you are ready to sell? Why not make some updates now so you’ll reap the benefits of enjoying what you’ve done? It’s like putting new tires on your car to be able to sell it. Why did you wait so long?

Have you even thought about what’s next as a baby boomer? Do you want to live a great 3rd act or will you just sit and dwindle away? Either way is ok. But let me ask you…what would you do and where would you go if you could leave today?

You’ve got to be honest with yourself and plan your future now. Your next move to your 3rd act in life is probably going to be the biggest and hardest yet. And you may not feel like doing it. That doesn’t give you the excuse not to. But when you know you will move at some later date and you do nothing to prepare, it’s typically too late. Then what? Who is going to come to your rescue? Do they know you are expecting them to bail you out?

What’s Your End Result?

Until you’ve gone through the declutter to downsize experience, you won’t know how it really feels.

Just ask anyone who has already done it. They will tell you that you will:

  • Feel freedom you never knew was possible
  • Be ready for retirement when it’s time
  • Live the easy life in a home that really serves you and soothes your soul
  • Relax and do what you want, when you want
  • Have more time to travel
  • Deserve doing what you want
  • Live large in a smaller space
  • Know you’ve earned it
  • Have time to work on your legacy
  • Live an outrageous 3rd act

The day I woke up and said, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore was the day my life changed. Remember the movie, Network from 1976? I didn’t open the window and yell it to my neighbors but I certainly felt much like it! What I finally realized was there was much more to life than living in a home that no longer served me and was holding me captive.

If you are a baby boomer and still haven’t started your journey, what are you waiting for?

Are You Ready to Downsize Your Home?

I have a couple of options for you…

  1. You can join my Facebook group page for downsizing baby boomers and get started for fun or
  2. If you’ve decided to make the commitment to declutter your life to downsize your home, the Declutter to Downsize Challenge 2024 may be right for you. It’s a 12 month, day-to-day system and commitment from you to eliminate the things you no longer want or need. Coming in 2024.

Whatever you decide, your future is waiting for you. As a baby boomer, you’ve got a few great years left. Live life to the fullest and simplify your life rather than living in a home that no longer serves you and babysitting things you no longer want or need.

For more information about selling, buying, staging, or downsizing your home in Overland Park, call or text (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

When is it Time to Downsize Your Home?

As a real estate agent for the last 30+ years, I talk to people every day who want to know, when is it time to downsize your home? It is definitely so overwhelming. They say things like, “I don’t have time, it’s too much work, I don’t know where to start, what will I do with all that stuff, the kids will just have to deal with it once I’m gone.” Really? You would do that to your children?

I know it’s hard because I’ve done it twice. Needless to say, I learned alot. Plus I’ve been giving advice for the last 10-15 years to people who were on my 5 Year Plan to declutter their life and downsize their home.

What I’ve always known about my 5-Year Plan was you had to start it 5 years before you retire. Not start it when you’re ready to retire. Because the average baby boomer takes 5 years to get the job done and by then it’s too late.

When is it Time to Downsize Your Home?

My best advice is if you are 55 + and are living in a home that you will not be able to stay in until you can no longer take care of yourself, the time is right for you to downsize your home.

The earlier you do it, the more freedom you will experience. It doesn’t mean you have to go as small as I did, that was my choice. But it is important to move to a home where you can stay til you move into your 4th act.

And doing it while you still can, so you can make your own decisions about where you will live and the possessions that are important to you should be your decision.

My short answer is the best time to downsize your home is while you still can.

But if you don’t do it while you can, someone else will be calling all the shots for you – including the call to the dumpster people. Your kids don’t care about your stuff. They don’t want it and the quicker it goes away, the faster they can get back to living their normal lives.

There is typically a point in life where you have passed the time to declutter your life and downsize your home on your own. Hopefully you’re not there yet.

The 3 Steps in Selling Your Home

Many baby boomers tell me they aren’t ready to move. What they don’t realize is the move has little to do with it. The real work is in the 1st two steps of selling your home.

Step one is going through your stuff and step two is upgrading and preparing your home so you can sell it. The 3rd step is the actual selling process.

If you haven’t moved in the last 10 or more years, you’ve more than likely got some real work ahead of you. Once you survive sorting through your stuff and updating your house, the actual move is pretty much a piece of cake.

Those 1st two steps could take you years. As a baby boomer, you’ve probably got a few good years left, where you could travel and cross some things off your bucket list. I commend those baby boomers who make the decision to spend their best years left really enjoying life, fulfilling their dreams, embracing new adventures, and creating new memories that will last them the rest of their lives.

The End Result

My friend, Dana, recently sold her house and moved south to a warmer climate. When I asked her about the transition she said, “OMG! Best decision of my life. Wish I had done it sooner!” She said, “It’s your responsibility as you age, to make your life simpler. We’ve done that and can now relax knowing we’ve done the hard part.”

Dana and her husband had a vision for their 3rd act in life and are taking advantage of the time they have left. There is plenty of time to sit around once you reach that 4th act and hopefully you’ll have some fond memories of how you spent your last few good years. One thing for sure, you’ll never regret the decision you make to stop babysitting your stuff and moving out of a home that no longer serves you.

Downsizing is Reality

You probably are going to move someday, whether you like it or not. And it could be what I call a medically induced move. Either you can no longer care for yourself or you fell and your current home will not support your new lifestyle. Or maybe one of you needs more care. It’s going to happen – but when?

When people in their late 70’s and early 80’s are still in the big home where they raised their 5 kids, they have definitely waited too long. If you are one of those 5 kids, you’d better either leave the country or plan on that project when the time comes.

What You Think Versus What Your Kids Think

Baby boomers tend to think their kids want to help sort through boxes of memories. “It will be a fun way to bond with your brothers and sisters as you sort through each box piece by piece. You can come over after church on Sunday and spend the day going through the boxes in the basement with me.” Most kids would rather do anything else, like call the dumpster people.

Often times it might be in your best interest as the child to suggest to mom and dad that they need to do something fun with their best years they have ahead of them rather than stay in that big old house they no longer need.

Maybe they would be better off in a maintenance provided community or even an apartment where they would have more time for enjoying life versus taking care of the family home.

After all, as a baby boomer, at some point, you just want to have a simpler life to kick back and relax and do nothing if that’s your choice. But until you declutter your life and downsize your home, you don’t have that flexibility. That project will always be hanging over your head like a dark cloud. You go to sleep thinking about it and wake up thinking about it.

Smart baby boomers take the necessary steps to declutter their lives and downsize their homes by getting out from under the stuff that’s causing them to live their best years to the fullest.

My Own Experience

I remember before I downsized from my 3,500 square foot home, I hadn’t gone to the finished basement for months. I know how that sounds but there was no need other than to clean and maybe run the water and flush the toilet.

My kids tried for years to get me to move but I wasn’t ready. And then came the day that I woke up and I was ready. I was mad as hell and I wasn’t going to live my life in a home I no longer loved with stuff that I no longer cared about.

So the journey began. It took me a solid 3 months of hard work to get through 3,500 square feet of stuff, making decisions and updating my home to prepare it for the market.

I moved to an apartment while I thought through what the next few years of my life would bring. Between taking care of my mom and helping with my grandchildren on a daily basis, I hadn’t had much time to think about myself and what was important to me.

Those years in the apartment were fine. I liked where I lived but it didn’t seem like home to me. What I really wanted was a different experience for myself. It was hard for me selling real estate and not being a homeowner. One day I make the decision to see what was available in my price range and there were 4 houses for sale.

The only one that looked decent is the one I bought. After a few updates and changes, I had the house to where I could live my 3rd act until I could no longer care for myself.

Downsizing Brings You Freedom

After downsizing twice I discovered the freedom it brings when you get past something that no longer brings you joy. To me, it was very much like the end of a relationship. I knew it was over, when was I going to tell my house I no longer loved her? It was a hard break up but once you do it, you’re thrilled with the results and the new way it makes you feel. You’re not erasing the past, you’re creating your next chapter.

Are You Ready? Do You Have What it Takes?

If you’re ready to create some freedom for your next chapter, check out our programs that will help you get there.

There’s plenty to choose from coming in 2024

  • Declutter to Downsize Challenge 2024
  • DIY Home Study Course
  • 90 Day Boot Camp
  • 6 Month Intensive

No matter what your needs, do something while you still have time to enjoy your best years that are waiting for you!

As the programs are rolling out in 2024, contact us here for more information.

Be sure to join our Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/groups/downsizingbabyboomers and please share with your Baby Boomer friends who might enjoy learning tips and tricks!

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