We spend a good deal of our lives accumulating stuff and finding places to put our stuff. At age 65, plus or minus, folks start to realize they have too much stuff and begin to clear the clutter.
My mother moved 5 times after leaving the family home each time taking a little less with her and distributing the rest. Most family items found a home with myself or a sibling. After Family Picks some items were donated to charity other “treasure” was thrown outright. My mother, bless her heart saved art projects and humorous notes from my teachers. She had select old newspapers, recipe books and magazine collections, encyclopedias and piano music… all of which had sentimental value but they just took up too much space. But, she was “down’ with the process and understood why…. And with five siblings everybody helped disperse her collections.
In the end most have space similar to a hotel room than a house… but with no cooking, cleaning, yard work or other chores we really don’t need too much. On top of that digital technology has put everything withing reach in one compact device… phone books, maps, TV and telephone, address book, notepad, alarm clock, camera and video… dozens of items are on the computers. And newer cell phones are just small handheld computers. Music, arts, news, sports and entertainment are all available through the WIFI.
With all of this, I have some good advice regarding downsizing.
Consider an auction. This sale process gets it done! One day everything gone at a fair price as determined by the most reliable indicator of value….live bidders. Auctions provide some bargains but overall an auctioneer earns their commission, and the entire estate can be with new owners in just a few hours. I will warn that unless you have large feature items the smaller items will not draw a crowd. Boats, cars, guns, antiques. Feature items will make or break an auction.
Another option is hiring professional liquidators. Make sure they are certified for work with seniors. These services know what has value and where to get the best prices for those items. They have buyers for some, online auction sites for others and can provide pragmatic advice for those with tapestries of Dogs Playing Poker, 8 track collections and Beanie Babies.
Donation. Sometimes it’s just not worth the effort… but a thrift shop or donation center will provide you with a receipt for a charitable donation for tax purposes. They take drop-offs.. but also have trucks with crews in case you just want everything gone. Pots and pans, appliances, garage items, clothing. They just do not want you to donate stained or broken items or things you would not use yourself.
Sometimes storage is the short-term solution… in effect buying time. However, when days turn to weeks and weeks to months consider ideas 1,2 and 3. At this stage in life it is better to give than to receive and long-term storage units are not kind to household items. Storage also involves moving everything twice.
If you are looking for a litmus test when considering the shedding of life’s leftovers consider every item and decide if that item brings you joy. If not… let it go. Your family will thank you.
Everyone Loves a little recognition! At LB Homes when an employee, resident or visitor witnesses something special … a vivid demonstration of our Core Values …we take the time to reward that moment with a “WOW Card”.
It can be for Integrity… where we always do what is right, for Compassion… opening your heart to show you care, Teamwork… where we are all helping each other, Dedication… showing you can be counted on and Customer Service where we know the need and meet it.
I’ve written plenty of WOW Cards, I’ve seen a distraught resident converted to a smile with a 30 second rendition of “You are my Sunshine”, maintenance folks who work with our outside spaces to insure the feeders and fountains are full and we get the best possible views, housekeepers… who have to clean the same space several times in one day because of an accident or infection control, drivers who “ease on down the road” to provide maximum comfort to their passengers, dietary provides the treats, and the therapy people work their magic daily coaxing motion and mobility. Everywhere we look… when we look a little closer… there’s another LB Representative going above and beyond. Even in the simple act of making the cleaning the aviary an enlightening and entertaining time for a few interested bird lovers makes things different.
If you are in our care, a visitor or one of our own and you see a “WOW Event” please help us thank the ones involved and fill out that WOW Card. We all win when there is inspiration to provide compassionate care…. and WOW everyone who is watching!
Dear Old Dad….on Father’s Day we remember our patriarchs. Most are “Grand” Some are now “Great” we even have Great-Great Grandfathers. We like to think how they all started as little boys. Inside, behind the aged smile are all the memories of the days gone by.. the dozens of birthdays and family vacations, the schools and the jobs and the uncommon adventures. The trials and tribulations of adulthood. From their first kiss to their latest experience with future shock our job is to have the conversations to share the memories and the love that comes from a lifetime of being an integral part of a family.
This Father’s Day celebrate the things that make your relationship special and be glad for your Dad!
I love the smell of breakfast in the morning! Pancakes, sausage, bacon and maple syrup blend with the black coffee aroma. When I come in to work at 7:30 at LB Woodland Lodge the staff has already been “percolating” for the better part of an hour. Cleaning, setting tables and cooking. As I pass by the kitchen the Chefs impress me with their presentation… dressing for their jobs like this was a fancy cruise ship kitchen or one of those TV show cooking competitions.
The hostess, whose smile hides behind the mask, is busy with the details that make each resident’s dining experience unique. I know one resident who started the day with Lorna Doone cookies and a cup of Vanilla Ice Cream… then progressed to the classic breakfast fare.
And everywhere there is coffee…. Black coffee… cream and sugar? According to one “That’s like putting ketchup on lutefisk”. The nurses think they run the place but the real power resides with the one who makes the coffee. The kitchens are the hearts of our facility… hundreds of meals for dozens of different diet plans. Residents and staff enjoy the same fare. I gained 25 pounds when I first started working for LB Homes.
Now here’s my advice…. when considering any living accommodations check the menu, never trust a skinny chef…. and eat dessert first because there may not be room for it later.