downsizeBy Nancy Peham
Special Contributor

We all reach a point in life where it makes sense to downsize. The first step is to realize, accept, and decide that the time has come to move forward with the process.

As adult children, we can support our parents’ decision in several ways.  We can provide emotional support, share information and resources, and when possible work alongside a parent to go through their home giving physical assistance. When that’s not feasible a third party can be brought in to help.

Your parent may be dealing with a home that has been lived in for 40 years or an apartment that has already been through the first round of downsizing.  There may have been a recent illness, loss of a spouse, or physical constraints that complicate the process, or your parents may be in great health.

So, Where Do You Start?

Whether a move will take place soon or your parents’ goal is just to simplify their lives, the steps are the same.  In the case of an imminent move, the stress level may be higher, but the most important thing is to begin the process as soon as you know the change is coming.    (more…)

Real Estate Story
happy house

Photo courtesy Lara604 via Creative Commons

With the fresh start of January, take the next two weekends to make the rest of the year run more smoothly. These nine tips will save you time, energy, and money, and make you feel better about where you hang your hat every night.



1. MAKE BETTER USE OF YOUR CLOSETS

While this is not a photo of my closet above, it almost could be. Come January every year, and my closets tend to be a mishmash of clothes from all four seasons, piles of give-aways that I haven’t gotten around to giving away, and just general wrecks of disorganization.

Start the new year by decluttering a closet. Pick just one and organize with vengeance over one day (trust me, you’ll appreciate the major improvement in a short time). Save, sell, donate, or chuck everything in there, then vacuum, neaten, and dust. Job done!

2. TAKE A PHOTO INVENTORY OF YOUR HOUSE

If, God forbid, your house is ever burglarized or there is a fire, having photo records of the interior and all your possessions will make the insurance process infinitely easier. I speak from experience here: my house was burglarized a few years ago, but I had taken the time to snap photos of all my art, electronics, and jewelry and put it on a USB drive, which was locked in a file cabinet. I was so glad to have done so. Today, I store my photos in the cloud on Dropbox, which is even more convenient. Jump to read the next seven tips!

(more…)

Nicole Schultz

Nicole Schultz describes herself as “a bit of a neat freak, but in a good way.”

As a mother of four children, being organized never really seemed like much of a choice for Schultz. Friends noticed, and what started as her efforts to help them maximize their space and offer solutions to eliminate chaos and clutter evolved into a business a year and a half ago. Get It Together is Schultz’s professional organizing company that offers services designed to create order in a client’s home, business, and life.

“Once items are placed in bins and labeled, or organized beautifully in drawers, it so much easier to find what you are looking for and the items have found a permanent home,” she said. “I absolutely love it and I feel like I make a difference. It’s like being part of an extreme home makeover show.”

Schultz is working with more than 40 clients now through word of mouth recommendations and her business is thriving. She sat down with me to share some of her insights on how to help the chronically disorganized.

(more…)

Photo courtesy Lara604 via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy Lara604 via Creative Commons

With the fresh start of January, take the next two weekends to make the rest of the year run more smoothly. These nine tips will save you time, energy, and money, and make you feel better about where you hang your hat every night.



1. MAKE BETTER USE OF YOUR CLOSETS

While this is not a photo of my closet above, it almost could be. Come January every year, and my closets tend to be a mishmash of clothes from all four seasons, piles of give-aways that I haven’t gotten around to giving away, and just general wrecks of disorganization.

Start the new year by decluttering a closet. Pick just one and organize with vengeance over one day (trust me, you’ll appreciate the major improvement in a short time). Save, sell, donate, or chuck everything in there, then vacuum, neaten, and dust. Job done!

2. TAKE A PHOTO INVENTORY OF YOUR HOUSE

If, God forbid, your house is ever burglarized or there is a fire, having photo records of the interior and all your possessions will make the insurance process infinitely easier. I speak from experience here: my house was burglarized a few years ago, but I had taken the time to snap photos of all my art, electronics, and jewelry and put it on a USB drive, which was locked in a file cabinet. I was so glad to have done so. Today, I store my photos in the cloud on Dropbox, which is even more convenient. Jump to read the next seven tips!

(more…)