Transitions With Jean Blog

Downsize with a purpose as you decorate for the seasons

October 7, 2018

Today’s topic: How to smile with satisfaction knowing that you planned ahead.

Someday, you may decide to move to smaller, more manageable quarters, perhaps a senior community. When you move, you’ll look at your mountain of holiday decorations and think “I wish I would have known about this move last year; I would have put away my decorations better. It would have saved me a lot of time.”

When someone is downsizing, they can be overwhelmed by the workload that it takes to sort through all their possessions and decide which items to take to their new home.

One of the tasks will be to select your favorite do-dads to decorate your new apartment. Why not tackle that job now, while you are decorating your house for the seasons? It is October. There are several holidays right around the corner.

Most senior apartments have a storage locker. It is the perfect place to put some personal knick-knacks that you change out from time to time.

Get four storage totes. The clear ones are nice because you can see the contents. Totes are preferable over boxes because they keep things dry.
Let’s use one for autumn, two for the holidays, and one for spring.

You aren’t actually going to fill them now.  There will be three steps. 

First, once you have decorated for the season; look at what is leftover in your collection. If it wasn’t good enough to decorate with this year, consider eliminating it altogether. The charities await your generosity.

Second is enjoying. October is time for the fall harvest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Sukkot. Go ahead and decorate your house for the season, enjoy.

Third, once the fall season is over, while you still have everything out, you mindfully put it away, packing into the “future” tote, the special items that you would want to keep if you downsize. Picture an imaginary apartment and what you might decorate it with. Think small-scale. Label your tote Autumn.

When winter rolls around, do the same, but perhaps one tote isn’t enough. Surely there will be room in that imaginary storage locker for two totes for the Christmas holidays. Do you celebrate Hanukkah? Then make a tote for your Menorah and other holiday accoutrements.

Honestly, you won’t have room in your next home for all the decorations you currently put out in your house, but then you won’t have an entire house to decorate. Save items that are smaller scale: table top decorations, knick-knacks for shelves; maybe an 18” wreath for your future door, rather than a 48” wreath for the front of your current house.  

We have a tote for autumn harvest, two totes for winter. Let’s make a fourth tote, for spring (St Pats, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Passover, pinks, pastels, chicks, tulips).

With good planning, you can make your next home just as charming and decked-out as your current house.

Even when we move into smaller spaces, it is still fun to express ourselves with items that reflect our style and bring us pleasure.

Jean Long Manteufel, senior move manager and CEO of Long’s Senior Transitions in Appleton, can be reached at 920-734-3260 or Jean@TransitionsWithJean.com Manteufel’s book, “Transitions: Stories of how to help Mom and Dad with their stuff”, can be found at Atlas Coffee Mill, 425 W. Water St., Appleton or at www.TransitionsWithJean.com

 






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