Diane Greenhalgh, Priority Focused Organizing
October 31, 2019
Earlier this month, a few of us from the NAPO-WDC chapter joined our Membership Director J.J. Jackson at an American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM) lunch and learn event. Daily money managers like J.J. are financial organizers who help with bills, budgets, and record-keeping, and bookkeeping.
The presenter was Matt Paxton, an organizer out of the Richmond, VA area who formerly appeared on Hoarders and is now preparing for a January 1 launch on PBS of Legacy List with Matt Paxton. He gave a lively presentation on downsizing ideal for seniors called "Nobody Wants Your Stuff".
He says he gets clients in the right state of mind by performing an exercise. He asks them to pretend their house has caught fire and they have two minutes to gather what they will take with them. After two minutes it is revealing what they are able to find, or rather not find.
Here are his 10 downsizing tips.
- Include everyone to participate in the cleanup, including the grandkids. Do it as a family.
- Do a 10 minute sweep 5 nights per week to keep it up.
- Unpack bags right away, particularly groceries and travel suitcases.
- Give every item a home. Employ "equal in, equal out".
- Perform a 4 pile sort: Donate, Sell, Trash, Keep. Put the Keep pile across the room so you have to get up and walk over to it.
- Distribute legacy items, like heirlooms, now.
- Avoid punting the decision of who gets what to the kids to avoid disputes. For those children having to split the estate, a tool to use is Fair Split so everyone gets a fair share of the value since each item is not equal to others.
- Donate, donate, donate, but not Goodwill or other places where you (or your client) shop. Try to find places that actually put the products in the hands of people in need. Keep a donation box in your trunk, not in the house. If you have to carry it out you're less likely to do it.
- Be realistic about what you will use. Turn hangers around and get rid of those not switched after a year. Get rid of expired food.
- Pare down photos and paper by putting a shred box in the trunk of your car, shutting down the stream of mail coming in, getting rid of any photos from your backlog that aren't of people, keeping 20 photos per year and writing the stories on the back, using frames like Little DaVinci dynamic frames that you can put your children's artwork in and switch out each week then each month put the best one in memorabilia.
Thanks to J.J. for inviting us to such a fun event!