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  • An Important Lesson

    “Throwers” relish clearing out and will empty a house quickly; “keepers” want to preserve special things as well as memories, and will linger over the process. People who balance these attributes have come to the realization that the most valuable thing in a house is the life that has been lived there. Read more about how “keepers” and “throwers” work together to downsize and declutter.
  • Press for our Book

    “…a downsizing bible” Oregon Home
    "...some items have special sentimental meaning... Huffington Post
    "clearing out the clutter...a wonderful gift to your family..."USA Today
    "sharing tips for getting the job done..."PBS’s Next Avenue
    "Downsizing: What to do with all that stuff?" Forbes
    “…discussions [help] avert misunderstandings…” The New York Times
    “…creative ways…of maintaining peace while dividing the family heirlooms” BloombergBusinessweek
    “practical suggestions for sorting through a lifetime of items…” The Washington Times
    “…about memories, feelings and people…” Chicago Tribune
    “tips on preserving relations and memories while sorting clutter...” The Salt Lake Tribune
    "lessons from two who have 'been there, done that'..."Your Organizing Business
    “…a useful resource...” Senior Living Institute
    “…help is on the way…” Illinois Public Media
    …the only book mentioned in the Comprehensive Checklist for Downsizing a Home Organize and Downsize

  • On Our Bookshelf

    Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home by Linda Hetzer and Janet Hulstrand
    Buried in Treasures by David F. Tolin, Randy O. Frost, and Gail Steketee
    Caring for Your Family Treasures by Jane S. Long and Richard W. Long
    Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
    Organizing Plain and Simple by Donna Smallin
    Sell, Keep, or Toss? How to Downsize a Home... by Harry L. Rinker
    Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate? by Marlene S. Strum

  • Our Favorite Blogs

Can We Talk?

Both of my parents died within the last few months, and my brother and I are going through the things in their house in preparation for selling their house. The problem is that my brother argues about who should get almost every single item.  It’s so frustrating! How can we get beyond this and do what we have to do?

If he’s arguing over almost every item, there’s probably something bothering him that has nothing to do with the division of household objects. Maybe he is having a hard time with the loss of your parents and needs to talk about that. Maybe the process of going through the things in their home is emotionally upsetting for him, and this is his way of showing it. Or there may be leftover issues from your childhood that are getting in the way of your moving forward together harmoniously now. Try taking the time to sit down and talk with him about what he thinks is the best way to proceed, perhaps asking for his ideas about what would be most fair and equitable. (Asking him his opinion doesn’t mean you have to agree with him, but it may help clear the air, and create a more cooperative environment.)

If this doesn’t work, maybe you can at least agree to do all the sorting and getting rid of the things neither of you wants  first—saving the most difficult part of the task for the end.

JH

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