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Blog: Organizing for Boomers
Boomers, Are You Moving Next Month, Next Year or Years From Now?

Or want to rightsize the house you are in?

Part III in a series

If you've read my earlier blogs on rightsizing, you know I'm a big fan of Ciji Ware's book, Rightsize Your Life. She and I feel it is rightsizing, not downsizing. If you missed those blogs or just feel you'd like a refresher, please go to http://www.onlineorganizing.com/BlogEntry.asp?id=1113 for Part I and to http://www.onlineorganizing.com/BlogEntry.asp?id=1215 for Part II.

It's tough being a baby boomer. It's been said we're the most stressed out of the various generational groups. This is especially true if we're in the middle of the Oreo cookie, oozing out on all sides with elderly parents above us who need care and attention and offspring below us who are not yet totally independent.

Ciji talks about creating a realistic timetable to get YOUR life—yes, your life, just the right size. If you are serious about rightsizing your life, hopefully, you have started a notebook where you can contain all the pertinent information to reduce stress and make this transition of rightsizing (not downsizing) as seamless as possible.

Think in three major steps:

1. Evaluating where you are and hopefully, where you are going

2. Creating a plan with timelines

3. Tackling the job and finishing it

She suggests with notebook in hand make a list of all the rooms in your current home. Be sure and include any garages, attics, tool sheds, etc. If you know where you are moving, on a separate page make a list of those rooms and their dimensions.

To rightsize Ciji suggests you select only the possessions you love and use. That's what you'll take with you. Even if the home you are in is the home where you plan to stay, using these guidelines may help you make it just the right size.

Begin by picking just one room from your current home to evaluate, and focus on items you use in daily living. At this beginning level, think of daily use function. With a package of colored dots, put your first initial of your first name in the center of each. With one room, paste green dots on every item you used that past week, yellow on every item you handled in the last month, red on items this past year, and blue on items you use fairly regularly, but don't really suit your needs.

With a package of white dots with your initial on each, go back and add a white dot to each if it has sentimental value. Do these two exercises quickly and by yourself. If others live with you, have them do the exercises, but without you standing over.

Look over the rest of the rooms in your home and their contents. Ciji offers a calclulating guide to estimate how long it will take you to sort and purge belongings in various rooms. Her example of a two bedroom, two bath home has a total number of days at 17, with a master bedroom and closets at 2 days and garage at 2.5. If you have a lot more items per room or a lot more rooms, your number could be much larger.

The lesson here is to start the process as soon as you can. Plan, plan, plan. If you only take with you the things you love and use, you won't be paying to move things you are going to get rid of at the other end. If you can take this job, one room at a time, calculate how long each room will take, and calendar time to do the work, this will have tremendous impact in your life becoming just the right size.

I plan on rightsizing within the next twelve months and Ciji's book will be right by my side. Though it's only a few blocks away from our current house, nonetheless, everything that is used and loved needs to get from Point A to Point B. Let me know what moves are upcoming in your life and how you are getting ready for them. Write to me at and let me know your great moving ideas and mind-saving suggestions.

Until next time.

Making Your Space a Special Place



posted on: 6/8/2008 7:08:14 PM by Sue Crum
category: Special Populations

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Organizing for Boomers

by Sue Crum

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About Sue:

Sue Crum knows and understands the life of a Baby Boomer all too well. Having served as the filling of an Oreo cookie for many years, she has reinvented herself in San Diego as the owner of The R.E.D. Team, Reinventing Everyday Designs, doing professional organizing, real estate staging, and interior redesign.

Sue's Website:


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