Can Less Stuff Equal . . . Happiness?

I came across a recent newsletter from my colleague Niraj Chhabra from Ameriprise Financial Services with the above title. It really caught my attention. I instinctively know this to be true innately, but also based on my clientele.

Many, if not all of my clients, feel like they are drowning in an ocean of things (or paper) especially senior citizens. The emotions can run the gamut from anger to shame.

Urge to Purgeclutter

Recently I’ve been working quite a lot with seniors who all of a sudden have the “Urge to Purge”. It could be because a spouse has a serious health issue and cannot come back into the home due to a medical issue. Another example is the passing away of a loved one and the homeowner has to deal with the inheritance of every item in someone else’s home. These two examples can throw one’s organization into turmoil. Often I am shocked that my clients have not taken the time every 5 years or so to perform a “major purge”. Of course I never say that aloud and I try very hard not to judge, but I am just a human professional organizer who thinks this, even if I keep it to myself except when writing my newsletters . . .

“Decide to Decide”

Decide to Decide But I am not the typical homeowner either because I have a partial OCD brain-type. And I’m 50 instead of 70, 80 or 90. Therefore I have the physical stamina to oust the clutter and my children can help. They are still home and not across the country with professional jobs and families to raise like so many of my clients.

I was on an assessment the other day. My new client was in her 80’s and her husband was in his mid-90’s. As she took her chair lift up the stairs so she could show me the second floor I noticed a trap door in the hallway and asked if that was the attic. She said it was but she hadn’t been up there in 15 years and she was sure it was quite full. If it was anything like the basement, we were going to be in for a long haul together.

Except for a good size pathway to the washer and dryer, there were going to be hundreds of decisions to be made on how to purge this home of items she/he no longer love, use or need and haven’t in decades. That’s the sad part. This can all be avoided.

Decision-Making Leads to Happiness

In order to get organized, one must make decisions. Making decisions leads to action. Action takes one from dormant to proactive. Proactivity stimulates our brains and gets us on the right track.

I’ve noticed several common comments when I have completed an organizing job:happiness

  • I feel like I’ve lost 20 pounds.
  • I’m finally getting this off my list. I can’t believe it took me this long to do this.
  • This is the best present my children ever bought me
  • I love my home again, it’s actually beautiful.
  • I’ve been looking for that, I’m so glad we found it!
  • Now I feel comfortable knowing what I have and how much I have and where it all is.
  • This process is very therapeutic, do all your clients feel this way?
  • It makes me so happy to get this out of my house.
  • The stress is gone because I know where all my important papers are and can get them in one minute.
  • I’m thrilled someone else can use my things.
  • I feel so cleansed.

These are joyful people who have gone through the process of making the hard decisions and putting the time it takes into getting organized. They now live with “less stuff” in a home surrounded only by their favorite things, important papers and items they truly use. Now they are happy.

Visit POSSE Partners LLC at:
http://www.POSSEPartnersLLC.com

Jean Marie Herron is a professional organizer and the owner of POSSE Partners, LLC. Since 2005 POSSE has specialized in residential organizing with private clients. Additionally, Jean Marie presents her “Clutter Corrals™”, informative workshops and classes on many home organizing topics. She is a Golden Circle Member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the Director of Associate Membership for NAPO-Northern New Jersey.

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Testimonials

"When my aging mother needed to relocate from NJ to FL RSM™ took care of every necessary task from family distributions, donations, and fix-ups! Bernadette Flaim’s home staging expertise made the MLS photos beyond attractive for this older, single-bedroom condo. There were several other apartments for sale in the same building for over a year. My unit received 4 offers in two weeks; 2 over asking price and one for cash. I realized this was not typical for property in my market area but, rather, the outstanding organizing, staging and selling skills of the ReadyStageMove™ Team.

Thank you so much!”

Dorothy D.
Tarpon Springs, FL

2015-12-15T18:02:12-04:00

Dorothy D.
Tarpon Springs, FL

"When my aging mother needed to relocate from NJ to FL RSM™ took care of every necessary task from family distributions, donations, and fix-ups! Bernadette Flaim’s home staging expertise made the MLS photos beyond attractive for this older, single-bedroom condo. There were several other apartments for sale in the same building for over a year. My unit received 4 offers in two weeks; 2 over asking price and one for cash. I realized this was not typical for property in my market area but, rather, the outstanding organizing, staging and selling skills of the ReadyStageMove™ Team. Thank you so much!”

"I have had the good fortune of working with Bernadette Flaim and Jean Marie Herron of Ready Stage Move on countless home preparation, staging, and listing projects.  Not only are they absolute professionals in their respective fields, but they are personally delightful to work with and ensure that the process runs smoothly.  Every property listing in which their services were utilized sold at a higher price and more quickly than other properties on the market.  I cannot recommend them highly enough!"

Harold Bill Graber
Broker Associate
ReMax Villa Realtors

2016-05-16T17:10:05-04:00

Harold Bill Graber
Broker Associate
ReMax Villa Realtors

"I have had the good fortune of working with Bernadette Flaim and Jean Marie Herron of Ready Stage Move on countless home preparation, staging, and listing projects.  Not only are they absolute professionals in their respective fields, but they are personally delightful to work with and ensure that the process runs smoothly.  Every property listing in which their services were utilized sold at a higher price and more quickly than other properties on the market.  I cannot recommend them highly enough!"

“When ReadyStageMove™ came to my client’s home for a “Walk & Talk” recently, this was the first time I had worked with them, so I really didn’t know what to expect. What I did know was that this home needed some organizing and staging help before I was ready to put it on the market. I recommended to the client to hire RSM™ for their Walk & Talk. They agreed and Jean Marie and Bernadette professionally and non-judgmentally went through the house with me and the homeowners. Once the consultation was complete, the ReadyStageMove™ Team put together a thorough, detailed and easy to follow “List of Recommendations.” This document became my client's master checklist, using it as a guide to getting their property decluttered and attractively staged, before the Open House. My clients chose to do all the work themselves following all of RSM’s suggestions and recommendations. I was pleased to report that the house sold quickly and for top dollar!”

Sharon Siracusa
Better Homes and Gardens
Rand Realty
Wyckoff Office
646 Wyckoff Ave.
Wyckoff, NJ 07481

 

2016-06-07T17:50:11-04:00

Sharon Siracusa
Better Homes and Gardens
Rand Realty
Wyckoff Office
646 Wyckoff Ave.
Wyckoff, NJ 07481

 

“When ReadyStageMove™ came to my client’s home for a “Walk & Talk” recently, this was the first time I had worked with them, so I really didn’t know what to expect. What I did know was that this home needed some organizing and staging help before I was ready to put it on the market. I recommended to the client to hire RSM™ for their Walk & Talk. They agreed and Jean Marie and Bernadette professionally and non-judgmentally went through the house with me and the homeowners. Once the consultation was complete, the ReadyStageMove™ Team put together a thorough, detailed and easy to follow “List of Recommendations.” This document became my client's master checklist, using it as a guide to getting their property decluttered and attractively staged, before the Open House. My clients chose to do all the work themselves following all of RSM’s suggestions and recommendations. I was pleased to report that the house sold quickly and for top dollar!”