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  • Writer's pictureCindy Murphy

Life's Loose Ends



We all have loose ends just hanging around in our lives. I guess you could say loose ends are simply a fact of life and giving them attention can be time consuming and often bothersome.


In my business of helping primarily older adults through the downsizing process, running into loose ends that need attention is par for the course. When a move is scheduled priorities can shift and those back-burner loose ends can easily become need-to-handle situations rather quickly.


I often advise my customers to consider everything standing in the way of a smooth transition and make a plan to eliminate them.


The loose ends of life can be small and often act as annoyances or large and require a lengthy amount of time to deal with. The worst being those that serve as major roadblocks to progress and lead to feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. If you have loose ends that need attention, it may be time to get your pencil and paper out and begin making a list whether you have a move planned or just want to live a simpler lifestyle.


Here are a few "loose ends of life" (in no particular order). Do any ring a bell?


All things legal and financial. We'll get this biggie out of the way first. If you haven't tied a bow on this one, maybe it's time to sit down with an estate attorney who can explain all the particulars.


Talking with the family. Let them know about your desire to downsize (moving or not). This can be done as a group or one-on-one. What do you want the family to know or be aware of? This is the WHY, WHAT, WHEN, and HOW nitty-gritty detailed conversation.


Making a plan. Setting achievable goals. Nothing much can be accomplished without this commitment. It's one thing to think about things and think about things some more, it's quite another to put things in writing and commit to the process. It's the step-by-step action plan that moves you forward. Accountability matters.


Small steps, big returns. When you make a plan with clearly defined goals you begin to make meaningful progress. So many of my customers can't believe how much time it takes to sort and pare down the accumulations of their lives. It can be the most time-consuming part of downsizing. Starting sooner rather than later has real benefits.


Decisions, decisions, decisions. What to keep? What to get rid of? Try not to overthink this step in the process. If you run into a decision wall, move on and come back to whatever is causing the pause. Freedom from stuff and still living a good life is what matters. Ask yourself if you can visualize the item(s) not being a part of your new way of living. Can you live without it? When you downsize, it generally means living a simpler, less complicated lifestyle--freedom from excess. Live Smaller, Live Smarter!


So what about...Papers and files. Books, magazines, & periodicals. Past work life files and materials. Gadgets and utensils of all kinds. Tools. Hobby items. Dishes, pots, pans, & formal China and glassware. Clothes, shoes, & accessories. Decor. Seasonal items. Linens. Photos--loose and in albums. Slides. Unused/outdated electronics. Yard/lawn items and equipment. Garage, basement, and attic accumulation. Pantry. Closets. Unused bathroom items. Digital clutter. Old worn-out furniture.

Every one of these items can be a "loose end" in your life that needs tying up. Again, make a plan, set goals and begin. An edited life is a breath of fresh air that brings independence from stuff and clutter.


When to start? It's never too early to begin assessing the things in your life that can stand in the way of living a more manageable lifestyle. The freedom that comes with tying up those loose ends is rewarding in so many ways.

Wishing you an open and honest approach to your stuff!


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