Short posts from our professional downsizing experiences--consultations and work sessions. We hope these posts will be of help to anyone thinking about downsizing or for those who may already be in the process.
With flashlight in hand, up a pull down ladder I climbed to take a look at the attic space over the garage. I'd been told there wasn't much up there but surprise, surprise, it was FULL! As far as I could see, there were boxes (large and small), bags, light fixtures, furniture, and building supplies. Lots of stuff.
Neither of my potential clients are physically capable of climbing the attic ladder so cleaning out the space will be out of the question for them.
Solution: There is no family available to help, so hiring a "junk hauling" company (2 - 3 person team) is the only option to get everything down. As things are brought down, the garage will become a staging area with sorting tables set up to determine what will be kept, donated, or tossed (this is a perfect scenario for a dumpster as there will be too much trash to go out in weekly trash pickup). Given the amount of stuff and physical limitations, the sorting process could take a long time to complete.
Question: When is a good time, or at what age do we recommend addressing the excess stored in hard-to-reach spaces like attics?
Answer: When you become an empty nester or you're in your 50's.
Why: When the kids leave home it's the perfect time to sort through and clear out things that have been stored away and forgotten about whether it's in the attic or elsewhere. Also, when you're in your 50's you are (hopefully) still physically fit enough to do more challenging tasks like climbing up and down attic ladders or in and out of tight spaces.
What are your thoughts? Comments welcome.