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Years before my parents were ready to move, my mother took a notebook and went around each room making a list of all the furniture, pictures, decorative items, etc. She then made columns beside each for all the kids. When we were at her house we went around and marked, Y- yes, N-no, or M- maybe for each item. That way when the time came to dispose of things, she knew exactly who wanted what. When it was time for her to move, we each got what we wanted, although a couple items got sold to an antique dealer by accident.

It still was difficult to leave a house after living in it for 47 years. It was hard for her to even dispose of rubber bands, paper clips, etc and she insisted on seeing things before I threw them away which made the process harder. Seeing lots of her possessions at the curb for trash pick-up was hard for her too. She wasn't a hoarder but just had all the things that normally filled a 4 bedroom house. Start early if you can. Every day after helping her, I went home and got rid of some of my things. It's difficult at any state of life. It's easier for me to help someone else declutter than to declutter my things!

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Smooth Transitions South Sound LLC

Such a great story dini835 and great advice! Depending on the emotional attachment level of the client, each day we sort and create boxes of things to dispose of, I take it out of the house at the end of the day to the donation/disposal site. It really seems to help the anxiety level.

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Advice from my favorite simple living book: "Travel lightly after 60."

One thing that I think helps is to walk around everywhere and immediately get rid of the things that are easy to decide about, before you even begin the more difficult choices. It visually reduces what you have to deal with (and for me, cutting down on how overwhelming the task looks to any degree is really helpful!)

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