Dear Heloise: I’m helping my parents DOWNSIZE so they can move to a condo. They have spent 38 years here, and the collections and clutter are just overwhelming. How do I help them get started? -- Ruth J., Augusta, Ga.
Ruth, you are NOT alone! With the large demographics of the United States, it’s almost “the thing that’s going on” everywhere. Here are some hints for you and others to get started:
* First, take it room by room, or by category, such as all books, bathrooms (towels, etc.), maybe even closets. Look at winter coats, old clothes, shoes and luggage.
* Let friends and family know that they can come and take useful items that they want. Items in good shape can be sold in a garage sale, or online. Clothing can go to a consignment shop. Do they really need a full service of china or crystal? How many figurines do they want to dust?
* Take your time! Plan several days, maybe only one or two a week, for a month.
* Charities, homeless shelters, theater groups and religious organizations may welcome furniture or appliances. -- Good luck! -- Heloise
P.S. Do not rent a storage unit! You will never get back to it to clean it out.
SEND A GREAT HINT TO:
P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX 78279-5000
TIME FOR A CHANGE
Dear Readers: Here is a little more about moving, downsizing or trying to clear the crud that seems to fill our lives. Where does it all come from? Being a military brat (Air Force) and proud of it, we moved often when I was growing up. The good news: You HAVE to clean out closets, drawers, pots and pans, etc. It’s kind of nice to “start fresh” and put furniture in different arrangements.
So, here is a HINT FROM HELOISE: Take a look around, move the furniture, change the drapes or lampshades, paint a wall or hang new paintings or photos. It does not take much money, or a lot of time. Try it -- trust me -- and you will see that it’s true. -- Heloise
P.S. If you live near a college, call and see if there are groups (service organizations, clubs, etc.) that want to earn some money. They can help with lifting, and just may take some items away to use!
Dear Heloise: When summertime arrives, my nieces and nephews come to visit at the lake. Sometimes we have a houseful! Here are a few RULES FOR THE CABIN:
A. If you open it, move it or make a mess, close it, put it back or clean it up!
B. Everyone is responsible for cleaning up after themselves in the kitchen and the bathroom.
C. If the toilet-paper roll is empty, put a new one on! They are under the sink.
D. If you leave, WRITE down on the pad in the kitchen where, when and what time you will be back. -- Auntie and Uncle in Wisconsin
POP THE TOP
Dear Heloise: When I have a hard time opening the “pop-top” cans, I use the end of a vegetable peeler to pry it up. -- Jeanette in California
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