R.A.Koyama

Live Well, Live Happy, Live Long

Tag: downsizing

Do You Consume everything you get?

Most of us don’t!

Many of us purchase food and don’t consume it all before its expiry date.  We also purchase clothing that we don’t wear.

We buy magazines we don’t read, and books we forgot we even had.

Life needs books

Life needs books

And today with all the information on the internet we often download “important” stuff that we never open.

That goes double for the things we get for free!  Why do we even accept it or download it?

Most of us do so because we perceived a need at the moment, but as time passes so does the need.

All this Stuff – Is it really all that important?

Is it any wonder then that we end up with so much stuff?  Our houses are cluttered with unused things.  Even our computer hard drives are filled to the brim with articles, books, reports and free stuff we will never use.

Adding to that are key things that we should be using.  If you have downloaded a book on some particular health issue then it should be read especially if it is your health issue.  Ebook readers are popular these days and almost everyone has one on some device.

ereaders save space and the environment!

e-readers save space and the environment!

The good thing about consuming books and articles this way is that you don’t have to worry about disposing of them when you are done.  And if you are concerned about the environment you won’t have to feel guilty about killing trees with your voracious appetite for the written word.

 

Digital isn’t always appropriate.

My books are almost all digital with exception of workbooks that requires written input if they are to be of lasting value.  I have and am considering making then in a format that allows the input to entered digitally, but have a concern that some of my reads will not be able to do so.  In the future, you may find that there will be an option for doings so.

On the topic of Stuff, we don’t consume and that litters our homes you can read my book that will help you to get rid of some the tangible items are actually not consumable.

The books is

Clean Your House Before You Go

New Book

 

 

Helping Aging Parents Make Difficult Decisions – Free Chapter

My Health is my concern, not yours

 

Aging Parents

Aging Parent

If that is not the case, it brings us back to that conversation being best served by having an understanding of your parent’s temperament.  If the conversation is started by suggesting it take place at the doctor’s office, you have already lost half if not all of the battle when it comes to talking about what the future should, could or will hold.  A conversation in this company will have already put the parent on edge and have them thinking you feel they are incompetent and that you need and support of the doctor to talk them into something they don’t want.  If you do in fact, need that support you will need to have a different conversation.  A conversation with the goal of getting your parents permission for you to discuss their health.

Ask for permission for Doctor Input

Doctors, as we age, become either our best friends or our biggest fear.  Sadly, too many of us as we age increasingly rely on medication to alleviate any and all aches and pains, both physical and physiological.   You will need to know what your parents’ feelings are with respect to their doctor and how that doctor is assisting them with their health care.

 

Once again temperament plays a big role in how all conversations will go. When it comes to health, the conversation should start with how they feel their health will be in the future and how it is now. Your goal here is to gain an understanding in a non-threating manner what your parent’s thoughts are when it come to their health.  This is not about the doctor’s opinion or your feelings. It is setting the stage for a conversation that may be the topic of a future conversation.

Speak of Now Not Tomorrow

 

When the conversation takes place, it is best started on what is happening now rather than just throwing out the doom and gloom of the future. It’s the age old question; which do you want first, the good news or the bad?  In this case always start with the good—how good your parents look, how something they are currently doing is a good idea.  To bring up the future, you need to tie it to the present.  For example: “Wow, Mom, you are looking pretty spry, those walks must be working.  How do you feel, do the walks make you feel more energetic?   Good, they say that is key to staying healthy.”  If your parents disagree that this has been helping them, they have opened the door for a talk about what they think could help them now and how they think it will change, for better or worse, as time goes on.

 

Keep the conversation focused on the now and let the parent direct it towards tomorrow and the future.  Doing so will help bring the true nature of the needed talk more easily into the conversation with much less stress for all parties.

 

In a nutshell, you talk about the good of today and let your parents introduce the potential changes of the future.  Use that introduction to speak of how things may change or need to change down the road, even if that road is just around the corner.

Downsizing is the time to Right Size

 retro-1291608_640

When come to Cleaning your house before you leave, the sooner we start the better who know what “later” will bring.

While we may still be healthy and lead active lives, we need to prepare now for the time when that may not be the case. Death is, of course, the final event, but the cleaning metaphor we are using will also help should there come a day when we become incapacitated. Most of us, as we age, may reach a point in our lives when downsizing through need or want becomes a reality. We may have lost a spouse, or the last of our children has left home, or we are just finding our current house to large to keep clean. In some cases, the home that somehow managed to survive the wear and tear of raising children may now be in need or repairs or even updating that we are no longer willing or able to have done.

If this is the case, then downsizing doesn’t seem too ominous, but when you look at all that stuff it may appear overwhelming. As the old saying goes a journey is started by taking the first step, or in this case maybe just a few or even many. Are you ready to start?

Taking the first step is easier with a plan:

a. What do we actually use

That first step starts with taking a real honest look at what we really use on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. In doing so, we may find that in fact, we don’t use all that much. In fact, some of what we think we use is used just because it is there, not because we need it. When was the last time you used a particular item, last month, last year, last wedding or birthday? As we attempt to lessen the load, remember that what we did and used as the kids were growing or even when the grandkids were young is not what we will regularly be doing in the future.

b. What don’t we need

Think about the two sets of dishes, one for every day and the company ones. Do we really need them? When was the last time we used them and when will we use them again? If your kids have grown and don’t come for weekly dinners or they have moved outside of driving distance, do you really need that extra set? Maybe the company dinnerware is now good enough for your everyday  use. Aren’t you special enough to use them?

 

dinnerware-67837_1920

If they aren’t special enough do you want to cart them around having to worry about breaking or even just dusting them?

a. Consider replacing the old with new

Have you noticed that some of what we call our staples for cooking and cleaning have changed? Some for good and not so good, I would challenge. But most I would say have become available in smaller more appropriate sizes for empty nesters. Once the kids are gone, who needs that large and heavy cast iron frying pan? props-1018963_1280

Who needs a four slice toaster? Who needs a huge roasting pan? Who even needs that huge soup ladle (of which I have two). Heck, even if you are a keener when it comes to cooking ask yourself are you still cooking for a crowd or much fewer people most days. Now is maybe a good time to replace all this big stuff with smaller versions of those good old standbys.

But wait! Don’t make the mistake I did when attempting this.

I was getting rid of all of the big, hardly used pots and pans and managed to do quite well. Or so I thought until Thanksgiving rolled around and I discovered that in my determination to downsize I no longer had a big enough pan for the turkey! So be forewarned, think before you throw something in that charity box. Think of the last time you used it if it was for one of those special occasions maybe, just maybe you can find a spot for it. The place I found is one I think most of us has in our kitchen. It was that corner cabinet, you know the one you can’t reach the back of and anything that was put there has been long forgotten. Well, I discovered that it was the perfect spot for that large roasting pan, the one I had to replace (darn it!). I also found another use for my husband’s collection of bungee cords. I never could figure out why he kept buying them. Anyway I wrapped one medium sized one around the pan and the lid and then hooked both ends together. I then hooked a longer one to a shorter one making sure it would reach the front of the cabinet. So now when I need to use that pan I just pull on the bungee and there it is. It’s a good thing the pans are big. I also managed to find a cookie pan with an open handle, so I put my platters on a used another (you got it) bungee cord that I could just tug on to bring the rest within reach. So now when I push it to the back of the never ending cupboard when I do need it all I have to do is just pull on the cord.

But if you can’t remember the last time was that you needed or used it (remember to consider holidays or special occasions when you host dinner), then it may be just the time to toss it.

I will admit I was and still am to some degree a gadget person; the gadgets are now mostly technology based. But, I can recall when we not only had our stove, oven, and microwave but also an electric frying pan, a deep fryer, a waffle maker, a sandwich maker and it goes on. We justified them by saying that they made things easier, quicker and the kids could use them instead of the stove which presented a danger for burns. Well, the kids grew up and did learn how to use the stove without burning themselves.

Now back to the replacements. I am amazed a how small they are making things these days, things that do the same job as those old clunky appliances we used to use. There are now things that can do the job of three of the old ones. So if your kitchen gadgets are even slightly similar to mine now be just the right time to downsize and upgrade a little. Heck, we deserve it. And so do your kids, who if they are now living on their own probably have everything they need and they are probably newer.

The key thing to remember here is in our Clean Your House Before You Leave plan having less means less for our kids to have to deal with once we are gone. So even when deciding on downsizing the big old version for something newer and smaller is a good thing, remember it will still be part of what’s left behind for the kids to handle. I guess what I am saying is – if it is a nice to have rather than a need to have, let’s not have it.

Clean Your House Before You Leave

 Part 1: Dealing with Family Treasures, so your kids won’t have to

 

IMG_0574

 

If you have reached the age where you have live through the death of a family member, you will recall how difficult that time was to get through. You remember not only pain of the loss but the pain of having to decide what to do with all the things they left behind. If you have, you will understand the need to not to get lost in the complacency of living and thinking I’m all right, there is no urgency. No matter what your current age and I am thinking if you are reading this book you are past the age of 50, the end of life is but a heartbeat away. Just kidding, statistics say that if you have reached the age of 50 with no major illness your life expectancy has increased by five years. Even with this good news about living longer, the concepts that I am writing about are appropriate for all of us as we get older. So the time to do this is now! And there is another critical piece of information we all need to be aware of, your will in most cases does not tell your loved one what to do with ALL your stuff. Therefore, if you think it the line of “I hereby give, devise and bequeath all of my worldly goods and assets of my estate to “someone,” in your will is enough to save them from having to clean your house without clear instructions you’d be wrong. Those words in your will are in fact too little information and too late to be of any comfort the family. So let’s begin the process while we are still able. I promise going through the step I am presenting will make the whole task less stressful.

Downsizing is the time to right-size

Most of us, as we age, reach a point in our lives when downsizing through need or want a reality. We may have lost a spouse, or the last of our children has left home, or we are just finding our current house to large to keep clean. In some cases, the home that somehow managed to survive the wear and tear of raising children may now be in need or repairs or even updating that we are no longer willing or able to have done.

If this is the case, then downsizing doesn’t seem too ominous, but when you look at that stuff it may appear overwhelming. As the old saying goes a journey is started by taking the first step. Or in this case maybe just a few or even many. Are you ready to start?

Taking the first step one is easier with a plan:

a. What do we really use

That first step starts with taking a real honest look at what we use on daily, weekly or even monthly basis. In doing so, we may find that in fact, we don’t use all that much. Some of what we think we do use is done just because it is there, not because we need it. When was the last time you used a particular item, last month, last year, last wedding or birthday? As we attempt to lessen our load, we should remember that what we did use as the kids were growing we no longer need going forward. What we kept even when the grandkids were young will not be needed in the future.

b. What don’t we need

Think about the two sets of dishes, one for every day and the company ones. Do we really need them? When was the last time we used them and when will we use them again? If your kids have grown and don’t come for weekly dinners or have moved outside of driving distance, do you really need that extra set? Maybe the company dishware is now good enough for your everyday use. Aren’t you special enough to use them? And are they special enough for you to cart around and have worry about breaking or even just dusting off?

Consider

a. Replacing the old with new

Have you noticed that some of what we call our staples for cooking and cleaning have changed? Some for good and not so good, I would challenge. But most I would submit have become available in smaller more appropriate sizes for empty nesters. Once the kids are gone, who needs that large and heavy cast iron frying pan? Who needs a 4 four slice toaster? Who needs a huge roasting pan? Heck who even needs that huge soup ladle (of which I have two). Heck even if you are a keener when it comes to cooking you are still cooking for fewer people. Now is maybe a good time to replace all this big stuff with smaller versions of those good old standbys.

But wait! Don’t make a mistake I did when attempting this.

I was getting rid of all of the big, hardly used pots and pans and managed to do quite well. Or so I thought until Thanksgiving rolled around and I discovered that in my determination to downsize I no longer had a big enough pan for the turkey! So be forewarned, think before you throw something in that charity box. Think of the last time you used it if it was for one of those special occasions maybe, just maybe you can find a spot for it. The spot I found is one I think most of has in our kitchen. It was that corner cabinet, you know the one reach can’t reach the back of and anything that was put there has been long forgotten. Well, I discovered that it was the perfect spot for that large roasting pan, the one I had to replace (darn it!). I also discovered another use for my husband bungee cords. I never could figure out why he kept buying them. So I wrapped one medium sized cord around the pan, and the lid hooked both ends. I then attached a longer one to the shorter cord making sure it would reach the front of the cabinet. So now when I need it, I just pull on the bungee and there it is. It’s a good thing the pans are big. I also managed to find a cookie pan with an open hand so I put my platters on an another (you got it) bungee cord that I could just tug on to bring the rest within reach. So now I push it the back of the never ending cupboard and now that once or twice a year I need it just pull on the cord.

So if you can’t remember the last time was that you needed or used it (remember to consider holidays or special occasions when you host dinner), then it may be just the time to toss it.

I will admit I was and am to some degree a gadget person; the gadgets are now mostly technology based. But, I can recall when we not only had our stove, oven, and microwave but also an electric frying pan, a deep fryer, a waffle maker, a sandwich maker and it goes on. We justified them by saying that they made things easier, quicker and the kids could use them instead of the stove which presented a danger for burns. Well, the kids grew up and did learn how to use the stove without burning themselves.

Now back to the replacements. I am amazed a how small they are making things these days, things that do the same job as those old clunky appliances we used to use. There are now things that can do the job of three of the old ones. So if your kitchen gadgets even slightly similar to mine now might just be the right time to downsize and upgrade a little. Heck, we deserve it.  And so do your kids, who if they are now living on their own probably have everything they need and they are problem newer.

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