Tips and Hints

I hope you find these tips helpful. You can read text version of the tips below, or alternatively click on the video’s in the panel – whichever you prefer.

How to do better than eBay when selling unwanted possessions

When my clients come to me they have often decided how to sell their stuff.

eBay seems to be the first choice for many but it can be overwhelming.  Listing and managing eBay items can be a fabulous hobby or even a small industry, or indeed a full time job for some.  But it requires a lot of time and a lot of monitoring and my experience is that clients do not have this time or energy when they are managing so many aspects of a downsizing project.

Personally, listing items on eBay does not bring me joy so I offer clients two solutions:

Sell your items on eBay but through an independent seller such as Stuff U Sell.  They take commission, but they also do ALL the work for you.  I have listed items from Hermes silk scarves to a set of car tyres for my clients.

Or sell your items through local auction rooms which hold weekly auctions for all sorts of things – many of my clients are in credit with me as we sell so much this way.

Overall, if an item has a true market value of over £50 it is worth trying to sell it through an eBay master seller or auction.  The cash in hand is worth more than the hassle of doing it yourself.

I give a first-hand appraisal of all your possessions, working out what is likely to sell and what should just be donated to charity or gifted.
If you need help to make decisions about your belongings, give me a call.  Sarah Macnaught.  Rightsize.  I help get it all sorted.

How a Senior Move Manager can help elderly relatives

I’m a Senior Move Manager registered with the NASMM (National Association of Senior Move Managers, USA), and also a UK Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Champion.

Why is that important? And how can it help you?

A Senior Move Manager is a professional who specializes in assisting older adults and their families with the emotional and physical aspects of relocation and/or ‘aging in place’.

This is a qualification and trademark of the National Association of Senior Move Managers in America.

I minimize the chaos and stress associated with moving by becoming the control centre, co-ordinating all the players in the moving game.

As a SMM, I have training in health, safety and the ethical aspects of working with the elderly. I am a fully qualified First Aider and a Dementia Champion for the Alzheimers Society. And most importantly, my integrity and ethics puts the person in transition squarely in the control circle with me.

Why Gifting is so important

If you’re someone helping a family member go through the downsizing process, then think about this…

Once you have chosen what to keep, there is a very important stage to go through:  Gifting.

Parents and grandparents have held on to time honoured possessions just for the moment when the item can be given safe passage to the next generation. This is when all the memories and stories unfold.

I cannot stress how important it is to gift as many items as you can to people who care and can show appreciation and listen to the stories.  Helping elders create their legacy in this world means that letting go of possessions becomes a wonderful and positive experience.

Gifting brings reassurance that people and stories will not be forgotten.  Gifting also alleviates some issues over the perceived value of an item.

For those items they have been holding onto, thinking they will be more valuable in the future, it can be a crushing blow to find that what it actually sells for is far less than they expected. Managing the financial expectations needs a lot of tact and diplomacy.

I work very hard with elders and their families to ensure as much as possible is gifted, if you think I can help, give me a call.

The 3D’s of Downsizing: duplicate, discard and destroy

When downsizing there are three very important Ds you need to consider:

  • Duplicate
  • Discard
  • And Destroy
  • Duplication

This is so often overlooked; gathering all the meaningful photos and duplicating them.  Even if they are loose in suitcases and boxes all over the house. I can get it sorted.  Rightsize works with a commercial duplication service giving you the highest quality reproductions at a competitive price.  The process is completely confidential and data protection is ensured to the highest industry standard

Duplication is important because it means EVERY body gets a copy of the precious historical moments.

Discarding

Thankfully our recycling centres are now very sophisticated in how we dispose of our goods.  But this does mean you need a lot more preparation before you arrive:  you’ll need to have separated the plastics from the batteries, and the small electrical from the clothing.  You cannot just dump your carload and go! Rightsize makes trips for clients to their local recycling centres, helping to speed up the decluttering and freeing the space more quickly in the home.

Destroying

There is often just too much paperwork that needs to be shredded – old letterhead, bank statements, insurance records – the list goes on! Rightsize offers clients the choice to have a commercial shredding service come to the home,  shred all documents there and then issue a Certificate of Destruction upon completion.  Job done. No hassle. Quick and easy – and for a very low cost.

If you need help with downsizing, why not give me a call. I get it sorted.

How your downsizing journey can help your favourite charity

As you are downsizing take a moment to think how this process could also help your favourite charity.

When you have chosen what to keep, give to family and friends or sell, then you will be looking to donate as many of the remaining belongings to charity.

Choose a charity that means something to you or the person in transition.  Take donations to the same shop a few times and you will become part of the family.

“Without Sarah bringing things to the shop we wouldn’t have the same amount of great of stock and our sales figures are so much higher as a result of her.  We love writing to her clients and creating window displays with all the clever ideas Sarah has!” (Dorota Lane from Princess Alice Hospice)

Donating to a charity shop creates a lovely legacy for the donor.  As an added bonus, earnings in a particular month can be much higher for a shop just because of you.  It is a very rewarding relationship just waiting to be nurtured.

How much does all your stuff weigh?

If you held a book up over your head you could guess its approximate weight.    But the weight of our possessions is a bit different – it’s relative to the time we spend holding on to them.

Keep holding that book up.  After a few minutes you might get a sore arm.   After an hour, your arm might be aching and numb.  After a day you would give anything to anyone in order to put that book down.

It has simply become too heavy to hold.  And so it is with our possessions.

The longer we keep them, the more they weigh us down with emotional attachment and a sense of duty.  That is why so many of my clients tell me they can feel the weight lifting off their shoulders as we go through the decluttering process and at the end, they say their homes feel so much lighter.

So if you feel the burden of your possessions is weighing you down then give me a call.  I get it sorted.

Why SHOULD is the most unhappy word in the English language

During my free consultation I am often asked how long the decluttering process should take.  One client sent me a photo of the remaining items in his storage unit and said ‘this should take only an hour’.  I allowed half a day.  Another client said she ‘should have sorted this out years ago’  when she realised it only took us a few days to clear what she had put off doing for decades.

Should.  That word reveals the struggle so many people feel because they are unable to do it alone.   “I should be able to”. It’s very punishing and a sure sign that you can’t and won’t do it alone. But together we can look at where you are and where you want to be and come up with an achievable plan.

You may think this is a job too big even to start – but let me show you how.  My practical support really offers solutions.

I always notice when clients use ‘should’ and give them permission to be kind to themselves. So if you are using ‘should’ – then stop. Be kind to yourself. Get some help and recognise that this is a job that will be so much easier with support.

If you want to know how long it ‘should’ take – let’s have an honest and realistic chat.  Just that one small step could be the best thing you have done for years.

Resources links

If there is something troubling you in any way, The Samaritans will help, 24 hours a day.

The Silver Line is the only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

When in-home care is needed, look no further than Home Instead (live out) or The Good Care Group (live in).  Superb ethos.  Wonderful carers.

Media links

MaxSold

Rightsize was interviewed for the Expert Series of podcasts made by MaxSold, the US online downsizing and estate sale auction company.  We talk about the move management industry in the UK and Australia and the various stages of downsizing.

You can listen to the MaxSold podcast here

When They Get Older

WhenTheyGetOlder.co.uk is a fantastic resource for people looking for ways to help their parents.

The  article I wrote on 8 things you need to do to help your parents move out of the family home is here http://www.whentheygetolder.co.uk/how-to-make-downsizing-a-good-experience/

How a Senior Move Manager can help elderly relatives

Why Gifting is so important

The 3D’s of Downsizing: duplicate, discard and destroy

How your downsizing journey can help your favourite charity

How much does all your stuff weigh?

Why SHOULD is the most unhappy word in the English language