Tag Archives: downsizing

A Guide to Getting Rid of Almost Everything

Once you’ve thanked and said goodbye to the items that do not spark joy, what can you do with them? Patricia Marx, The New Yorker, February 21, 2022 online Kids have no interest in the loot amassed by their materialistic boomer parents. Illustration by Anna Haifisch Lately, I, a maximalist, have been yearning to be […]

A Guide to Getting Rid of Almost Everything

“This allows us the illusion of being minimalist. We’ve substituted spiritual clutter for stacks of paper.”

The Wild, Wonderful World of Estate Sales

“I got into this many years ago because I saw the elderly being taken advantage of, especially those with dementia,” Julie Hall, the director of the American Society of Estate Liquidators and a thirty-year veteran of the estate-sale business, told me. In one of her numerous books, which include “Inheriting Clutter: How to Calm the Chaos Your Parents Leave Behind” and “What Am I Going to Do with All My STUFF?,” she describes a woman with Alzheimer’s whose friends and neighbors, hearing that she was going to be institutionalized, showed up at her house and began looting the place. “What I witnessed,” Hall wrote, “was like watching a vulture strip a bone.”

the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers® blog

The estate-sale industry is fragile and persistent in a way that doesn’t square with the story of the world as we have come to expect it.

By Lizzie Feidelson, January 7, 2022, The New Yorker

An estate sale is only a true estate sale if the homeowner is dead. If the owner is living, then it’s a tag sale, though many people use the terms interchangeably. When I went to one of my first “estate sales,” in Hewlett Harbor, Long Island, roughly two years ago, just before the pandemic temporarily forced much of the industry online, I was surprised to discover that the owner was not only alive but there, in her soon-to-be-former house. A recent widow, she wandered through the rooms, dazed, dressed in a fringed denim vest.

The house was a beige Colonial-style four-bedroom with prim hedges and a small, sloping lawn. I arrived thirty minutes early, but a…

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What’s Going to Happen to All the Crap I’ve Accumulated When I Die?

“We may be choosing cremation over burial these days, but self-storage units serve as the new cemeteries: hilltop monuments to our impoverished pasts, tributes to our heady successes, funerary urns holding all that will be left of us after we’re gone. I’ve come to think of them as shrines…”

the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers® blog

All across America, we boomers are finding ourselves stuck with heirlooms and mementos that we can’t give away. By Sandy Hingston, Philly Magazine (October 2021).

You gather up a lot of flotsam and jetsam in a lifetime. What happens to all your stuff after you die? Illustration by Nathan Hackett

Not too long ago, we had guests over to the house — a rare event anymore, even as we all slowly reenter the World of Other People. The occasion was an annual picnic we host for relatives, back on again after a summer skipped because of COVID. As I welcomed the first arrivals in the living room, I felt compelled to apologize for all the crapola lining my bookcase shelves. I could see my niece and nephew taking in the array of ancient elementary-school art projects, nesting dolls, Rubik’s Cubes, animal carvings, music boxes and pieces of driftwood with a…

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