Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A moving story

When her father passed away my friend Ching found herself facing a 2 story, 4 bedroom, 3 bath, family room, full kitchen and back dining room, formal dining room, living room, den and 2 car garage house with 45+ years worth of possessions to purge.

Not an easy task. Neither from the emotional point of view nor from the huge amount of physical effort involved. This was a big scale project that needed some planning before starting.


 When working on goals that need repetitive tasks there are two possible approaches. 
The first is the serial method: start a piece, work on it, finish the whole first piece, work on the next one, keep going one by one until all the pieces are done.  The other one is the parallel work: do one type of work for every piece, do the next bit for every piece and so forth until all the pieces are finished.


Should Ching work room by room until the house was empty or should she do it by type of objects from each room?




In this case Ching started by macro purging dividing stuff into three main categories:
-        - things that she would keep (stay)
-        - things that were still useful but not for her (give)
-        - things that  were no longer useful (trash)

The first step was to tackle what she could easily reach, moving large objects and trashing what she could without having the large refuse bins that construction sites have.

That made some much needed space to finally have room to manouver around and out of the house. The process included dealing with what family and friends wanted, what charity organizations were willing to pick up, and getting rid of the rest. 

With this first macro purge she created the floor space to start sorting through the items she had set aside in boxes for a second keep, trash or donate cycle. It's at this stage that she could finally go room by room, staying vendor specific. For example, she pulled out all towels to donate to Women's Center DownTown to  use in their kitchens. The rest of the items were sorted downstairs in triage based on which party was coming to pick it up. 

In this refined cycle she kept the calls to each of the organizations to a minimum as those were a lot of her Saturdays and days off when she needed to be at home waiting for the trucks to arrive, then direct the removal of the items in the house. 


The garage was treated as a separate project  because there was a lot of hazardous chemicals etc that needed to be disposed of properly which meant a lot of research on the matter.

If you are planning to move: 
+ do your research first (recollecting times, maximun weights, recycling facilities in the area)
+ take big things out of the way first
+ process objects in three lanes: keep, give, trash
+ enlist the help of family and friends
+ take breaks and eat as healthy as possible

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou


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28 comments:

Rubbie Anne Abad said...

Thanks for the tips! Great article

Rebecca Swenor said...

Very good choice for her. Thanks for sharing the great advice.

P Bishop said...

Had to help my parents majorly downsize last year, so I can say you give correct and awesome tips. Take breaks and eat healthy, was hard to get them to stop, when on a roll, and they would get addle-brain. Sort in three piles. Yes! so true. Great blog

Heather Jones said...

Oh that is a great way to do it. I suppose all techniques could be useful. I think I tend to do the parallel one, but I find I'm more effective if I complete one task (fully) at a time. I can see how daunting it would be deciding where loved ones things had to go.

Mary Ann said...

Wonderful tips for a daunting task!

bxcrochet said...

Those are some great tips. We are looking into moving within the next year.

Michelle F.

Franc said...

This is a really difficult situation plus your friend has to sort a lot of things and deem which is more important.

Krystal Butherus said...

Moving is the worst! Thank you for the tips.

Kung Phoo said...

Nice article.. we went through this a few years ago when my mother in law passed away. It is not easy going through her stuff and knowing she will never be there again to use it.

Patty Woodland said...

That is never an easy job and you are so correct in that organizing the tasks makes it better

misteejay said...

Great article Paula with some very positive tips.

Toni xx

Bonnie Gean said...

Sorry to hear about the death of her father, but the way she went through his belongings is a method that would work for Spring Cleaning too!

Thanks for sharing!

Lisa said...

Great Article & Awesome Tips Thank You!

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Glad you liked it Rubbie Anne.

C was a real trooper Rebecca. She did an awesome job.

Thanks for sharing yourexperience as well Paula!

As counterintuitive as it sounds it is actually more effective to do things one by one in full Heather. You are on the right track.

Thanks MAry Ann.

I can vouch for the three boxes system. ~~smooth move vibes for bxcrochet and family~~

Yes Franc. All the mental planning takes a lot of energy too.

It is a lot of hard work Krystal but it can be the first step for a better place to live in.

Robert my mom has already warned me I will have to do the same on my own as she is not getting rid of anything.

Patty I think it brings some peace of mind with the clear vision.

Thanks Toni! When I read C´s FB statuses I contacted her to tell her story here. She was fab.

The sheer size of the house must have been daunting Bonnie. She had to go through everything with a very clear mission to super downsize.

Liz Mays said...

We're about to face this with my mom. She's going to live in a retirement home and I know we'll need to do all kinds of sorting and figuring out.

Sam said...

What a rough situation, I remember moving my Grandma to an assisted living apartment and she sturggled with it

Cococute Manaloto said...

This is a must read and you have given us a very nice tips for the future.

Torsten Müller said...

Hi Bonnie,

these are great tips.

It is always good to plan everything ahead and to stay organized, so you post is a must read for everyone who's planning a move.

Cheers,
Torsten

Onica MommyFactor said...

That really was big project in more ways then one. Good that she was able to break it down and get the support to get it done.

Aleshea said...

Such great advice that I'll have to pass along to a friend and blogger i know who is moving

Payal Bansal said...

Thats is terrible time for anyone when they lose someone :/

Any ways, great tips in the article

Natalie MadeIt said...

Moving sucks in general.. great tips

Leira Pagaspas said...

I can't imagine moving again.. thanks for sharing this tips..

Lexie Lane said...

Oh! So many eye openers here. Downsizing is what we're going through right now and you've just hit the nail on the head.

Jennifer Brown said...

You got it right, I just finished a seven week move, one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

~~smooth move vibes~~ for Liz and her mom.

Living with the downsizing is hard, Sam.

Thanks Cococute.

The staying organized is the tricky part Torsten when others are involved, like the pick up trucks.

Onica, her step by step approach kept her going.

Thanks Aleshea. Glad to be of service.

The feelings were running high too Payal.

I´d moved twice in three months at one point Natalie. Fortunately I was not taking much on the second move.

We have already declined a couple of jobs that involved moving Leira.

Lexis, there are many choices to make when you set a size goal.

Hope you are comfortably settled now Jennifer.

Jan Kearney said...

Hi Paula, great advice!

I've not quite got a whole house to deal with but 1 very cluttered, stacked to the ceiling almost room I keep putting off.

3 piles... I'll practice lol

Joy Healey said...

Great tips thanks. I tend to work in the parallel mode because most of my outstanding jobs are so massive they never get finished! Joy

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