1)  Start with the easy stuff. If it's broke, damaged or no longer wanted - get rid of it. Then continue on to out- of-the-way places like attics, basements and crawl spaces.


2)  If it disappeared tomorrow would I go out and replace it?  If the answer is "no" then it should go.


3)  You are not a storage unit.  If you've been keeping things for family and friends, then ask them to pick it up.  Set a timeline and be firm.


4)  Ask for help.  Family members are good for this.  You may have some of their stuff or want to pass on some things to them.


5)  Decide what is really important.  Pretend you are moving to another country and the cost of shipping is high.  Make a list of what matters most.


6)  Is this something from a lifestyle I no longer have or want?  Thirty years ago you water skied every day and now you live 200 miles from a lake.


7)  Schedule time.  Once a week or twice for a few hours.  Remember, it took a lifetime to achieve everything so don't expect to decide what to keep or finish in a day.


8)  Value what you keep.  The fewer things you keep the more you will treasure them.


9)  Prevent new collections.  Do your parents have everything?  Instead of gifts that become "treasures" to be cleaned up give time, help or food.  Last Christmas I gave everyone treats from the NW that they can't get back home.


10) Use age to your advantage.  Now is a great time to "gift" items you eventually want to give family members.



Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006