I’ve been living in my house for over 20 years and an organizer for almost 15. The professional in me tells my clients daily to “Let It Go” and now I am listening to my own advice because I’m downsizing in 2020.

I’ve always walked my talk, so here’s what I’ve done so far. I’ve taken good measure at repurposing, minimizing, setting boundaries, donating, upcycling, and selling when it comes to the “stuff” in my attic. And there is plenty to go through. I’d love to have most of the attic emptied before the Open House sign goes in the lawn.

Many of my readers might remember that when my Nanny passed away a few years ago, one of her last requests was that I take her sewing machine which of course I did. But I don’t sew. So, I had it refinished into a beautiful piece of furniture that I treasure. At the time I couldn’t just toss all the small memorabilia that I had of my Nanny’s such as the buttons, sewing needles, safety pins, scissors, shoulder pads, photographs etc. I wasn’t ready but now I am.

I took my Nanny’s small trunk pictured here and this decorative trunk became my Boundary of what I’ve kept from my Nanny. If’s full of fun stuff that reminds me of her; photos she kept of me, my children, her children, her back scratcher, her favorite sewing tools. It’s a walk down memory lane when I open it and I’m happy with the amount I’m keeping to honor her. Lastly, it’s ready to move with me!

When I asked my daughter if she would like my wedding dress, she graciously said, “No thank you, but may I have a piece of it?”

Sure, was my answer and then I took my dress over to Karen Skogland of Karen’s Kreations and she Repurposed the gown for me into a gorgeous pillow for my bedroom and a receiving bag for my daughter’s future wedding.

Karen also created a fun pillow from my favorite sweatshirt I used to wear to all of my son’s basketball games. The last pillow I asked her to make was from my daughter’s monogrammed terry cloth robe. This fun little pillow now sits in my pajama drawer and each time I get into my pj’s it gives me a chuckle. It also reminds me to pray for my daughter while she is away at college.

Apparently, my husband snuck into the attic one day and took all the t-shirts from the bin I labeled “Memory Quilt”. He and the children picked out their favorites and had a quilt made for me from Etsy.

I’ll be frank, it probably would have been a much bigger quilt and less expensive if I had given it to Karen. But oh well, they were doing a good thing with awesome intentions by trying to help mom clear out the attic!

I also Upcycled my mother’s fur coat. The poor thing was old, dry, ripped and hung to my ankles. Thanks to Cedar Lane Furs in Teaneck, Alana the store owner, talked me into a little alteration, cleaning and moisturizing. Now I have an updated and by far the warmest coat in my house this winter.

The crib and bedding were difficult for me to part with; remembering all the times I put my two children in and out of this cherry crib with the Winnie the Pooh attire. What made it easier to Donate was that my younger cousin is having a baby and said she’d love to have it. Knowing that I could donate to a family member that would love to have it was very satisfying.

My wonderful sister-in-law has given my husband, my son and my daughter a Hess Truck every Christmas for many years now. We have dozens in the attic. I delegated this Minimize to my spouse who found a collector on eBay. The three of them will decide which ones to treasure and Sell the rest.

Last month I told you all about the Toy Drive for the Boys and Girls Club of Paterson/Passaic. I gave away dolls and Barbie’s in great shape to this great cause. I find that when you feel good about to whom you are giving, it’s a whole lot easier. I do this with my clients too. I’m always trying to find the right charity for their giveaways so it doesn’t feel so painful when closing a chapter of your life.

Recently, I had a client I helped move from Ridgewood, NJ to Newport Beach, CA. She told me as we worked our way through her home that the process felt like “little deaths” to her. Truthfully, that is exactly what I felt in my attic. Even though many of us go through this pain during a move I believe that taking your time to address carefully and emotionally what we want to do with our memorabilia that doesn’t make our “keep pile” is important and necessary. It can also make some great holiday gifts!