Last month I got an emergency call from a senior move manager I work with. She hurriedly explained she needed 2-3 Junklugger trucks immediately because her clients just had a pipe burst in their basement. She had just started decluttering with this couple the day before to help them with their downsize expedition after decades of living in their home. This couple was just beginning their tasks in order to move to a senior living community.

I went to this home to ensure it was safe for our Luggers to start the junk removal process in the aftermath of a sprinkler system error. The pipe that broke, flooded the basement which was chock full of every kind of item you could think of from many days gone by. The wife was beside herself with grief about the “stuff” and the husband thought this was a blessing. Same household emergency, two completely different perspectives. Now, of course due to the water invasion, items had to be tossed for sanitation reasons and watching this couple’s reactions was fascinating.

It’s so unfortunate when an emergency happens to a loved one’s home. But what I kept thinking to myself as this woman’s sadness was palatable was, “What a shame that the special treasures hadn’t been looked at in years, sorted through during a non-crisis time, and placed into proper containers for safe storage”. I’ve had many similar thoughts over my career when I’ve worked in places and spaces like attics and the pests or non-temperature controlled conditions have wreaked havoc on people’s “gems of a lifetime”. But, I also know that when I work with people who are pushing through the psychological process on their own, when completed they feel accomplished and serene. The past has been put into place.

I encourage everyone to take their time now to declutter on their own so the April showers of life don’t ruin the May flowers. Set aside time on your calendar to make decisions. Determine the best resources for your non-keepers such as where to donate or sell and then go to work. Procrastination and Peace do not go hand in hand.