Put a Bossy Person on Your Downsizing Team

A take-charge woman making a phone call

A take-charge woman making a phone call

Every year Edna dreads the annual visit of her bossy daughter-in-law. She just doesn’t know what to make of her. Instead of sitting and visiting, this gal wants to be doing something. Edna has always thought that she was just easily bored,but I suggested that this year when her son and his family visits, that maybe this daughter-in-law might be brought into Edna’s downsizing project. Let’s give her something to do. Here are some of the ways a “take charge” person could help:

  • Locate resource people who provide the services that Edna might need.
  • Find an appraiser. Ask if they do “walk-through” appraisals, or, take an individual item to be appraised.
  • Find who takes donated items. Will they come to the house and pick them up?
  • Find out where waste can be hauled. Who picks up trash? How must hazardous waste be handled?
  • Help Edna make an action plan.
  • Keep Edna focused on her current tasks and projects and avoid getting distracted by irrelevant details.
  • Ask Edna questions that appeal to logic and question irrational beliefs by asking “What’s the worst thing that could happen if you got rid of this?” and “If this worst thing happened, could you live with it?” Sometimes Edna needs a nudge from someone who is pragmatic and practical to offset her sentimentality.
Harriet Vaughan

About Harriet Vaughan

I am a Senior Move Manager, working with Senior Citizens and their families when it is time to downsize or just make the home safer and more comfortable for aging in place. I help these people make decisions about what to keep, throw out, donate, or sell. I also offer workshops on "Getting Things Done When You Are Over 60". I write about how to overcome memory lapses and how to use your physical energy well. I have a degree in Home Economics from the University of Maine. I live in Coopers Mills, about 14 miles east of Augusta. I have been married for almost 50 years to my husband, Chuck Vaughan. Our business is called Legacy Years Transition Services.