The most valuable lesson I have learned is that the most meaningful journey is the inner journey.

What Makes a House a Home?

The emotional and practical benefits of downsizing to simplicity

Jean Edelman: Great to be with you this week. This week, I want to talk about moving. A lot of folks moved during COVID. They didn’t have an office to go to, so they moved out of the country or they moved closer to family. They moved out of state. They moved into the country. People were just moving. On a personal note, when my dad was ill, my baby sister, she put her name on an over 55 community in Florida near my mom.

The funny thing is, her name popped up to the top of the list and they just so happened to have moved this past April. My sister had been in her house for decades, raised two beautiful daughters. Now she and my brother-in-law are starting a new chapter, and they are excited, and my mom’s excited, and we are all excited for them.

But what it took to get her ready to move out of the house, well, that’s the rest of the story. I can remember when my parents downsized from their home in New Jersey and eventually moved to Florida.

We were cleaning out and giving away and tossing things for months. It is a human experiment how we fill every cabinet and corner of our dwellings. And when it’s time to leave, it is a Herculean feat to empty it and move to our new dwelling. I’m going to give a huge call out to my middle sister. She was a great team leader for my younger sister and family.

She flew out to see my sister multiple times, helping her toss, create yard sales, give things away, donate. They did this about three times before the pods were filled and headed to Florida. And I’m going to add that my younger brother, he also lives in Florida, so now it’s going to be a real party.

But starting a new chapter, it’s exciting but it’s scary. We have to find our new grocery stores, and our hairdressers, and our doctors, and our hangout joints. We have to make new friends. We’re decorating, we’re buying furniture. All fun, if you like that. We are creatures of habit, but give it time, and our new habits will be created in our new digs.

So here’s your action item for the week. Clean out your cabinets, drawers, and closets. Why wait? Every six months you should go through your house and toss it, donate it, or sell it if you’re not using it. Just act like you’re moving. Just the act of what my sister was going through. I’ll tell you what, it got me motivated and I already did a huge house purge. But I do actually try to do that every six months.

If I’m not using it, someone else can use it. So it’s a good exercise, but I’m excited for my family. I’m excited for the new neighbors in Florida. It’s going to be a great time, lots of visiting, lots of family and lots of opportunities to make new memories in a new place. So it’s going to be fun.

But my word of the week is Move. Because really moving isn’t easy. There’re so many emotions that go along with just the physical aspect of moving.

The M is for Magnanimous, big hearted, and unselfish. When you give of yourself to family, friends, and community, there really is no greater feeling of satisfaction. And that is what my sister and my brother have done for my baby sister. We’ve all been there for her to help her through this time and get her settled into her new home.

The O is for Open-minded, flexible, and ready to try new things. When we move, every moment of every day is new. It can be very overwhelming, but give ourselves time to adjust. Give ourselves time to create our new routines, and we will be enjoying the journey a little bit better.

The V is for Value and having worth. What is important to us? What things are important to us? People, they’re priceless. And those are moments that we just need to cherish. But stuff is stuff. So donate it or give our items away but we don’t need to keep it in our home if we’re not using it. So make somebody else’s day happy and give them something fun and new. Even though it’s old and used by you.

And the E is to Empty. Empty the drawers, the closets, the cabinets. Only put back what you like and what you use on a regular basis. I’ll tell you what, it’s a great exercise to go through. Empty it and then only put back what you use and you like. You’ll be surprised how much ends up in the donation pile.

Have a great week everybody. I hope you get some drawers to clean out. It’s a good thing – it’s spring.

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