Antiques and Collectibles Can Take Over!
I love antiques and collectibles, and recently read an article in the New York Times New Old Age Blog that really hit home. Titled “Possession Paralysis Revisited” by Paula Span, it is a follow up of an article written a couple years ago titled “When Possessions lead to Paralysis”.
Paula Span has been following the work of University of Kansas gerontologist David J. Ekerdt as he and his team were investigating whether the sheer volume of possessions, including antiques and collectibles, that old people have acquired over many decades can become an obstacle to late-life downsizing. He had long believed this was the case, but had no documented evidence.
It is confirmed! Antiques and Collectibles can be a problem!
Dr. Ekerdt gathered data from 1,000 community-dwelling adults over age 60. “It confirms all the anecdotal things that lawyers and geriatricians and families tell us: Stuff can be a problem,” he said.
This isn’t a case of hoarding. It just the normal things that we appreciate and collect. In the survey, 60 percent of respondents said they had more possessions than they needed. When asked if they felt reluctant about moving because of their belongings, 48 percent felt “very reluctant” to move and another 30 percent were “somewhat reluctant.”
What that means is that more than 75 percent of the respondents felt trapped, to some degree, by their possession, including their antiques and collectables.
Contrary to the popular belief that older people save so many possessions because of the memories, Dr. Ekerdt found that most of the possessions weren’t even particularly cherished. “It’s a problem of volume as much as sentiment,” he said. Read more by Dr. Ekerdt “Too Many Things”
Feeling paralyzed by the volume of your possessions?
After awhile we can accumulate considerably more than we need, and then it seems to take over our lives. Some of these things are legitimate antiques or collectibles; but most are things that we just like, or liked at one time.
There comes a time, usually when we are getting ready to move, that we need to take a serious look at these belongings. What seems to be an overwhelming undertaking can be much easier, even fun, with some help.
As people, we often call in a professional when we need their help. This is one of those times that calling a professional can make a big difference. Helping you decide what to discard, donate, sell or pack is what we do!