The Generational Gift of an Uncluttered Home

Episode Overview:

On this episode of “Hey, Boomer!”, host Wendy Green explores the generational gift of an uncluttered home. Joined by guest Nicki Davidson Jones, an experienced organizer and declutterer, they dive into the importance of downsizing and organizing our living spaces, specifically as we age. Together, they discuss the emotional and practical aspects of decluttering, share insights from influential books on the topic, and explore the impact of an uncluttered home on our well-being and future generations.

With stories, tips, and insights, this episode explores the transformative power of downsizing and reimagining our living spaces.

Key Lessons:

1. The emotional and practical benefits of decluttering our living spaces.

2. Exploring the Swedish art of death cleaning and its impact on preparing for the later years.

3. The importance of respecting different perspectives and approaches when downsizing as a couple.

4. Navigating grief and loss through the process of decluttering.

5. Finding freedom and calmness through embracing a more organized and uncluttered home.

Call to Actions:

– Learn more about downsizing and decluttering by visiting

– Connect with Nicki Davidson Jones and discover her expert advice on organizing at

– Join the Hey Boomer community on Facebook at

– Explore Road Scholars’ adventure and float programs on smaller vessels at

Join Wendy Green and her guest, Nicki Davidson Jones, as they unpack the significance of an uncluttered home and the impact it has on our well-being and future generations. Get inspired to declutter, organize, and create a living space that brings freedom and joy in this transformative episode of “Hey, Boomer!”


Wendy Green [00:00:16]:

Hello.,And Welcome to Hey Boomer. The show for those of us who believe that we are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream. My name is Wendy Green, and I am your host for Hayboor. September 11th, I am sure we all remember where we were on September 11 2001. I was living outside of DC in the suburbs of Northern Virginia and I actually know a few people that were killed when the plane hit the Pentagon. And if we've learned anything from this tragedy, we learned that things can change in an instant. And that life is short. And I hope that we could also learn that there is no place for hate in our lives. As we are heading into the fall, in September, bringing in some of our cooler weather. I am really looking forward to some of that cooler weather and the beautiful colors And for the month of September, I'm gonna be focusing our topics around family. So Family in today's episode, we're gonna talk about some of what's messy about families and messy about ourselves. And we're going to do get some ideas about how to address those messes, how to declutter, how to get organized, And I I know for me, I'm really looking forward to this, particularly for my office space. I need, really to focus on that. But one reason that we really need to have this episode is because As we are aging, we have to start thinking about what we're leaving behind for people that are gonna have to clean up after us. And Unfortunately, the truth is that our children don't want a lot of the stuff that we got from our parents, our grandparents, and how are we gonna deal with that? And also how are we gonna deal with leaving things that maybe, you know, were very important to us at one time and and are not important to us now. And so why are we still holding on? And what's behind not letting go. So we're going to deal with that, but there's also some other benefits for decluttering that I found about I found as I was looking about this, it says an organized home can provide us with more gratitude, more time, a sense of calm and a sense of freedom from feeling all of that clutter around us. And, you know, this is something that I know when I'm in my office and it's full of pay piles of paper, it's very much more of a challenge for me to think about what I need to focus on that day because all I'm doing is being distracted by the piles around me. So getting organized and clearing off some of that clutter can be very beneficial to our sense of intercom. So my guest today is my good friend, Nikki Davidson Jones, and she is an experienced organizer and declutterer. Is that a word?

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:03:54]:


Wendy Green [00:03:55]:

Decluttered. But before I bring her on, I I just have a couple of announcements I wanna make. First of all, Road scholars, adventures of float programs are gaining steam. The participants that are signing up for these programs are particularly interested in some of the smaller ships. So they have found that for calendar year 2024, expedition ship programs. Those are the smaller ships that can get into, like, little coves and stuff are up 48% Over the calendar year 2019, you know, pre COVID. River boats are up 53%. Small ships are up 29%. And the barge vessel cruises, those go down like the canals are up an incredible 183% over 2019. The ocean voyages really have not caught up. So to check out these offerings, go to road /heyboomer and then search for cruises, and you'll find a wide assortment of amazing trips that you could go on on all these different kinds of smaller vessels. And be sure to add the slash hay boomer so that they know you heard about it here. The other thing I wanted to remind you of is that on Hey Boomer, we have a private Hey Boomer group. Where we have all kinds of discussions and and questions and encouragement and memes and You know, we're building a community there. And if you're not a part of the Hey Boomer, what's next private Facebook group, I invite you to join that group. You can find us by going to /heyboomer. And then you can ask to join an ISA administrator will very graciously let you in. So, please go ahead and join our group. We're having fun in that community, and we're learning a lot. Alright. Are y'all ready to meet Nikki? Nikki is here with me, so I'm gonna invite her to come over and sit in this chair. Hi, Nikki.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:06:16]:


Wendy Green [00:06:18]:

Alright. So let me do a brief intro. Nicky was born in Minneapolis, raised in Louisiana and California. She has a degree in American Studies from the University of California Davis Campus and a in home organization. She's worked in marketing, education management, and sales, and has 2 wonderful adult children. Her interest in organizing began as a frustrated disorganized working mom. And 30 plus years later, She's still a work in progress. Aren't we all? Her business name sums up her approach decluttered Organize reimagine. Nikki was widowed in 2014, and she spent the last decade reimagining her life. So we're so glad you're here, Nikki. Thank you. Yeah. So I wanna get started by saying that you you started out saying that you were a disorganized mom and so you started to learn how to get organized. So tell us about how that interest came about

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:07:28]:

you grew it. Okay. I had some young children. I was working. I had a work. My spouse was working. My husband was working. And Nothing else was working. I checked a book out of a library called confessions of by the organized homemaker. Oh, nice. I think it was a self published book. Maybe. I don't know, but it was it was one of those things where you read it and you go, oh, This isn't as hard as I think. I just have to do this, this, and this, and slowly did those things, and I just felt as you were saying more calm in my life because things were more organized. I am not my nature an organized person. I am I am all over the place sometimes and having a calm home does help me a lot too. Over the years, I've learned that I can live with a less and that helps give you a different kind of freedom. And I've helped a lot of people figure out how they want to reimagine their lives and their homes. Yeah. It's kind of been a good thing. This is primarily a post retirement kind of job for me. I started years years ago probably to --

Wendy Green [00:08:42]:

I I am surprised to hear you say that you're not by nature organized because Nikki walked into my office and she was just it was like immediately she was like, oh, you could do this. You could do this. You could do this. -- which of course was raising my anxiety because I was like, I don't know how to do any of that. So so she's gonna help me with

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:09:01]:

that. Yes.

Wendy Green [00:09:02]:

But there are a couple of really famous books about organizing or decluttering Maria Kondo, Marie Kondo, she has several. And then there's this new one may couldn't be relatively new about the Swedish art of death of cleaning. Yeah. Which has a title that's very, interesting and captivating.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:09:25]:

The the book, the Swedish art of death cleaning is more of a memoir about a written by a woman, and she says she's somewhere between 80a100, and she is going through her life, through memories, and how she downsized a few times, and how she dealt with, getting her house and her life prepared for her later years. And apparently in Sweden, this is a word. These are words that they do use but basic basically as it applies to us, it's making sure that your house and your life is ready for your children when you pass on. So you've done you do the hard work of going through all those drawers and getting rid of all those says things you don't need really that you've just kept. It doesn't necessarily mean you throw everything away, but it means you are conscious of what you think your children or your friends will want. What will make them happy? What what do you think will bring them joy to connect it back to Marie Kondo when you're gone and how to get rid of everything else? So you're you're looking at your family and what they would need and want. And then she goes through a lot of steps about how to pass things on. She is a very she has very single line in how to do this. She has she has very clear passion on how she did her life and It's it's an interesting read. Okay. I wouldn't read it for tips on how to declutter. I would read it for motivation on what you need to think about to be motivated to take that step.

Wendy Green [00:11:03]:

To deal with the things that you wanna leave behind or not leave behind for a family. Right.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:11:07]:

Right. Okay. Has more specific approaches that she uses and she has great ideas. I use a lot of her her processes to help people. But the most important part about that book also connects to what the woman who wrote the Swedish chef cleaning book wrote, and that is what really motivates you to make a change in your life at whatever age. What motivates you to figure out what's important to you, what's what motivates you to figure out where you will live your best life Marie Connor talks about things that spark joy, and we all know we have to have things in our houses that spark the zero joy. But we still have to have. Right? So it but what motivates you to figure out how you want to live basically and what's important to you Sorry.

Wendy Green [00:12:00]:

Okay. So so I would think though with the Swedish death cleaning, I can't in a vacuum just think about what I wanna leave for my kids. Isn't that a conversation I should be having with them?

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:12:15]:

You know, it's very interesting this woman who wrote the book has a fantastic relationship with her children. And apparently, they have lovely deep conversations about life and there's no judgment and there's no resentment and none of the other cons, you know, consequences of conversations with our children sometime or how many people are having conversations with us. So in a perfect world, sure. But sometimes well, the rule isn't perfect. So sometimes we just can't do that. But, yes, if you can sit down and have a conversation with your kids, most of whom in my experience just say, mom, I don't want any of it.

Wendy Green [00:12:56]:


Nicki Davidson Jones [00:12:56]:

I don't wanna, you know, I have a house. I have a life. I don't need any of your stuff. You have to accept that as an answer. You have to take that at face value and say, okay. Nobody in my none of my children are relatives grandchildren want anything for of this house. So then I am 100% free to decide what do I wanna look with. In some ways, that's a huge gift if you trust that your children really mean it. You know, sometime, but I've also helped children after their parents have passed on and they walk into a house that is just filled with things that are terrifying, evoke bad memories, evoke wonderful memories. And every once in a while, I'll work with a family that says, we don't want any of it. We took the 3 things that we wanted. My brother took the 3 things that they wanted, and I am just get rid of everything. Yeah. And I have to tell you, I charge those people less.

Wendy Green [00:13:59]:

Just get rid of everything.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:14:00]:

And because you don't have to organize. It's very yeah. Sell this, donate this, trash this, and I get to make the decisions, but that's rare.

Wendy Green [00:14:12]:


Nicki Davidson Jones [00:14:12]:

That's rare that somebody after their pets pass on, but they are willing to just say, I got everything I need from my mom and my dad in their lifetime. And I don't need anything else and there are no material things in this house that I need.

Wendy Green [00:14:26]:


Nicki Davidson Jones [00:14:27]:

And that's kinda how you would really If you wanna talk about a generational gift, what a fantastic generational gift that when you pass on your children are not cleaning up after you. I are not going through everything trying to decide. Did you did mom love this? Did dad love this? Do I love this? There's enough in grief. That sometimes that is so overwhelming and so difficult. People put it off for years. They'll have a house pool of their parents stuff or their spouse's stuff. That they just can't face. I mean, what a gift to be able to save your kids okay. I'll take care of this before you go.

Wendy Green [00:15:04]:


Nicki Davidson Jones [00:15:04]:

Before I go.

Wendy Green [00:15:05]:

Before I go. Right. Before I go. And, you know, I have I have had some dishes that I got from a an aunt and I did ask my kids if they wanted it. So I gave it to them now.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:15:18]:

Yeah. They say yes. Yeah. Absolutely. And I know a lot of children We're talking about adults here when we go to your children. Resist and say, oh, you know, it's a game I play. My mother tries to give any things every time I visit. My suggestion to the children. Take it. Just take it.

Wendy Green [00:15:35]:

Then you can get rid of it if you want.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:15:37]:

You're gonna take it now and deal with it, or you're gonna take it later and deal with it. And the parents have to give things with a gift with a concept. Once I give it it to you, it's yours to do as you wish. Good for you. If you want to keep it in your life, you can. If you wanna pass it on to a friend or or you wanna sell it or donate it, it's out of my life and it is now yours. And that's an ultimate gift. Right. That's a good point. Well, you give a gift. So if your parents are trying to pass on the dishes that your aunt great aunt had. And you don't really want them, but your mom needs them out of the house. Be gracious. Yeah. Thank you. Put them in your car. Drive by goodwill.

Wendy Green [00:16:15]:

If you don't want them if you don't

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:16:16]:

want them.

Wendy Green [00:16:17]:

Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, I

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:16:20]:

can make this easier on ourselves. Or we can make it difficult. And that goes for the children and the adult and the parents.

Wendy Green [00:16:29]:

So you mentioned the grief, Yeah. Right? And how difficult it is to I mean, you're dealing with this loss, and now you have to deal with all this stuff. What about I mean, you lost your spouse. Right. Right. Like, how did that

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:16:45]:

work? Well, Like, for me, seeing his clothes in the closet was just overwhelming, and I had to get all the clothes out of the closet. As soon as possible. As soon as possible, I mean, within weeks, but I know people who have held onto their spouses' clothes or if there's a child, their children's closed for years years. It's a totally personal decision. It's a really what it is that will make you have what will make you feel whatever you need to feel in the moment. Have I ever regret it that I gave away all my husband's clothes not for a second? I mean, somebody got to wear them. They were just clothes. That's me. Yeah. Somebody else that's That's a big deal to think that they're they've done that.

Wendy Green [00:17:36]:

What about some of their other's personal stuff? Mean, was that harder to let go of, like, tools or jewelry or anything like that? I think

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:17:48]:

I mean, I've gone through 9 years now of grief. And I still can grief does not go away. Doesn't it I don't even think it changes. It it's Yeah. I think everyone goes through their own grief journey. And I I could not even recommend do this or do this or do that. There's no good way because you're grieving. You lost somebody and they're it's it's just it's hard. It's just plain hard and the way I did it worked for me, I I will listen to somebody and it's the same, actually, when I go to someone's house, not like you did today with me, where we just, like, brainstorm in my office. But everybody comes to their clutter disorganization or a life change with their own perspective, their own needs, their own, just way of handling things And so I have to just kinda sit back and figure out what's gonna work for this particular person. It's there's no one size fits all. And with grief, there is absolutely no one size it's long. I know people who have been in my group groups for years and they have their house has not changed 1 Iota in 10 years. Since her spouse passed on.

Wendy Green [00:19:02]:

Yeah. Who am

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:19:02]:

I to say that that's a bad way to live?

Wendy Green [00:19:05]:

Right. You have to you as the organizer just have to respect and give them grace.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:19:11]:

I've I try to do that with everybody. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think I'm pretty patient and compassionate. We're wherever anybody is in the moment is what we deal with. I mean, I've helped people who's, for example, a spouse had total rain over the garage and he had pools and motorcycle stuff and fishing stuff and all the paraphernalia stuff to keep in a garage. And his surviving spouse just said, I don't need any of this. I've already kept everything that means something to me. Just organize it. Donate it. Sell it. Yeah. But it took her 5 years to

Wendy Green [00:19:48]:

to get to that.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:19:48]:

To get to that point.

Wendy Green [00:19:50]:

Yeah. Alright. Let's lighten it up a little.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:19:53]:


Wendy Green [00:19:54]:

Okay. So rumor has it

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:19:57]:

-- Uh-oh. --

Wendy Green [00:19:58]:

that you are a big fan of Schitt's Creek. Schits, s c h I t t s. I'm not cussing here.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:20:04]:

More than a rumor. Plastered all over.

Wendy Green [00:20:09]:

So if you haven't seen it, Schitts Creek, S C H I T T S, Schitts creek. It's really a funny show, but but I'm curious if you got any organizing or decluttering tip from that.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:20:22]:

Yeah, you've hit my my soft spot. Actually, I have a tattoo on my arm that represents a moment in shit screen that referenced something you said earlier. Oh, which is your life can change in a moment. And That's the thing to be celebrating because who knows what's gonna happen? I mean, it it's just it feels good to me to think of it that way. The other part of Shits Creek for me that I think really connects is that you can lose what you consider to be the most important thing in your life, the thing that defines you, the thing that makes you feel comfort, the thing that brings you the greatest joy, my case's spouse, in their case money. And you can figure out a way to live with that that that's even beyond your dreams that you thought was possible in that moment when your life changed. I'm going to my tattoo. In the moment when your life changed and So I use up that concept all the time, when I'm working with people. The other message from should creek is nobody's thinking about you the way you're thinking about you. Oh, so true. No one's judging your house, and if they are, they're not your friends anyway. That's So you live the way you wanna live. They're all worried about what they look like, what they're doing. And so when we're just gonna make your closet the way it works for you, your office the way it works for you, your kitchen the way it works for you because That's who's using them. That's who it's important to. So those are 2 things. I mean, like, you could learn it off. I'm sorry. You could do the entire --

Wendy Green [00:22:00]:

We could do a whole

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:22:01]:

series of Schultz Creek, and I would be fine with writing about it. But I think those are 2 of the biggest points. 1, in their case, money, and they chose to have experiences rather than things, and they chose to have relationships rather than things. And I think those both those work really well with the concept of how do you live with less and be happier?

Wendy Green [00:22:26]:

That's a really important statement. Experiences rather than things and relationships rather than things because, you know, we go through that time in our lives when we're in our thirties and forties and we're accumulating, right, because that makes us feel successful. So we have the the car and the house and all of the

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:22:44]:

-- Makes us feel successful and all the things that we need because of the life that we're living when we're 30 and 40. We're working. And -- Right. We need we need more. We need a lot of stuff.

Wendy Green [00:22:54]:

Right. And and now at this point in our lives, you know, we can start to down size. And I don't know that I'll ever be a minimalist. You know?

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:23:03]:

Yeah. No. It has to be.

Wendy Green [00:23:05]:

But I I think it would be helpful and tell me, but I think it would be helpful to not necessarily start with the end in mind of what am I gonna leave for my kids or not leave for my kids. But start with, as you were saying, you know, what is gonna make me feel better as I'm living in this space? And what do I what can I let go of?

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:23:28]:

Right. Absolutely. And definitely, you do not need to be in the middle minimalist. If you love the thousands of books that you've collected over the years, go for it, but have bookcases and take care of the books and make sure they're not in dusty boxes in the garage. Respect what you love. Mhmm. Respect what you love. And that's true for everything that that you've accumulated. If it's up in the attic and it's filled with dust and you're worried about mole How much do you love it? How much do you really care about it? If your answer is I love it and I care about it, bring it down and put it in your life. Don't just let it sit up there. If, you know, they say if you release something you have room for more love to come into your heart, you can look at it that way. You can also look at it like, I love this. I'm sharing it with love, and I'm gonna donate it to someone else who loves it's going to find it.

Wendy Green [00:24:27]:

Do you find that when things are messy and maybe they never are at your house anymore? But do do you do you find that your whole system gets kinda revved up and you don't feel comfortable?

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:24:42]:

I can tell when I'm going through a something. I'll have piles of clothes on my bed that I have worn, but I haven't hung yet or I have to fold and put away piles to me are indication for me that I've let I'm not focusing on making my life as easy and simple as I could, but easy and simple is my way of wanting to live. Someone else might choose to live in a complicated world. And all I can say is if you know where everything is and you don't cause yourself stressing stress to find it. It's okay. You know, it's when people stress themselves out looking for a letter that got sent to them 3 months ago and it's in a pile and they can't find it and they they they It's it's tough to live that way.

Wendy Green [00:25:34]:

So I have to ask you this. Have you worked with couples doing this? Interesting. We

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:25:40]:

worked with couples.

Wendy Green [00:25:42]:

Because I would imagine, you know, there's you you always hear the story about. Right? Like, the wife is very organized or the husband is very organized and the other one, like, leaves their socks on the floor and they're

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:25:52]:

-- I have worked with couples. I've worked with couples who are getting ready to sell their house, and I helped them downsize their their living space so that the realtor could come and take pictures so that they could get prepared for the next move. They were motive in 2. I've done that twice, with couples. And in both cases, they were very motivated to listen to me. Okay. Because they want to sell their house for as much money as possible. Right. And they wanted to make the move as easy as possible. Now whatever fights they had off Right? Or I wasn't there. I don't know to get them to that place, but in both cases, it was like, okay. What do you want us to do next? Okay. Do next. What do we So, yeah, if babies share just like any other thing in a couple, if you share the same end goal, even if you have different ways of getting there in a couple, you can get there if you respect the fact that you approach things differently. Did the stronger of the 2, load the truck and take the stuff to the goodwill. Yeah. Well, the person who was the less strong person, you know, went through the kitchen cabinets. Yes. But they divided the roles based on how it worked for them.

Wendy Green [00:27:06]:


Nicki Davidson Jones [00:27:07]:

I, you know, that's an interesting question of what if I mean, that's a marriage counselor question.

Wendy Green [00:27:13]:

Well, you know, I guess I I it made me think because of the way you approach it. You know, you're very much respectful of of what works for that person. And then I thought, well, what if you have two people and something works differently for one and for the other?

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:27:29]:

Well, that's why they call them man caves and sewing rooms. Right? You know, or whatever term you wanna put in

Wendy Green [00:27:35]:

my office.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:27:36]:

And -- Yeah. You have separate spaces that you can keep the way you want. Oh, I thought of another family that I helped. Definitely. 2 totally different styles. Okay. Very different styles. But we worked on her office and we worked on his den. Okay. And So, you know, we they had their they went to their own corners. Yeah. But I think the bigger question you're asking about is more of a marriage counselor marry therapy question than a decluttering question because you're you're still trying. Yeah.

Wendy Green [00:28:11]:

But from the way it sounds, Nikki, you are also doing some counseling coaching. You know, you've gotta, yeah, read the people. Absolutely.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:28:19]:

I've a huge part of of what I do is trying to find out where somebody is with their organization or their clutter or they're reimagining of how they want their room to look. I'm going to houses where I think everything looks great and they say this living room isn't working for us. It feels to organized and you look around. It's just beautiful. Yeah. And really what it is is when we sit here, we need and they don't visual they don't have a spatial understanding of where to put So, things like that is part of org reorganization. Yeah. Imagine your life. So I am able to do that often to help people.

Wendy Green [00:28:56]:

So we've talked a lot about, like, all these different scenarios. What do you think, like, pushes someone to that point where they're okay, I need to call. I need help.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:29:09]:

Well, if I knew that, I have more a lot more clients. I think what pushes people is they are unhappy with how they're living. They are unhappy with their closet or they're unhappy with their kitchen. It's just just doesn't feel like it's folk ready, just doesn't function, or it's been this way for a long time and they're ready to make a change. There's so much about grief that goes with that, and it's not just a fossil grief. It can be losing a parent or a child or even a pet. And sometimes you just get overwhelmed and then you look around after, a month or 10 years and you go, oh my gosh. How do I how do I let it get like this? Yeah. Yeah. Everybody has a whatever their motivation is is what we'll do. I wanna go back to one thing you said, though, about the psychology of it. I we're not I've only worked with one person that I think was a actual hoarder. And that is a, a disease. Yeah. Essentially. Yeah. And you need to see a if you feel like you or someone you know is an actual order, meaning anything removed from your house terrifies you, like if I pick up an old plastic cup off the floor and it's just filled with stuff and there's just stuff everywhere and I I just throw this faucet couple away? You know, it had you got it at McDonald's 3 years ago. Can I toss it? And they say, no, I have a use for that, or, no, you can't move that. That that requires professional help beyond what I can do.

Wendy Green [00:30:42]:

Okay. Alright. Good point.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:30:45]:


Wendy Green [00:30:45]:

was as I was thinking about this episode. Right? I have kept journals for years years years and years years. And some of them I actually have already gotten rid of because they were journals about my kid's dad. But still, there's stuff in there that I probably don't want them fine. And yet now at this point, I still like to go back and look and see, you know, what was I thinking and where, how far have I come and those kinds of things. And you, of course, like we said, life is short. You never know. Right? Should I keep them in a box with a note on there that says, That's don't open. Throw this away.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:31:30]:

That is the Swedish debt and cleaning method, which is get a box put anything in it and it doesn't have to be something like, you know, love letters from an old boyfriend that you don't want kids to know about or a spouse to know about. It can simply be a toy you had when you were a kid that you know means nothing to anybody else, but you just love it. You can't get rid of it. You can't throw it away. You can't donate it. You put it in there and then you just label it, you know, destroy it my death. And then they can read it or not. That's up to you.

Wendy Green [00:32:00]:

I know because at that point, you won't know. Okay. You won't know. You won't know.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:32:04]:

And if your children don't want to, obey your wishes at some relationship you've had with your children. And and, you know, that's that oh, well, you won't be here to find out.

Wendy Green [00:32:16]:

Yes. That's right.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:32:18]:

This is just oh, well. But yeah, you can do that. So, like for example, I have written things that didn't happen that were just, yes, you know, you have trauma in your relationship in your with your husband. I mean, we all have anybody's been married as long as I was. You know, there's times you don't get along. Right. I need to write stuff down that you really don't mean, but you say you need it in the moment.

Wendy Green [00:32:44]:

You need it in the moment.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:32:45]:

But do I want my kids read that? No. Oh, no. No. No. No. It it and so, do I I've got rid of a lot of

Wendy Green [00:32:53]:


Nicki Davidson Jones [00:32:54]:

Because it doesn't serve me anymore. Most memories do not serve me. So when I was downsizing and moving after my husband passed away, I'll need that. Right. I want a good stuff that you remember. Want the good stuff. Yeah. But, yeah, if if you have things that because you're right. I mean, we think we're gonna have this long life and we're gonna know how it's gonna slowly end But it could end driving home?

Wendy Green [00:33:21]:

It could end driving home. Yeah. I had to think of

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:33:24]:

it that way, but, I mean, and that's this this is something you I don't know if you're under whiz, but as boomers, you know, make sure someone knows where your will is, where you, you know, if you have a financial advisor to get for that person, bank accounts, numbers, safety deposit box keys, all those kind of things that You can put all of them in one small box and tell your kids like, you know, it's it's the purple box in my closet on floor. And then that's all you, you know, go there and all the answers are there and know who to contact and what to do. I think that's a huge gift to give you a gift.

Wendy Green [00:34:04]:

Yeah. And I think we'll cover that in another episode when we talk about also decluttering your computer. Yes. You know, because you got a lot of stuff on your computer from years years years ago that you don't need.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:34:16]:

And and if anybody even knows how to get into your computer.

Wendy Green [00:34:19]:

Right. They know how to get in and and all of their accounts.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:34:22]:

Oh, and all that's gone. What's my fingerprint? It's gone. Yeah. So It seems like that, but I --

Wendy Green [00:34:30]:

So we'll do another episode. I mean, that's

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:34:34]:

probably a good thing for the adult to do.

Wendy Green [00:34:38]:

Right. Right. And I said

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:34:40]:

after you pencil, he just don't want to be scared. Than they offer you. Right.

Wendy Green [00:34:47]:

And I, you know, I would encourage the conversations with the family that's gonna have to go through your stuff as best you can. But what about the kids that have moved out? And left all their crap

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:35:03]:

on it. I have so stories about this, and I walk in the houses where Children are in their thirties and their bedrooms are exactly the same as they were when they were eighteen and went off to college. And their stuff is still in there in high school. Yeah. Again, not my place to say that's insane. But I think that's a veteran that you are taking care of paying for heating, air conditioning. You probably go in there in vacuum every once in a while. How do you reclaim your own house and your garage and your attic? There's people who will say, If you don't get everything out here by the by December 31st, it's going. That is apparently gonna be strong enough to toss out all those baseball trophies and, ballet ribbons or whatever it is that you've accumulated over the years and, and just Let them go. Let them go. They are things. If they meant something to your kids, really, they probably would have them with them. But if they're just hard for them to let go, that's a really deep heavy conversation. I know people. I've worked with people who have had every toy their child has ever played with. And they know how grandchildren thinking that their grandchildren are gonna wanna play with those toys. And some of those children don't wanna let go of the toys even though they don't serve a purpose in their life but they have to have those toys. And you know, part of it is how much do you want to, of your space do you want to devote to that?

Wendy Green [00:36:44]:

Yeah. And that is true. You know, I did I, like, I saved books that were favorites of my kids. That I, like, I couldn't wait to read them with my grandchildren. Of course now, my grand oldest is often college. You know, she doesn't want to read that book with me anymore. So I probably should think about donating those books.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:37:06]:

Or you can ask her, do you think when you're a mom, you'd like to read these books to your children? And and she can say, I'd love to, but I can't keep him in my dorm and you say, I'm happy to keep him here for you. That's because that would be such

Wendy Green [00:37:20]:

a good idea.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:37:21]:

I have my a lot of my children's books, would that would be wonderful if anybody ever said to me My grandchild will.

Wendy Green [00:37:29]:

Your grand dog.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:37:33]:

But I mean, that's a conversation. Yeah, film session, and she may say, you know, I don't remember any of these books, grandma. I don't remember any of these books, and you just have to say, okay.

Wendy Green [00:37:45]:

With tears rolling down

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:37:46]:

my face because he was so free and not pass on the guilt, but this is these kind of feelings, the guilt resentment, all those negative feelings which are honestly real feelings and you have to feel them. Usually you're signalling some other issue that you need to talk about or work through.

Wendy Green [00:38:12]:

Yeah. Or you're just yeah. Yeah. I mean, for me, it's a sentimental thing. You know, I was like,

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:38:17]:

I read this to your father, and now I read it to you. And -- And what does that mean to you as a sentimental thing for you to let go? Does that mean that that memory's gone? No. No. Is the sentiment still in your heart? Yeah. Do you need the physical book to remind you of that sentiment?

Wendy Green [00:38:35]:


Nicki Davidson Jones [00:38:36]:

With another grandmother love that book. Yes. And, like, find it for a dollar at a thrift store and get into her grandchild. I know. It's passing on the love. It's passing on the the connection that you had with your family. I'm giving that opportunity to someone who may not be able to walk into a bookstore by a $20 children's book because that's what they are now.

Wendy Green [00:38:58]:

They're so good. You're so good. And I like the idea of asking them. Would you like this to pass on? I like that idea.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:39:06]:

It also generates conversation with the branch. Oh, I remember when you were that to me. It was storming that day. It was so much lightning, and he was so, you know, people have Right. Carry those. They do. They do. Even if they don't remember that particular book, they might remember the feelings that they had when you read to them. Yeah. If you might go that book, the feelings still stay.

Wendy Green [00:39:27]:

Yeah. And

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:39:27]:

we don't need that book to remind you of that.

Wendy Green [00:39:30]:

That's so true. That's so true. Oh, it's so good, Nikki. Alright.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:39:36]:

So, who knew that just like cleaning out someone's kitchen coverage could be so emotional, but it

Wendy Green [00:39:42]:

is. It is. It's emotional when you actually get started with it, and it can get overwhelming. So give me 2 or 3 takeaways. Just ideas to get started and what, you know, if you start to feel overwhelmed, what what's the best thing to do?

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:39:59]:

I like the Marie condos suggestion of starting with clothes because clothes are the least emotional for most people. If it's an emotional, I just commented this to a friend of mine who was talking about getting rid of some of their clothes and how emotional was because they wore those clothes in a different part of their life. Take a picture of yourself in those clothes. Take a selfie. Donate the clothes. Let someone else enjoy them because there is an emotional attachment to clothes. And if you come across something like that, Salisbury. Take a picture, but then pass on the clothes. But if you start with things that are easier like clothes, it it it snowballs. So that would be one suggestion. Okay. Like things together. Put all the things on the this is a Marie condo thing, but all the pans in a pile. And if you're doing kitchen, put all the spices in a pile and if we're doing your office, put all the paperwork in a pile. And sort them out and figure out what you need to keep and what you don't need to keep and that gives you more of a system. And the same system works in an office works in a kitchen that works in a bedroom. It's all it's all finding out what you need to keep and what you don't need anymore in your life.

Wendy Green [00:41:08]:

Yeah. This has been so good. There've been tons of comments that most of them I've missed. I'm sorry people that I've missed your comments, but they've been great let me let people know how they can reach out to you, to get more help. Okay. So you can email

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:41:34]:

Yep. And I made a Facebook. She also

Wendy Green [00:41:36]:

has a Facebook page, and you can look for that. It's called declutter Organize, reimagine. And if you just search in Facebook, you'll find the page.

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:41:46]:

You can just message. You'd be happy to talk to them. Can you can you help long distance? I have helped long distance, during or even close distance, but during COVID. Yeah. FaceTime. Okay. And the person just walked around with their iPad or their phone or whatever and reflective different things. So, yeah, wherever they are. That's kind of key. You can do whatever they physically, emotionally, just start

Wendy Green [00:42:20]:

And she wonderful. I love Nikki. So okay. So you so you know how to connect with her Nikki D Jones atgmail or decluttered, organize, and re imagine on Facebook. I also wanna remind you that if you are looking for any trip, but, you know, some of those awesome cruises that Rhodes Scholar offers, you can go to and search for country, a national park, a type of trip, even a grandparent trip. And if you wanna join us on our Facebook group, just go to and ask to be led into the group and start to join into the conversations there. So next week

Nicki Davidson Jones [00:43:14]:


Wendy Green [00:43:14]:


Nicki Davidson Jones [00:43:15]:


Wendy Green [00:43:15]:

we are gonna be talking about grandparent, grandchild travel. And the woman who's gonna be on the show with me, I actually met her on the windjammer Cruz when I went this summer with my grandson, and she was with her grandson. Her name is Barb Claco, and we just had such a a good time and good conversations about traveling with grandchildren. So, we're going to share some of our experiences you know, across the board, not just that one trip, but across the board, and some of the pitfalls that you need to think about when you travel with grandchildren too. So join us for that. And as you know, I like to leave you with the belief that we can all live with curiosity, live with relevance, and live with courage. And remember that you are never too old to set another goal for dream and new dream. My name is Wendy Green, and this has been Hey Boomer.

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