Cookies must be enabled to use this web application.

To allow this site to use cookies, use the steps that apply to your browser below. If your browser is not listed below, or if you have any questions regarding this site, please contact us.

Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • 1. Select "Internet Options" from the Tools menu.
  • 2. Click on the "Privacy" tab.
  • 3. Click the "Default" button.
  • 4. Click "OK" to save changes.
Chrome Chrome
  • 1. Click the "Spanner" icon in the top right of the browser.
  • 2. Click Options and change to the "Under the Hood" tab.
  • 3. Scroll down until you see "Cookie settings:".
  • 4. Set this to "Allow all cookies".
Firefox Firefox
  • 1. Go to the "Tools" menu and select "Options".
  • 2. Click the "Privacy" icon on the top of the window.
  • 3. Click on the "Cookies" tab.
  • 4. Check the box corresponding to "Allow sites to set Cookies.
  • 5. Click "OK" to save changes.
Opera Opera
  • 1. Click on the "Tools" menu and then click Preferences.
  • 2. Change to the Advanced tab, and to the cookie section.
  • 3. Select "Accept cookies only from the site I visit" or "Accept cookies".
  • 4. Ensure "Delete new cookies when exiting Opera" is not ticked.
  • 5. Click OK.
Netscape and Mozilla Suite Netscape and Mozilla Suite
  • 1. Select "Preferences" from the Edit menu.
  • 2. Click on the arrow next to "Privacy & Security".
  • 3. Under "Privacy & Security" select "Cookies".
  • 4. Select "Enable all cookies".
  • 5. Click "OK" to save changes.
Safari Safari
  • 1. Click on the "Cog" icon in Safari.
  • 2. Click Preferences.
  • 3. Change to the Security tab.
  • 4. Select "Only from sites I visit" or "Allow".
  • 5. Close the dialog using the cross.
Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available

See inside

Book details
  • SubGenre:Life Stages / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:144
  • eBook ISBN:9780991012213

Moving On

A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home

by Linda Hetzer and Janet Hulstrand

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available

See inside


Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home is an upbeat, hands-on guide that pulls together a wealth of practical information, sanity-saving tips, and heartwarming stories from people who have emptied out a family home packed full of "stuff."

While aimed primarily at those dealing with a home that has been lived in for many years, it is valuable for anyone who is trying to stay on top of accumulating "too much stuff." The authors, and the experts they interviewed, have helpful tips on how to care for, preserve, donate, or sell objects, as well as how to get rid of the things no one wants—in short, how to deal with everything from antiques and collectibles to old family photographs and letters, to the toxic waste under the kitchen sink.

What distinguishes this book from most books on decluttering is its emphasis on finding the perfect balance between "keeping" and "throwing," as well as on an ecologically responsible approach and one that recognizes the importance of historic preservation and family history. Professional organizers and senior move managers find it especially helpful for clients who have difficulty in getting rid of things.

Each chapter provides a checklist of "smart questions to ask" to help jump-start the process, foster communication, and ensure that nothing important is forgotten. The reference section directs readers to additional resources for information on how to sell, donate, or otherwise dispose of various items. Anecdotes from people interviewed by the authors demonstrate that it's possible to get through this process with family relations intact, and that despite the inevitable tedium, there can also be surprising moments of satisfaction. "The good news is that, while this is a big job, and it can be overwhelming…it can offer wonderful moments of nostalgia, new chances to heal old wounds, and great opportunities for family bonding," the authors conclude.


Emptying a family home of all its contents is an experience that most people want to get away from as quickly as they can. But Linda Hetzer and Janet Hulstrand, authors of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home, decided to write a book about it instead. "We decided to write the book we wish we could have had when we were going through the process of emptying our parents' homes," says Hetzer.

Moving On provides a simple but very effective overview of how to actually get the job done, and how to deal practically and sensitively with the emotional issues that can arise among family members. It offers sage advice, practical tips, and helpful resources for baby boomers who are helping their parents downsize and move into smaller quarters, or emptying a house after the death of a parent. The AARP Bulletin says Moving On helps readers "think beyond who gets all the good stuff…" and a National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) newsletter says it is "written with great respect for the process and the people engaged in it." Professional organizers and senior move managers find Moving On especially helpful for their clients who have difficulty in getting rid of things. One senior move manager said, "We share this valuable book with our staff. We find it an excellent tool." According to a professional organizer, "This book is so thorough that you won't need another resource." And one reviewer even referred to Moving On as "a downsizing bible."

Hetzer and Hulstrand write from personal experience. Hetzer's father had been in his home for 50 years, and Hulstrand's for 35. Both homes were full of "stuff," some of it things that needed to be donated, some of it valuable family treasures, much of it mixed together in ways that made knowing which was which difficult. "We were confronted by a variety of questions that we just didn't know how to answer," Hulstrand says. "How do you know which things are valuable? How do you preserve old 8mm films and videos? How do you get rid of cell phones and other electronics in a way that is ecologically responsible?" Moving On offers answers to these questions and more, and includes topics like how to start a conversation with parents who have mixed feelings about moving, and how to deal with differences of opinion among siblings. The authors also gathered stories from people who had found ways to manage the tensions that can arise between family members–and still get rid of the stuff. "The good news is that, while this is a big job, with the right approach, enough time, and a little bit of luck, clearing out the family home can be a positive experience," Hulstrand and Hetzer write. "It can offer wonderful moments of nostalgia, new chances to heal old wounds, and great opportunities for family bonding."

What is the best tip to help break through the resistance of letting go of objects that have sentimental value? Acknowledge the importance of your emotional attachment to the objects, say the authors, and find ways to save the memories, whether it's through writing about them, recording stories, or taking photographs. For many people, it's the memories that are important, not the objects.

About the author

Linda Hetzer is the author of Rainy Days and Saturdays (Workman Publishing), 50 Fabulous Parties for Kids (Crown Publishing), The Simple Art of Napkin Folding (Hearst Books/HarperCollins), and Illustrated Crafts for Beginners (Raintree Books) among other books. She is a freelance writer and, as an editorial consultant, has developed books and other editorial products for clients including Reader's Digest, Time-Life Books, Hearst Books, Artisan Publishing, Sunset Books, Andrews & McMeel, Watson-Guptill, Random House, Workman Publishing, and the National Audubon Society. Her company has produced brochures and pamphlets for a variety of corporations and non-profits. She has created an award-winning symposium on end-of-life issues and speaks to groups on the issue of organizing for one's heirs. She is working on her next project about her favorite place to live and work: New York City.

Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher, and the author of Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You (BookBaby, 2019). She writes frequently for Bonjour Paris, France Today, France Revisited, and for her blog, Writing from the Heart, Reading for the Road. She created and has taught “Paris: A Literary Adventure” in Paris for the City University of New York nearly every summer since 1997, and in 2008 she began offering "Writing from the Heart" workshop/retreats in Essoyes, a village in southern Champagne. She is currently working on her next book, a literary memoir, "A Long Way from Iowa." Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home was her first book. Since it was first published in 2004, she and her coauthor, Linda Hetzer, have spoken to hundreds of groups about various issues related to downsizing. They also coauthor a blog, Downsizing the Home: Lessons Learned

Book Reviews

to submit a book review
Thanks for submitting a review!

Your review will need to be approved by the author before being posted.

See Inside
Front Cover

Loading book cover...

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Session Expiration WarningYour session is due to expire.

Your online session is due to expire shortly.
Would you like to extend your session and remain logged in?

Session Expired

Your session has expired.We're sorry, but your online session has expired.
Please log back into your account to continue.

This site uses cookies. Continuing to use this site without changing your cookie settings means that you consent to those cookies to enhance site navigation and the overall user experience. Learn more about our privacy policy or learn more about how to turn off cookies.