Living Large at any SizeJan 30, 2023
By Adrienne MacIain, Ph.D.
“Manage your stuff or it WILL manage you!"
Judy Granlee-Gates, Bigger Living, Smaller Space: Resizing for a Clean & Cozy Home
Let's get real for a minute.
Take a look around your home. How much of what you see is there because you genuinely value it, and how much is there because it is or was valuable to someone else, someone you care about enough that parting with those things has become a real challenge?
Maybe that's okay for now, but what happens when you inevitably need to resize your living space?
Judy Granlee-Gates, who describes herself as "a professional problem solver who helps people declutter and downsize so they can enjoy their home and free up physical, mental, and financial energy,” knows this dilemma all too well.
"I inherited way too much stuff" from parents, grandparents, in-laws, and more, says Judy, "It's just box after box of GUILT and the occasional treasure."
But rather than simply living with all that newly-acquired clutter, Judy decided to get creative. "I love finding new ways to use these things," she explains, "there are so many ways to honor those memories without having to keep all the physical reminders in the sacred space of your home."
To quote from the book, "Memories are portable, they don't belong to any one place."
Judy is no stranger to resizing, or to helping others let go of unnecessary stuff: "As a homebuilder of 35 years, I love building smaller spaces. Bigger challenges for sure, but so much fun to do." One of those challenges is the decluttering process that has to happen before her clients can move in.
After walking many a client through her unique four-part process, Judy had it down to a science, and realized her system for breaking free of clutter, chaos, and overwhelm could help anyone to free up physical, mental, and financial energy to live a richer, fuller life.
Not everyone resizes voluntarily, though. At a certain point in life, we are often forced to resize, ready or not.
"I have always been a very organized person, so I've helped many people/families downsize for a transition, mostly elderly relatives. It's never easy. The more people push, the tighter they grip. I vowed to never do that to my kid, and at age 52 I began this process in my own home, as we downsized from 3400 square feet to 1131 square feet. We gave, donated, sold most of what we owned and we have never been happier. I know the method works, but people just don't know where to start. My book leads them through the process."
But even if you're not planning a dramatic resizing any time soon, Bigger Living Smaller Space can still help you get more enjoyment from the space you're already living in.
" Eliminating and managing clutter creates ease and joy in your home life," explains Judy. "Your home is the place you recharge and reset, it should feel clean, cozy and welcoming. I would love to see a world where all people had comfortable safe housing, no matter the size. We all need a space of our own to recharge and rest."
Judy hopes her book will help alleviate some of the stress, overwhelm, and "trapped" feeling so many folks are experiencing right now. "I think a lot of people realized during the pandemic that their home wasn't a great place to be. Not enough space, didn't feel good, and so on. Meanwhile, the cost of living is out of control, and housing is a struggle for so many. Living smaller is a great way to hedge against these costs."
Living in the Pacific Northwest, Judy has seen a dramatic rise in housing costs, and a corresponding rise in homelessness, which breaks her heart. She hopes that by destigmatizing and demystifying small-space living, she can help people of all economic levels live the dream of living in a space they love.
"I walk you step by step through the decluttering process and 4G system to evaluate possessions," explains Judy, "with extra focus on the items most people find the most challenging to part with not just to toss or donate, but to free up space and energy to allow you to downsize if desired, reducing financial and maintenance burdens, so you can live a life of greater freedom and ease."
Like most women, Judy is a busy gal, running multiple businesses and being active in her community. She knew that making time to write and publish a book would be a challenge. "But honestly," confesses Judy, "when I found Red Thread, I just knew it was time to MAKE the time."
We're so glad she did, as are her readers, who are already raving about the results they're getting from Judy's book and process:
"Judy is a question-asking, problem-solving, and insightful friend who shares truth and wisdom with compassion and empathy. A perfect blend of exploring the joy and freedom that decluttering will bring to your head, heart and home. You'll be inspired, challenged and grateful for Judy's practical and simple tips for exploring what your life might look like without an excess of clutter around you."
- Amy Revell, author of The Art of Decluttering & Simply Organised
Next up for Judy? A program to help specific industries (Real Estate and Retirement communities are two) to incorporate the magic of resizing to better help their clientele.
If you're looking for some support, accountability, plus actionable tips and tricks, join Judy's Facebook community, Declutter and Resize. This fun, interactive community will have weekly topics, challenges and more!
See Red Thread Books' full library of authors https://redthreadbooks.mykajabi.com/books
and reach out to work with us.