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Adrian appeared on a TV show called Senior Moments: The Happy Ones with Bonnie Howard and her Mom

 A senior can feel a range of emotions – anger, depression, fear, denial – when they realize, or are told, that they need to move to a smaller residence for health or safety reasons or both. Beyond deciding which possessions to keep, give away and discard, the senior must accept their new residential space and social setting. The overall experience can be difficult for the senior, as well as their family, friends and caregivers.

Adrian discusses strategies to help make the downsizing and subsequent move emotionally and physically easier for seniors and their loved ones. She narrates photos of real before-and-after moves she has orchestrated, plus photos of how she has helped hoarders manage their overwhelming volume of possessions.

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Less Stuff Equals More Happiness from


Less Stuff Equals More Happiness

"The things we are trained to think make us happy, like having a new car every couple of years and buying the latest fashions, don't make us happy."

These are the words of the filmmaker behind a documentary called "Happy," quoted in a NY Times story that rounds up all sorts of academic input, personal anecdotes, and studies that all point to the fact that the endless act of acquiring cooler, swankier, flashier, and plain more and more stuff does not make you happy. The story makes the case that, largely due to a recession-induced reevaluation of what's really important in life, conspicuous consumption has been replaced by a more "calculated consumption." Here's one of the experts called upon for quotes in the piece:

“We're moving from a conspicuous consumption — which is ‘buy without regard' — to a calculated consumption,” says Marshal Cohen, an analyst at the NPD Group, the retailing research and consulting firm.

Hmmm… I'd argue that conspicuous consumption is calculated, in its own way—calculated to be showy, to be conspicuous. But the point, I think, is that consumers are making different spending calculations nowadays. Based on way too much personal experience, they're aware that so many of the things available for purchase are silly, wasteful, often disposable indulgences that won't bring them much happiness—and, in fact, may wind up filling them will feelings of emptiness, regret, and guilt.

Another bit of wisdom in the story comes courtesy of a woman who scaled back her lifestyle big time, getting rid of most of her possessions and happily making due with a simple, debt-free life with her husband in a 400-square-foot apartment. She says:

“The idea that you need to go bigger to be happy is false … I really believe that the acquisition of material goods doesn't bring about happiness.”

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How to find the hidden cash in your attic -- or apartment!

With thrifty consumers on the lookout for quality used goods, they're hitting estate sales – and spending more money. Bargain hunters are spending about 15 to 25% more at estate sales now, compared to a year ago, estimates Caring Transitions , a company that manages estate sales and relocation around the country. Nationwide Estate Sales , a similar company, pegs the increase at around 10 to 15%, or more. Buyers are paying more per item, says John Buckles, president of Caring Transitions, and if they have to return to collect their first purchase, they often buy more. "We hadn't really seen that before," he said.

Read more: How to Find the Hidden Cash in Your Attic -


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How to deal with Hoarders - AM-NY article, Sept. 2010

In a Brooklyn apartment recently, Adrian Walter-Ginzburg found every closet stuffed with thousands of garbage bags, a dozen suitcases filled with unworn clothing, some from long-defunct Alexander’s, and piles of old junk mail and paper, including an unfilled 1970 Census form.

The closets were so packed that “you couldn’t even fit a pin in there,” said Walter-Ginzburg of Caring Transitions of New York, a company that assists with downsizing and clearing out homes.

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Adrian Walter-Ginzburg explains Caring Transitions at conference at New York Institute of Technology
2011 was a very good year!
Watch my interview with ECareDiary!

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