Over the last few years, I have been working on thinking and developing theories regarding the residential possession cycle. Today I’d like to focus on a small element, intentional versus unintentional acquisition of possessions.
Intentional possessions are those our clients bring in to their dwelling. Unintentional possessions are those that are left behind by others, such as mislaid items of others, gifts or inherited goods.
By understanding and categorizing our clients means of acquiring possessions we can help develop strategies and skill sets for dealing with these items.
Example 1 – Your client has an excess of costume jewelry, which she acquires at local jewelry fairs. She tells you she should not be adding to her collection, but can’t seem to help herself. You may suggest she plan to attend some other type of events on the fair dates so she does not give in to temptation, and get off the email mailing list. You can also help her set some size limits for her collection and establish some storage and rotation practices.
Skills Transferred – Create alternative plans, Set size limits, Develop rotation practices.
Example 2 – Your client has an overabundance of canned beans. You suggest setting up lines of bean cans in the pantry with a recommendation that beans only be restocked when they are below a certain level. You ask your client to perform a double check on the level before she shops and only pick up more cans when the can level is low. Another suggestion would be to have her utilize and maintain a grocery list on her refrigerator with the reminder of “check your bean stock immediately after you tear off the grocery list page”.
Skills Transferred – Establish reasonable inventory, Implement new inventory restocking process, Establish a habit.
Example 1 – Your client has relatives who have a habit of gifting their unwanted and non-serviceable electronic items on a frequent basis. Your client has expressed to you that he doesn’t want these items. By helping your client develop and utilize some assertive but tactful language, he may be able to reduce or stop this undesired gifting pattern.
Skills Transferred – Develop client awareness, Improve client communication skills.
Example 2 – Your client hosts and entertains family potlucks and is frequently perplexed about the plastic and glass containers left by family members. You may help by developing a strategy for having markers or labels ready in a basket in the kitchen or dining area. You could also suggest having a rotating position of the pot-luck “container host”, who’s job is to return all containers as guests leave. Another option is to set aside one area of a shelf in a pantry for containers with a 6 month rule. After 6 months the client has the option of gifting the containers to charity.
Skills Transferred – Develop strategies to assist item identification, Introduce delegation possibilities, Set time limit for storage of left items.