Ozzy Reluctantly Unloads

The Telegraph recently reported that former Black Sabbath singer, Ozzy Osbourne, and his wife Sharon are ready to downsize. Now that their children have left the nest, the couple is ready to offload art, furniture, and collectibles from their three homes in Malibu, Beverly Hills, and Buckinghamshire.

"It's time to unload," said Mrs. Osbourne. "We just have an overabundance of possessions that we do not need."

That's music to my ears, Sharon!

The Osbournes' auction has taken two years to organize and will be shown at the O2 arena in London on November 5th. It is expected to bring in as much as a million dollars with proceeds benefiting the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Foundation.

The couple is downsizing and moving to a new home, she said, adding that whittling down their possessions has been "one of the most refreshing things I've done."

Ozzy, however, was less enthusiastic about the sale. "I don't know why we are selling everything as I want it all. Sharon tells me that we have to, otherwise our house will...explode."

"Ozzy gets very attached to things," his wife explained. "He doesn't like change at all."

This scenario may sound familiar to some of you on two fronts:

1. Though you probably don't own multiple homes spread out across the globe, you may have accumulated so much stuff in your home that it feels as though the dwelling may burst.

2. If you don't live alone, you may have a very different level of attachment to your "stuff" than other people you share your house with.

This differing level of attachment coupled with a resistance to change can create some real challenges with the organizing process. Notice that, while Sharon is feeling the wonderful, cathartic freedom that most people get from purging, Ozzy is having a tougher time letting go.

I've had clients tell me that it's a good thing I take the recycling away after I leave because, otherwise, their partner would go "dumpster diving" to retrieve items out of the trash or recycling bags.

If you are a natural purger, recognize that others in the house may need some gentle coaxing to help them to let go. You can assist with the process by asking your sentimental collectors these questions:

  • When did you last use or wear this?
  • Is it broken?
  • Do you "love" it or just "like" it?
  • Can we get another one later if we need it again?
  • What is the worst thing that will happen if we part with this?
  • Would this item be better off in the hands of someone who needs it and will use it more than we do?
  • Is it worth the space it takes up and the trouble it takes to maintain or clean it?
These types of questions help the "accumulators" see that it's okay to let go and helps them to qualify what has earned the right to stay. Be warned, if you force accumulators to get rid of everything just for the sake of purging, they will probably rebel by accumulating even more over time. By taking the time to get their buy-in, you can reduce pack rat tendencies and increase their urge to purge.