When the time comes, and trust me, everyone’s time will come, I’d like to think my house is “death ready,” meaning, quite literally, that all of my ducks are in a row, including my paperwork, and that there’s no financial or physical clutter anywhere, which is exactly what you’d expect from someone who helps others get organized for a living, right?

Is being “death ready” the same as downsizing? In my world, being “death ready” is about “right-sizing,” which is actually a more gentle and freeing way to approach what millions of people are dealing with every day—the burden of having too much stuff!

Recently, while presenting a lecture about downsizing and moving, I asked the attendees to say the first thing that came to their minds when I said “downsizing.” The answers varied from feeling lost and afraid to being completely and unequivocally overwhelmed, anxious and trapped.

I then asked the same group of people how they felt about “right-sizing?” Every single person said it was a much more positive and “right” sounding word and that they were no longer fearful.

Right-sizing is about living in the “now.” It’s about taking a good hard look at all the stuff that’s taking up valuable space—in your home, as well as in your mind—and making judicious decisions about how you want to live.

A few months ago, I received a call from a corporate client who said: “I’m tired of living in a house where there’s no room to breathe. I’ve tried to do this on my own, but with only one day off a week and no one to motivate me, nothing ever gets done.” She went on to say that she needed to right-size for herself, her family and her sanity.

Right-sizing is an ongoing process that takes time and discipline. Right-sizing is about having the time to think about the future, the past and, most importantly, the present. Right-sizing will save you the emotional and financial burden of having to make important decisions under pressure.

Right-sizing isn’t about erasing a lifetime of memories, but rather about simplifying our lives in order to alleviate the mental and physical weight of having too much stuff.

It’s a journey, not an event.