Transitions With Jean Blog

Where Do You Spend Your Home-Time?

Sep 28, 2023

Have you ever heard of the 80-20 Rule? It asserts that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort.  Well, that wasn’t very clear, was it?

Let me share some examples to explain better–

80% of the work in an organization is done by 20% of the people: consider your church, your club, your family gatherings, your job. It is the same people doing most of the work, right? They are the passionate 20% that care deeply for whatever the organization is.

We spend 80% of our time with 20% of our friends – we hang out with the same people most of the time because we enjoy them.

If you eat out, you may spend 80% of your time at 20% of the restaurants you go out to. They are your favorites.

More importantly for us in today’s conversation, if you are a senior considering a transition, 80% of our time at home is spent in 20% of our house. That sounds right, doesn’t it? We spend most of our time in 4 or 5 areas: our bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, maybe an office, and whatever we call the room that the TV remote is kept in, whether you call that the living room or family room or den.

That means that we only spend 20% of our time in the rest of the house, which takes up 80% of the space. Think about it. We hardly ever go down the basement unless the laundry is down there. We don’t use the work room much anymore, and if we do, we only use 20% of the tools 80% of the time. Those spare bedrooms – we only go in there to vacuum and dust them. It is tedious.

Another example of the 80-20 Rule is our clothing. Think about what you are going to wear when you go out today. I’ll bet you’ve worn it before. No matter how full our closets are, we wear the same outfits over and over again – because they are comfortable, and they make us look good. That means that 80% of your closets are things you almost never wear.

Do I have your head swirling in numbers yet?

The point is, when you are making a change and looking at all the stuff in your house, you may feel absolutely overwhelmed by the workload. Generally, that is because you are concentrating all your efforts on getting rid of that 80% of the house that is irrelevant anyway: it isn’t moving with you. Stop. Leave it for the family or a professional like me to deal with.

Get back to basics. This is pretty much how our business does a home transition for someone moving from their big family home to smaller surroundings.

The key is to flip your logic. Identify the items you use all the time and take them to your new home. If you take just that critical 20%, you will have everything that you enjoy, use, and need to live comfortably. You will instantly feel at home.

Jean Long Manteufel writes a column on the first Sunday of each month about life changes associated with aging. Send your questions to or call 920-734-3260.