As we move through life, it may signal new possibilities, new relationships, or a new journey ahead. For older adults, this “new” stuff may sound like a mixed blessing. On the brighter side, change can be a good thing. It may mean leaving bad memories behind the start of new ones. Sometimes we have to accept changes to move forward. Downsizing & moving from the family home to a new smaller house can be very overwhelming—even paralyzing.
If you are relocating your parent to an assisted care facility, get all the help you can from your family members. Or if you are helping your parents in downsizing, we hope that this article might have helpful advice on how you can be supportive and efficient for your loved one.
Six months to a year prior to moving is not too early to help your parent(s) start downsizing. Take the time to help them declutter and sort their things well before the move. Toss or give away unnecessary items that they will not be needing in their next home. Throw out things like redundant appliances that just take up space. What do you do with all that financial paperwork that has accumulated over the years? If you’re not sure, ask an accountant or tax professional what documents need to be kept.
Start decluttering monthly until you start the process of sorting & packing for the move. By doing so, you can save a lot of time & you’ll be surprised at how much-unwanted stuff you can eliminate without having your parents have to deal with their emotional attachment to those items. Throughout the process, limit your sorting and packing time to 2-3 hours per day, making it easier on your parents.
Make a floor plan of their new home. Make a detailed template on where you are going to put everything. Make sure that you have the correct measurements of the house. This way you will know how much room you will have.
If your budget allows, hire a move manager, or a senior relocation specialist. A real estate agent is a perfect source for this. If you don’t know one, get recommendations from friends, seniors’ residences, or senior centers. Professionals can help with sorting and decision-making, packing, arranging the move, arranging for charity pick up, garage sale, estate sale or consignment shops, unpacking boxes, and arranging your parent’s new home.
Plan your moving date & if you will need to hire a moving company to help you with things. A professional moving company can be very helpful. They have the right skills & equipment to help make a smooth moving process. Find & get estimates from moving companies. Look for companies where you can negotiate the fees. You might even be able to schedule the move for non-peak times.
Adjusting to a new environment may not be as simple as it would seem. Regularly check in on or visit your parents after their move. Sometimes its as easy as a phone call. Stay in contact with your parents, monitor their progress, and let them know that they can call on you for help. Make sure they’re happy, socializing well, and flourishing in their new environment.
Downsizing & moving is a big challenge for anyone. It is important that you are able to plan ahead with your parents and research options. There are professionals that can help you throughout the process and I am here to assist with any downsizing needs you and your parents may have. Contact me today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your family’s needs.