Helping elderly parents downsize

How to Help Your Parents Downsize

Is it time to help your parents downsize into a smaller home, care home, or retirement community? It can be a busy and emotional time.

We’ve helped clients downsize for years. Over that time, we’ve picked up a few tips and pointers to make the experience easier on everyone.

Here’s our best advice on helping your parent downsize:

Let the emotion out…just a bit

As you and your parents begin sifting through their belongings, particular objects may trigger memories (both good and bad). Don’t be afraid to take time to reminisce. Just be sure you leave enough time to finish packing too.

We suggest starting the organizing and packing process early, so you have more time to take a few trips down memory lane together.

Make piles

Grab large boxes or bins and start sorting items room by room. Create bins (or piles) for items to pack, donate, sell, and give away.

If you can’t decide whether to keep or get rid of an item, consider why it’s valuable to you? Is it sentimental? If so, consider giving it to a family member or friend (so it “stays in the family”) or taking a photo or video of the item to keep and donating the actual item.

You can also host a garage or estate sale to get rid of items and make a little extra cash for your parent’s retirement fund or donate to a worthy charity your parents care deeply about.

Rehome furniture and appliances

Downsizing often means there isn’t space for furniture or kitchen appliances. If these are not being sold with the home, look in your community for women’s shelters or places that accept donations of used furniture and home items. There are many people in need of these items, and you can rehome them to someone who would otherwise not be able to afford them.

Don’t forget to clean too

When you’re overwhelmed helping your aging parents downsize your childhood home, you often forget that their home will also need a clean before the new owners move in. It’s easiest to clean the home after all their belongings are removed from the house.

Your Cleaning Concierge can help you with the cleaning part if you need a hand.

Hire organizing and packing help

You may prefer to get help with all or some decluttering, organizing, and packing. With a professional organizer or moving concierge helping you with this task, you can often get it done faster because the organizer is not emotionally invested in every object. They can make quicker, more objective decisions on your behalf.

Downsizing your elderly parents can be a labour-intensive challenge that can last days or weeks (depending on how much stuff there is to sort and pack). Just remember that you don’t have to do it alone.

Your Moving Concierge can help you with this. Whether you want help or someone to handle the whole organizing and packing process for you, our team is ready to help.

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