Often, downsizing can be a difficult topic for adult children to have with their parents. There can be decades of memories and feelings associated with a home and the thought of moving out can bring up feelings of sadness and loss. However, there are ways to ease the transition between a home they’ve been in for years to a new, and often smaller, residence.
The conversation is never easy, but the move is sometimes necessary to create a safe and comfortable environment for your loved one. It is important not to move too fast. This can be an overwhelming process for someone who has lived in their home for so long. Be sure to respect their thoughts and emotions through this process. Here are some tips for making the process a little easier.
- Be patient – Filtering through your loved one’s items can take a long time. Don’t expect to finish this overnight. Go through one room at a time setting small, achievable goals.
- Communicate – Remind them that they are pursuing a simpler lifestyle, which can keep them focused on clearing some of the non-essential items from their home.
- You may find many sentimental items coming your way. It is okay to accept the items and discard them on your own.
- Use the new space as a guide – Measure the new space before you start moving in. This can help you make decisions about large pieces of furniture that may not fit.
- Find help – there are many services available specifically for helping people who are downsizing. This service includes sorting, organizing, and staging items in the home. Doing a little research online can pay off, making this process a lot easier.
The next question is: “How do they get rid of all of the things they don’t want to keep?” There are a few options available. The first is to just throw it away. Renting a dumpster for a few hundred dollars makes the task much easier. Second, donate things to an organization like Goodwill. You’ll receive a nice tax write off! Third, consider renting an offsite storage space for large items until there is a place available for these items. However, don’t think of this as an excuse to hang on to unwanted items. Finally, consider an online estate sale. For example, a business like ‘Everything But the House’ will document, sell, and remove items that you don’t want. There we be a fee associated with an online sale; usually a percentage of the sales.
Once you are confident that your loved one is ready to sell their home, start searching for a realtor. There are even realtors specifically designated to help older adults sell their current homes and to find a new place that will work for them. Follow these tips to make downsizing a little easier for both you and your family members. In the long run, you will both be happier!