Whether your parents are moving to a smaller home, your family’s home, a senior living residence, or they’re staying put and just need to get rid of clutter, downsizing is often a necessary task. There are ways to go about the downsizing process that will make it easier on everyone involved. Approach the task with the right attitude and a few friendly tips in mind.
Approach the Situation with Sensitivity
Your parents might not be as gung ho about the reduction in their property as you are. Understand that their hesitation to part with treasured belongings is completely normal and treat the situation with as much sensitivity as you can. Be respectful and don’t force the process to move along quicker than it has to. Allow your parents to share their experiences and recount the memories which crop up as they sort through their entire lives.
Often, when Seniors are downsizing, they are most hesitant about letting go of things because they feel that parting with mementos also means parting with the memories associated with said items. Take pictures of the more beloved pieces of property which your family members have agreed to part with. Keep the photographs in an album so that whenever there is a desire to look back at the old swing-set their children and grandchildren played on, it will be an available source of comfort and joy.
Consider Those in Need
Sometimes, people are more willing to part with items they are no longer using when they can be assured the items will be used again by another, not just thrown away. Bring up the idea of donating old items to charity, so that people in need can give new life to old pieces. Giving away old property to a reputable charity might just inspire Seniors with the giving spirit. It helps knowing that they are not only helping themselves clear their home of unnecessary clutter, they are helping those less fortunate find comfort and safety in their donations. Charitable donations can also be tax-deductible, another great “selling point” for parents to embrace.
Step in to Help When You Need to
Step in to help when you need to, not if. This means that you should make yourself available and let your parents know that you are willing to help with the downsize when they need your help. Don’t wait for them to swallow their pride and ask you for help, but let them be in control of the downsize as much as possible. They’ve been taking care of themselves for decades, and they’re more than capable of at least starting to trim down their list of property. Allow them to decide for themselves what they’d like to keep and get rid of until they are having trouble with moving on. There’s a good chance that you’re still going to be involved with the downsizing, so try to avoid taking the wheel before they’ve had a chance.
Downsizing doesn’t have to be a bad time for everyone involved. Let it be a time of reminiscing with your parents. Listen to their stories and appreciate the experiences they’ve had as they move into their twilight years. Taking the time to help and paying some attention could very well shed a light on your parents that you’ve never seen them in.
Want more information on Downsizing? I’m Edwena Potter, Certified Senior Housing Professional, with the DFW Real Estate Team. I’m here to help you with all of your real estate needs. Please visit my website for current listings, call me at (469) 616-0561 or email me at Info@DFWSeniorRealEstate.com
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