Time catches up with all of us. At some point, day-to-day tasks become more difficult for our aging parents. That’s no problem because you’re there to help them.
First, you need to take a close look at their current routine and re-evaluate it. Maybe it’s time for some relocation changes—and that’s great news. Because helping your parents downsize their home is a rewarding task.
Don’t Parent Them
Just because your parents are getting older doesn’t mean you call the shots now. Remember, they’re still your parents, so you need to treat them with respect. Don’t tell them what to do; have an open dialogue about new realities.
Voicing your concerns makes it easier for them to come to terms with the new norm. It also shows that their opinion still matters and that you’re not just taking over their lives. Ask your parents where they would like to live and include them in all the decisions—even the small ones. They must adjust, so they need to know all the ins and outs.
Rally the Troops
Make this a family effort. Rally everyone together—siblings, kids, grandkids, aunts, uncles, everyone. The more, the merrier. Having the whole family together not only makes the process go by quickly but also makes it more enjoyable.
Moving from the home where they raised their family is bittersweet, which is why you need to include as much of the sweet as possible. Assign a task to everyone and break off into groups. As you clean out the house, take pictures and videos of the process. You’ll want to remember these moments too.
Find a Place for Everything
Let’s face it: downsizing means you can’t bring everything with you. Your parents will need to say goodbye to some items. And this is why you need the whole family together. For starters, you need to divide everything into three categories: donate, sell, and dump.
Some things still have value, and others don’t. Before gearing up to sell items, figure out if the furniture is valuable. You don’t want to sell off something for cheap when it might be worth the price of the house. You never know; you might even make enough to send them on a nice vacation before they settle in!
Make a New Home
After downsizing, it’s time to make a new home. First, let your parents decide how much they want to downsize. Do they want a smaller home, an apartment, or maybe even a little cottage? Some situations might even require assisted living.
Whatever the case, you can still make it feel like a home for them. Add all the personal touches they need and throw a housewarming party. Inviting the whole family out to celebrate their new transition will make the change seem less sad and daunting.
There comes a time when our parents need us to step up. Helping them downsize their home is just a small part of it.