There comes a time in everyone’s life when a large family home is no longer needed. Some people choose to downsize when they reach the Empty Nest stage, but others stay on until they must move due to circumstances beyond their control. This can be very challenging when it entails moving a senior parent out of a home they have lived in for many years. Even as an adult, it is difficult to see your parent in a vulnerable position of having to leave behind a home filled with memories. But there are some ways to make it a little easier and less stressful. Here are some tips to help you successfully move your senior parent with as little drama as possible:
- Focus on one or two mementos to represent your best memories. When you are packing up your parent’s home, you are likely to come across many items that remind you of your childhood. It will be tempting to take it all home with you. Stop and remember that you have likely already gone years without seeing these items. Create a “keep” pile and after you have sorted through everything, go through that pile and choose a couple of items that are most meaningful to you. If your parent is downsizing to a much smaller place, help do the same thing so that the new home will not be overflowing with stuff.
- Use technology to save things. While it may be emotionally challenging to get rid of items, you don’t have to get rid of them completely. You can take photos of them. Take pictures of the interior and exterior of the home before you start packing. As you go through boxes, take photos of the many things that have been saved over the years like concert tickets, programs, school reports, children’s artwork, etc. Then create a photo album that your parent can look at any time. This makes a lot more sense than transferring boxes of treasures from one home to another where they will only be looked at the next time there is a move. 10 Best Websites to Make Online Photo Albums for Free
- Don’t seal the boxes until you are done packing up every room. The best way to make the “move-in” easier is to organize everything during the “move-out”. For example, pack everything that will go in the new living room into boxes labeled living room. This will obviously include items from the current living room, but it might also include items found in other places in the house. If you find some photos packed away in the garage that your parent wants to hang in the new living room, you will want to put them in the living room boxes. You don’t want to have to open boxes that have already been taped up and sealed. So, leave some boxes open until every room has been organized and packed and then when you are sure everything is in the right place, seal them up for the move.
- Consider trading in the old for the new. It’s easy to hang on to old furniture that has been in your house forever when you have remained in the same home the whole time, but sometimes it makes more sense to get new things for a new home. Maybe the old furniture is worn and scratched, or maybe it’s simply too big for the new place. Whatever the reason, a fresh, new look might be just the thing your parent needs to help let go of the past and enjoy a new home where a whole new set of memories will be made.
If you’re thinking about selling or buying a home in the New River Valley area, contact professional, experienced Realtor Desi Sowers and let her assist you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!
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