Guiding Your Senior Parents Through a Downsizing Move

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Helping your senior parents downsize and move can come with exciting adventures and unanticipated difficulties. On one hand, you know your parents will thoroughly enjoy a smaller home that fits their physical requirements, as well as having more money and time for fun. On the other, you know the move will require a significant amount of effort. Between the complications of the housing market and challenges of sorting through an attic filled with memories, there is no shortage of work to be done.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to make it a smoother process. While it’s true that downsizing is no small feat, it’s also true that it doesn’t have to be stress-filled or frustrating. With a little prep time and planning, you can help your parents downsize while making the move enjoyable.

Determine Their Needs

First thing’s first: Discuss your parents’ needs for their new home and create a list of their desires as well. Consider specific details, such as the location of the new home, the best floor plan for their needs, and what options they have for yard maintenance. Encourage them to be excited about the possibilities of their perfect future home. Then, once you are on the same page about the ideal house, you can narrow down the options of retirement communities, or find a realtor who can show the best selection of homes.

Prepare for Moving Day

Before you begin sorting and packing, schedule your moving day and hire professional movers. Instead of carrying the burden of personally hauling countless boxes in and out of the truck on moving day, hire a reputable moving company to handle it for you. By contacting them before you pack, you will be able to plan around any of their guidelines, learn about their level of experience in handling medical equipment, and communicate a few of your parents’ specific needs. By picking a good company, you will reduce your stress, and be able to focus on your parents’ health and well-being throughout the day.

Besides professional movers, you should hire a locksmith to install new locks on the doors of your parents’ new home. By getting this task squared away in advance, your parents will have more time to get settled into their new place, and you’ll get peace of mind that you’ve boosted the home’s security. If you’re not sure where to find a local locksmith, check out professional company search websites like Angi. Make sure that your chosen professional offers warranties for their services, and is licensed and insured.

Prioritize Belongings

Significant life changes have an emotional impact on us during any stage of life, but as we gain a lifetime of precious memories, our sentimental attachment to our home grows. This is what makes the cleanout stage so difficult. Be patient and allow your parents time to reminisce as they go through old keepsakes. Encourage them to categorize their items as “Things to Keep” or “Things to Donate” when they encounter each one. This way, nothing unnecessary gets haphazardly tossed into a box during the final packing.

“The majority of it is sorting, physically and emotionally,” Alex Lehr, a top-five real estate agent in Redwood City, Calif., and author of The Unexpected Sale explained to HomeLight. “You’re not just getting rid of ‘stuff,’ you’re getting rid of objects with memories attached to them. That’s what slows down the process — reliving memories.”

Single Out Medical Supplies

Take extra caution when packing medications or medical equipment. The smallest items are the easiest to lose, and in this case they may be the most important to keep on hand. Pack a backpack or a clearly labeled box with these items, but keep it separate from the rest of the boxes. Make sure medications are easily accessible, and keep any necessary wheelchairs, walkers or canes close by for ease of use.

More than anything else, the key to a peaceful and safe moving process is a positive attitude. Your encouraging words, and helpful tips will mean a lot to your parents. Make the most of this season of your parents’ lives while helping your parents downsize.

Thanks June Duncan for the above great info. You are amazing person and glad to call you a friend.

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As always, I am not giving you any Financial Advice and you should seek advice from your Professional Advisors to see what is best for your situation. See my Disclaimer at This is for entertainment only.

If you need more help, I can help with my Coaching service. I just want to help people have less stress about their Financial Future or their Retirement plans and spend more time enjoying life.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. By Albert Einstein. I would also say the definition of insanity is believing you can live a financial responsible life without tracking how you are doing, having a budget and goals. I like following others who track their finances to compare our also. I enjoy helping people with their finances and goals.

We want to give our boys the best chance to have their money last them thru their retirement years and have them reach their Financial Freedom goals. They need to live somewhat with a frugal mindset and spend less than they make so they can Invest towards their Financial Freedom goals. The boys will need to maybe put off Net Flix or buying a New Video game or going to the movies until they are on the path to Financial Freedom.

Here are some positive quotes I like;

“Get your Money to Work for You… As hard as You Work for it.” By Napoleon Hill

“1. Make Money. 2. Use the Money to Make More Money. 3. Repeat the Process.” By Warren Buffett

“There is no way to happiness; happiness is the Path.” By Buddha

“Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life” by Wayne W. Dyer

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