Over the course of our lives, we accumulate a lot of possessions. Often times these possessions signify a special memory, while other times they're just an object of little importance. For those moving to senior living communities, you have to clear through the junk and decide what's to leave behind and take with you. With a lot of belongings, downsizing can be difficult, so your loved ones need your help. Here are some ways you can help family and friends downsize for senior living.
Tackle one room at a time
With home full of possessions, downsizing can seem overwhelming. Simplify the process and make it more manageable by tackling one room or area at a time. In each space start by getting rid of the obvious stuff that's no longer needed, such as the worn out wash clothes or broken toaster. For each specific space, think about what needs to be transferred into your loved one's new home. For instance, if your parent's senior community includes chef-prepared meals served in a full-service dining area, then you can leave the kitchen and cooking supplies behind.
Preserve the memories, but ditch the clutter
A lot of your parent's possessions may hold sentimental value. For instance, they may have a stack of old photo albums or home videos that take up a lot of space but can't be parted with. Hold onto these precious possessions, while saving space by converting them into a digital format. Make a DVD of your loved one's favorite photographs and videos, so they can still be enjoyed without creating clutter.
Become well-acquainted with the new space before the move
You and your loved ones should plan to visit their new home a few times before the move, so you can all become better acquainted with the space. Becoming familiar with their new home will help you all determine what can be left behind. During your visit, measure each room to ensure your loved one's existing furniture and belongings will fit comfortably in the space. This will also help you visualize where specific things will go.
Sell or donate items they no longer want
Instead of throwing old possessions in the trash, find them a new home. Items that are in decent condition can be donated to Good Will and the Salvation Army or sold at a yard sale. For items you can't give away, recycle them whenever possible, so that they don't end up in a landfill.
Make it fun!
Helping your parents move doesn't have to be a chore. Help your loved ones celebrate this exciting new chapter in their life. While leaving behind old memories can be difficult, you can help uplift your loved one's spirits by making the process fun. Talking about all the new memories they'll create in their new home, getting the whole family involved and playing music while you sort through old items can make it more enjoyable.