It’s never easy to downsize and let go of items you have had in your possession for a long time (along with having to move out of your home after many years of residing). Today we are going to help you whether you have a parent, grandparent, or someone who is elderly that needs to relocate into a smaller environment (and cannot take everything with them). If you have a loved one moving into a retirement community, their new home will be much smaller than where they previously resided. Below are some simple steps you can take to help you determine what they should take with them and what they should part with.
BLUEPRINT OF NEW HOME:
Before you start throwing away everything your parent or grandparents own, you should know the size and layout of their new home, and figure out what will fit. Measure each piece of furniture, so you can determine what they can take with them. It’s important to figure out if the new living space will have a kitchen or if meals are prepared, if it is a single room or an apt/condo configuration,etc. Will they be sharing space , or are they going to be in an individual residence? Is the new living space furnished or non furnished. By figuring this portion of it out, you can help determine what they can take with them without a guessing game. Room tags can help identify which room the items that are being taken will go into.
GET A DUMPSTER-DONATE-GARAGE/ESTATE SALE:
You should definitely start with one room at a time. Start with areas like the attic, garage, basement. These are the easiest places to get rid of unnecessary items. Start making groups of items to get rid of. An easy way to do this is by sorting with piles. Make a garbage pile, donation pile, garage/estate sale pile, and a pile they may want to give to your friends or family (with family, at least the senior can see it’s going to good use, perhaps a grand-daughter, or son, or niece/nephew, etc). It never hurts to see if friends or family may be interested in some of the valuables. As far as charities go, most charities will accept items in good condition (free of pet dander, odor free, and stains). Many charities do not take office furniture, etc. There are also places that allow people to give items away and connects the giver with the receiver. This can be helpful if the senior connects with who their prize possessions are going to, by knowing they are going to a good cause or someone truly in need. Another idea is having an estate or garage sale, and use the money to go towards new furniture (if space allows) for fresh beginnings.
THINGS TO HELP YOU PURGE:
When deciding what needs to be let go of, there are some general rules of thumb to follow, (along with doing a floor plan, figuring out size and space):
Some questions to ask your senior (if you are helping a senior who is purging):
When was the item used last, and how often do they use it? If they you haven’t used it very often, or don’t use it, then get rid of it.
Do they own more than one? With downsizing, they really don’t need to take more than one, especially if there is limited space.
What does this piece mean to them? It’s ok to take a few of their memories with them, you don’t want to take everything away from them.
What condition is it in? If it is falling apart, or not in good condition, there is no reason to keep it.
Will it fit in their new home? This is key, obviously if they don’t have space for it, then they can’t take it with them.
If there are items such as old medications that need to be disposed of, you should never flush medications down the toilet. You should keep them in their original container, and cross off the patient’s name, and do not put it in a recyclable bin. There is a lot to remember when downsizing your senior, remember every bit you give helps, and though there may be a struggle trying to dispose of items, you need to be strong but supportive! Your goal is not to take everything away from them, and allow them some reflection time before disposing. Make sure they are involved with the decision process.