People who help their downsizing parents shed some of their possessions are often caught off guard by how huge a task it can be. It’s not just about sorting things into piles: keep, give to family, donate, sell, dump. It’s also about what to do after everything has been sorted.
Not only that – it’s delicate emotional terrain to navigate. It can be an overwhelming process for anyone to go through.
Even if your parents ran a tight ship over the years and avoided holding on to things they no longer need, finding a way to reduce a house full of belongings to an apartment full can still be daunting.
Suppose your parents identify a number of things they’d like to donate, but when you try to find a local agency that will take them, you end up running around in circles.
Or your parents want to keep their good set of china in the family, but no one wants to take it.
Or they decide to sell some precious heirlooms only to discover that the market for antiques isn’t what it used to be.
They may eventually come to the realization that trying to find a good home for everything is a futile exercise. Perhaps the best they can hope for is to find a home that’s good enough.
A downsizing expert can save you and your parents a lot of time and aggravation. That’s because they do this sort of thing every day. Depending on the expert you choose, they can
One type of downsizing expert is a senior move manager. Some work independently, while others work for moving companies that serve seniors. Either way, they’ll help you and your parents look after many of the practical details of downsizing. They recognize that moving when you’re in your 70s or older is very different from moving when you’re 25 or 45.
When checking out a senior move manager online, try to get a clear idea of what services they do and don’t provide. It may vary from manager to manager. Compare and contrast. For instance, some may look after arranging furniture in your parents’ new home. Others may help your parents’ stage their home for sale.
Once you’ve come up with a short list of candidates, meet with them personally, explain your project, and request a written quote for services to be provided.
It's also a good idea to ask them about references, liability insurance, and how long they've been in business.
We know a lot of senior move managers in the Ottawa area, so if you’d like the “lay of the land”, just let us know. We’d be happy to help.
We can also put you in touch with other experts who can take some of the stress out of your parents’ move.