4 Best Ways to Help Your Elderly Parents Declutter
Acquiring stuff tends to happen over the years, and the more years, the more stuff. Your parents might have this accumulation. You can help them with their spring clean. Here’s 4 of the best ways how.
Understand Your Parents’ Lifestyle
Getting a snapshot of how your parents plan to live in their new home will help you narrow down what they keep – with the goal of retaining only what they actually love or need. Even if you think you understand their lifestyle already, it can be helpful to sit down together and sketch out a few details that can serve as guidance as you sort. If they won’t be entertaining at their new location, they may feel confident donating their punch bowls and tablecloths. If formal events are few and far between, then three to four comfortable formal outfits may suffice.
Schedule Bite-sized Work Session
Decluttering is time-consuming, and it can be tiring for aging parents. If time permits before the move, space out your sessions so you and your parents can maintain the energy to complete the entire house. I recommend no more than four hours at a time, and perhaps just two to three times per week. This schedule allows for a balance between making efficient use of your time and not exhausting your parents.
Start with the Least Sentimental Items
As with most things, practice makes perfect. My clients have found that the decision to keep, toss, sell or donate becomes easier the more you practice. Starting your decluttering process with the least sentimental items, such as linens and clothing, and working your way toward the most sentimental, such as photos and letters, can be a helpful way to ease into harder decision-making territory.
Treasure This Quality Time with Your Parents
Decluttering is undoubtedly hard work, and tensions often arise amid differing viewpoints. So try to adjust your perspective when these moments inevitably come. Instead of viewing the task as a chore, consider it a special time spent with your parents. You may even hear some priceless stories about their youth and your childhood – especially if you maintain a patient attitude, and if you take the time to ask.
RE/MAX Realty Professionals—The Results Team—is ready to help you buy or sell your home! Visit www.andrewl185.sg-host.com. Or call Lesa Miller at 812-360-3863 and Jenivee Schoenheit at 317-258-0995.