Transitioning to a new home and lifestyle can be extremely emotional and often overwhelming. Each time you move, you will definitely sort, edit, and purge. For our parents, living in a place for a long period of time, there will be lots of accumulated treasures that hold special memories.

Here are some ways to help your parents prepare for a move:

Work with your parents instead of doing the job for them

Downsizing and moving are critical steps in the transition. The more they are involved in the process, the easier they will settle-in.

Listen, learn and enjoy your parents’ stories of their history. Your attention during this stage validates their life experiences. Let your parents decide what items are important to keep and make space for in their new home.

Give them the tools they need to help in the decision-making process

An accurate and detailed floor plan of the new home that shows electrical outlets, phone jacks and cable hookups is necessary. Take a measurement of their furniture and cut out pieces of paper to the same scale as the room to represent the items they need and want in the place. Moving these pieces around on the diagram, they will see which items are absolutely required for daily living and which are disposable. The finished floor plan is a benefit on moving day and provides everyone with clear direction on furniture placement.

Find community resources that will buy or accept items that are no longer needed, but still useful
Come up with a list of moving professionals who can help to smooth the transition to the new home.

Remove important papers and valuables from the house before the move and deliver them to the new home several days after the move
Come up with a list of names and phone numbers that will be useful on moving day: moving organizer; moving company dispatcher who can intervene as the move progresses, manager on duty at the condo, retirement residence or care community.

Ensure your parents have an overnight bag packed and ready for moving day

Necessary items should include medications, cheque book, address book and personal items required or the first night in their new home. Encourage your parents to take time to say goodbye. This important ritual shouldn’t be lost or forgotten in the confusion and stress of moving day. It is comforting to spend a few moments with neighbourhood friends and service providers. Everyone will benefit from a final walkthrough of the home, double-checking closets, the attic, garage and shed to ensure nothing is left behind.

Assist with the change of address process

Take part in the settling-in phase of the move. Imagine you are moving to a new home. Everything is different, inside and out. Even if your parents have chosen this new location and lifestyle, it will take time for them to adjust and feel comfortable and safe.

Be patient and, if possible, explore the new surroundings with your parents

Walk them through their new routines and encourage them to meet their neighbours.
Assist them to create an area, no matter how small, where everything is familiar. This can be as easy as placing a favourite chair and table with magazines, family photos and the usual box of tissues in the same position as they were in the previous home. Leave a photo album or scrapbook in a noticeable place so your parents can take a moment to relive the past or share their memories with new friends.

It only makes sense for adult children to help their senior parents move. Make it easier for them by giving them extra hands they can use as their resources. Help them feel at ease knowing that someone is there to help and support them during their move. They will be grateful for your assistance.

Source: Downsizing Diva

If your parents are planning to move or downsize in the near future, consider talking with them about redirecting some of their extra usable furniture to Furniture Bank. Through our pickup service we can remove the items they are ready to part with – and they will get a tax receipt for their gift. They can take comfort knowing that the pieces they treasured for so long will find a new home with a family in need.

Click here to enquire about our furniture removal service.

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