‘5 Tips to Help your parents move out of their longtime home’

Guest post by Laurie Bell, Founder and Managing Director of Moving Seniors with a Smile

  1. Start early: Whenever I am asked to share downsizing tips and tips for moving seniors, I always begin by advising people to begin the process early. Your parents may have lived in their existing home for thirty, forty or even fifty years. Sometimes people consider most of the furniture pieces but they don’t always give too much thought to the contents of each drawer, cupboard and closet in their home. We won’t even mention the basement and garage or the storage locker. Start Early. It takes longer than you think. 
  2. One room at a time: My second suggestion is to take things a zone or a room at a time. If you are making decisions with your parent, plan on working for three or four hour sessions so that the process does not overwhelm and exhaust them. They may not be engaging in the physical work themselves but it can be tiring to go too far down memory lane. Some memories will make them smile but not all will be happy ones. My advice is to work in shorter spans and keep the project focused.
  3. Determine what to keep: Make decisions around what to keep, what to gift to family – if, in fact they want it, what to sell or donate and what to do with what’s left over. Often people accumulate a lot of paper over time that is no longer wanted or needed. Separate what can be safely recycled and what should be shredded. If time permits, recyclables can be put out in the Blue Bin over a few pick-ups. Services like Toronto’s Toxic Taxi can sometimes come by for old paints etc. by appointment. It is cost effective to be both organized and strategic when you are moving seniors. 
  4. Ethical disposal: Many times when you’re moving seniors they are simply happy to get rid of the things that they have accumulated over decades. Sometimes they have inherited other family members’ belongings and they are still tucked away in boxes in the basement. Your parent(s) will probably rightly believe that these items are too good to simply toss and they may be more than happy to donate these things so that others will be able to benefit from them. The donations landscape has changed quite a bit of late but organizations like the Furniture Bank will still pick up items from your parents’ home. While there is a charge for this pickup, I have found their tax receipts to be generous. It is definitely a Win-Win. Your parents are able to shed some of the items that they no longer have space for and they can get it to people who need them in our community.
  5. Seek professional help: Know when you and your parents can use knowledgeable guidance, support and practical assistance throughout the project. A savvy and sensitive Senior Move Manager can objectively ensure that your parent(s)’ upcoming move is seamless and you can enjoy peace of mind.

For more tips and resources to help moving seniors, click here to check out our blog.

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