Bringing a Senior Relative to Live With You? 8 Tips to Help Them Declutter
Bringing a senior relative to live in your home can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be a lot of work. Downsizing is a time-consuming, work-intensive process that your relative will likely undergo. However, you can make it easier by following these tips.
1. Allow Communication and Provide Choice
Your senior may be deeply attached to the home they will be leaving, and it is common for them to feel sad and apprehensive about moving. To make the transition smoother, give them time to adjust to the change and discuss where they will live and why they are moving. Then, as you plan and implement the move, give them as much choice as possible as they leave their longtime home.
2. Discuss the Space
Take a walk through the space where your relative will be living. Discuss what will and won't fit. Measure dimensions, write them down, and then measure pieces of furniture your relative is considering. Talk about placing those items in the space and draw a diagram.
It may be hard for your relative to decide what won't accompany them. There may need to be more than one discussion about this topic as your relative adjusts to downsizing.
3. Stay Organized During Reorganization
Staying organized can make downsizing easier. First, start decluttering a part of the house your relative uses less often. For example, you may begin by going through the garage, basement, or attic. After downsizing in these spaces, you can address items your relative uses more frequently.
4. Rent a Storage Unit if Needed
If your relative has items that are hard to let go of, rent a storage unit. Resolve to decide at a later time what to do about those items. It may be easier to let go of certain things after some time.
5. Recycle and Re-Use
Donate what you can to charity and recycle whatever cannot be donated.
6. Keep Items that Serve More Than One Purpose
Items that serve more than one purpose, such as benches that double as storage, are the perfect items to hang on to in a small space. Identify those multi-function things, and set them aside to be brought over.
7. Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Decluttering can be difficult. Many people feel reluctant to give up those things that are most important to them. Give yourself plenty of time. Having time to consider and let go of those things that won't fit can make the process more manageable. Don't try to rush.
8. Plan Ahead to Avoid Duplicates
Go through the list of items your relative plans to bring. If they're bringing something you already own, discuss whether it's best to have two things in one house or keep only one.
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