Decluttering and Transitioning With Seniors

Posted by: The Bristal

Decluttering With SeniorsDear Maryellen,

I am in the process of moving my parents out of their house and into mine. They have lived in their house for over 40 years and have accumulated a whole lot of stuff. I don’t know where to start! Can you offer any advice on how to make this process a little bit smoother?   -Pauline, North Woodmere, NY

Dear Pauline,

Moving can be extremely stressful and overwhelming for anyone. When you add downsizing and transitioning to a family member’s house the experience can be very emotional. But with some planning and a head start it can be done. You can even hire a professional Senior Move Manager who will handle the details for you and your parents.

To help you get started Senior Transition Services offer these helpful tips:

The Process
• Begin the process early. Keep it simple.
• Start small and accumulate little successes.
• Simplify your clothes closets.
• Create a staging area for you to use temporarily to sort and store items during the downsizing process.
• When sorting, focus on one room at a time. Don’t wander between rooms.
• Place different colored sticky notes on items to indicate what will be moved, given to family, donated, sold, shredded or discarded.
• If you have a well-stocked pantry, refrigerator and freezer, eat what you have and do not purchase more.

• Sort through financial, medical, investment, and personal documents. Know what to shred and what to keep.

• Remove expired and unneeded prescription drugs from their container. Place in a disposable container, like a zip lock bag with used coffee grounds or kitty litter. Seal it and then discard.

Pictures, Slides, Movies
• Sort through them and only keep the special ones with people.
• Label the photos you keep with key info: names, relationships, dates etc.
• Consider having your photos, slides and movies professionally scanned.

I hope these tips help ease the stress. But if you’d like to find a senior move manager in your area visit The National Association of Senior Move Managers.

Best of luck to you and your parents, Pauline.

Maryellen McKeon

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