“Mom and Dad have always had a large home,” Ellie said. “But they’re retiring now, and moving from Boston to Florida. The house down there is much, much smaller – it’s almost half the size of their home here – but my parents are having a hard time understanding that that means all of their stuff just won’t fit.”
Helping your parents downsize in preparation for a move into a smaller home can be challenging – particularly if the move is into an assisted living facility or other care home, where they may have only a single room or suite to call their own. Choosing what to bring can be overwhelming, and it’s not unusual for seniors to want to postpone decision making until the last possible moment.
It can help to ease into the downsizing process by beginning with items that will be obviously of no need in the new living situation that are also not emotionally meaningful to your parents. “We started with the snowblower and shovels, stuff like that,” Ellie said. “I said, “Dad, the whole reason you’re going to Florida is because there’s no snow. We don’t need to move this. And he agreed.” From there, Ellie progressed to her parents’ winter wardrobe and was moderately successful in getting them to thin things out – although her mother did insist on keeping one heavy coat ‘just in case’.
Choose your Boston moving company carefully. It can be distressing for older people to watch their possessions being loaded up for a move, but some insist on doing so to ensure their belongings are treated with respect. You want a moving company that’s mindful of this, treating every item with respect and following industry best practices for moving furniture, artwork, electronics and more.
“We made sure the things that were most precious to Mom and Dad were packed first,” Ellie added. “Once they knew those things were safely on the truck, they relaxed – a lot.”