Helping Seniors Downsize

April 8,2021
Helping Seniors Downsize

Are you helping elderly loved ones downsize and move out of the homes they have lived for decades?   Are you guiding them and helping to plan their move?  Here are some tips to help elderly loved ones move with grace.

While the  move might be in the best interest of their physical well-being, it is important to ensure their mental well-being is also considered during the moving process.   One of the most troublesome and difficult parts of the move is dealing with their possessions. They don’t want to be separated from their treasures, so you have to handle this detail with sensitivity and compassion. Don’t get over enthusiastic and try to use anything like the Kon Mari decluttering method; it’s complex and everything they look at will spark joy. For lots of elderly people, making decisions quickly can be overwhelming, and self storage can buy some decision making time and alleviate this stress.

Include Seniors in Planning

There is a good possibility your loved ones have accumulated furniture over many decades and have grown attached to.  The thought of it ending up in a landfill or a garage sale can be devastating to them.  If possible, include your elderly loved ones in planning what to do with the excess furniture.  It’s comforting to seniors to see that their beloved possessions are going to be useful to others. Let them give items to friends and family members. Consider asking family members to assist with sorting and packing, more for emotional than physical support.

Use Self Storage to take the pressure off

If they aren’t already aware of it, explain the concept of self storage. Let seniors know that their treasures will be safe, and that they can retrieve their stored items any time they need or want them.  The way to describe it is that a self storage unit takes the stress out of having to make so many decisions in a short amount of time.  If possible, take your elderly loved ones to the storage facility to show them to how convenient and secure this option can be.   

Keep, Discard, Donate

When you’re preparing to place your own possessions in self storage, you probably use the “keep, discard, donate” method. This will not be easy with the elderly. They’ll want to keep everything unless they’re giving it to someone they love. To get this task completed, have seniors work with you. Let them keep as much as is possible they need personal items to help them feel grounded and secure in their new place.  And one little word of advice, their favourite chair of painting might not be yours…and that is ok.

Handle with Compassion and Sensitivity

Self storage can be part of the solution, but it won’t solve all of your problems. Not everyone will be happy with the compromises and sacrifices that have to be made in this situation. It’s an adjustment process for all involved, but it can also be an experience to grow. Involve family members, including school-age children, and use your critical thinking skills to plan and organize. You’d be surprised at the great ideas your kids will suggest.  Knowing that your loved ones are safe and secure will reduce your stress and make it easier for you to help them adjust to this next chapter in their lives.

Are you helping a loved one move?  Call us and we will be able to assist you with getting the right amount of space for your loved one.  We will do everything we can to make storing the items as easy and stress free as possible.  We are open 7 days a week 403-269-2489.

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