April 27, 2023
Stack of packed boxes

by Rose Morrison

Rose is the managing editor of Renovated, a home living site where she strives to help people live their best DIY lives.

Retirement can be the most enjoyable time of your parents’ life. However, if they plan to downsize, they might feel a mix of complicated emotions from leaving their home. Help them look at the bright side — for example, they’ll be able to throw a fun housewarming party with perfect entertainment and good eats for all their loved ones.

If that opportunity isn’t enough to motivate your parents, try these tips to help them downsize effectively when they’re on a deadline.

1. Opt for Minimalism

Your parents may not be minimalists, but they could change their minds — and their style — after seeing how it could benefit them. Fewer objects mean they have less to clean and keep up with, meaning they get more time to themselves.

Plus, it’ll give their space a cleaner look, and they won’t have to worry too much about clutter. Minimalism places value on experiences and spending time with yourself and loved ones over material possessions.

2. Save Sentimental Items

Moving is difficult. Even if you’re staying in the same city or nearby, it can be difficult to say goodbye to your home and many of the things you love. Your parents are bound to feel sentimental over certain items. While you don’t want to pack their new place full of clutter, you should save their favorite things.

To gently break the emotional attachment your parents may have to their home, remove sentimental items one by one. As their house transforms into one meant for showing to potential buyers, they’ll see it as less of their home and more of a house to be sold. Then, you can place those packed-away sentimental items in their new home.

3. Find Waterproof Storage

If your parents are downsizing, they’ll likely have to get rid of quite a few things to fit in their new space. However, there will be some things they’d rather store than just give away. You’ll need suitable waterproof storage to keep your parents’ belongings safe. That way, these totes can be stored outside or in a shed where they might be exposed to water, but the contents won’t be damaged.

A great way to incorporate storage into a small space is to place storage bags under the bed, which keeps things out of the way but still easily accessible. This option might be great for parents who move into an assisted living home or somewhere without outside storage. They can store extra clothes in these bags to access seasonally.

4. Make a Home Plan

Change takes time to get used to. Moving to a new place just means that your parents have a new space they can consider home. You can take a page from college students and learn how to make a smaller space cozier with a home plan.

A wall of pictures will give your parents beautiful decor and a way to look back on good times with their friends and family, keeping those memories close even though the people might be farther away. You should also saturate the new space with plenty of familiar items to make the transition easier.

Also, you could set up every electronic device for your parents. Ensure their smart TV has all the proper accounts set up so they don’t run into any issues when trying to watch something — just like at their old home. Make it as easy as possible for them to transition into this new space.

5. Know the Challenges

Moving poses several challenges, including those that stay the same no matter how old you are. Starting over can be difficult for older parents who try to challenge change. However, it also means they have plenty of new things to explore in their new destination. Even if you’re moving within the same city, your parents might have new things to see and do closer to their new home.

Still, there are several other challenges your parents will encounter that will make them second-guess their decision to move. It’s your job to help them process their emotions and work through these challenges. If this move is for the better, they should come to understand it eventually.

Common challenges that come with moving include:

  • Not being as close to friends and family.
  • The stress of packing boxes and sorting through belongings.
  • Understanding your new surroundings.

Help your parents work through these difficulties as best you can. You may want to research for them and ensure they get the fun part of moving — in the form of new experiences — and don’t have to worry so much about the stress of it. They have enough on their minds.

6. Help Them With the Logistics

Your parents are under enough stress getting their things ready to move. If you can, take care of the logistics for them. Talk to the realtor if they’re selling their home. If not, get the monthly bills and payments changed to the name of whoever will take over. When they don’t have to worry about dealing with the most stressful parts of changing everything, your parents might enjoy the moving experience more.

7. Work on a Deadline

For a move to go smoothly, there must be planning. You should create a timeline for your parents to follow that won’t rush them but will get them to understand that moving is a reality they need to prepare for. You can make a checklist and run through it with your parents.

For example, do they know where they want to live? Looking up the neighborhood can help you understand its safety, and social media can give you honest reviews of a certain place. You want to ensure where they decide to live is where they actually want to be.

Set deadlines for every part of the moving process. Your parents may start to take things more seriously when the deadlines feel more “real” — rather than by putting them off until the last moment. Multiple small deadlines mean easier work for your parents as they get ready to move.

Make Your Parents’ Move as Smooth as Possible

Making a Chicago move as stress-free as possible is as simple as hiring the right moving company. At Move-tastic, we can support your parents through this new major step in life by packing things up and moving them for them to their forever home.

We offer tips and tricks to minimize the anxiety and stress of moving, and we’d be happy to help you navigate the Chicago area. Contact us for a free estimate today!

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