Ways To Deal With Your Aging Parent’s Belongings? There is a time in your life when you have to deal with the belongings of an aging parent. Whether it’s because they’ve passed away or they are no longer able to take care of themselves, there will come a time when you need to decide what to do with their possessions.
These days many people want to keep as much stuff out of landfills as possible and at the same time avoid paying for storage space so downsizing can be difficult for everyone involved. However, if we look at this process through a new lens, it could actually be a positive experience that brings families together.
The Best Ways To Deal With Your Aging Parent’s Belongings
When it comes time for your parents to move into a senior living home it can be very overwhelming and emotional. You now have a house full of belongings and no clue where to start. You have years of memories, collectibles, and furniture to find a place for.
The first thing you will have to do is go through all of the items in your parent’s home. You don’t want to get rid of any family memories, collectibles, or items that mean something to your parents. This is tedious and will take some time but is necessary as the first step to this process.
Once you sort through the important belongings, what do you do with the rest of the items? You don’t want to clutter up your home, you don’t want to pay for storage….so what do you do?
Also, how can you get your parents to agree to get rid of items they no longer need?
If you decide to pack everything up and save it in a storage unit that only delays the work. You will have this huge project sitting in a storage unit waiting to be tended to. Make it easier on yourself and take care of as much as you can now.
Read some of the strategies below for more information on how to handle your aging parents’ belongings.
What Should I Do With Their Stuff If They Are Downsizing?
As mentioned above, you will need to sort through what they NEED to keep and what they WANT to keep with them. After all, it is their stuff – they should have the first pick.
They should be able to bring what they’d like with them within reason, but everything in a 2000+ square foot home simply won’t fit in that nursing home.
From there you can personally go through and gather all of the keepsakes and memorable items for yourself and your family. Gather those items and store those away in your home, storage unit, etc.
Tips For Minimizing Belongings
Ask for help: Gather family and friends to help you sort through everything. Make a weekend out of it and divide and conquer. This will be more efficient and help make the process more fun, no one wants to do this alone.
Digitize photos: Every parent has frames and frames of pictures of the family from over the years. They are in frames, albums, or organized photo boxes. You don’t want to throw family pictures away, it just doesn’t feel right and you don’t have to. Inquire with some companies about digitizing your photos for you. This will help minimize clutter and allow you to keep the memories.
Jewelry is worth something: Take the leftover jewelry into a shop with a professional appraiser. Have them look at the jewelry and determine its value. You can sell them the jewelry and know you’re getting your money’s worth.
Selling Family Belongings
Aging care is expensive! Your parents will need that money in their account to help cover the expenses of their new living center. Selling items you no longer need such as furniture and clothing are easy to do with multiple options to choose from.
The easiest way to sell off belongings is to take the items into a thrift store or consignment store. The other way to sell items is online such as Etsy or eBay. This is a long process and more time-consuming for you. If you have the time and you enjoy the online platform feel free to use this strategy but if you are looking for the easiest process possible, consignment stores will be your best friend!
Garage sales are also a great choice for selling your belongings. Gather the items and put a sign up around the neighborhood promoting the garage sale coming up. People love garage sales and with an abundance of items to choose from it is sure to be a hit.
Donating Items To Charity
Donate any items that are no longer needed or you can’t sell. This can be old clothes, books, kitchen utensils, furniture, jewelry, etc. Donate to places such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or Habitat for Humanity.
Be sure to keep all receipts of any donations you make. Your parents can use this as a tax deduction!
Ask Family or Friends If They Are Interested
Since your family and friends are helping you they are welcome to take whatever they see. Offer them the choice to choose any items to keep while organizing and packing up items. This can be furniture, home decor, books, etc.
You never know, there could be enough furniture to furnish a small apartment for their child or themselves. The more they take the less you have to worry about, right?
Let The Community Do The Work For You
Another easy way to get rid of items is to leave the belongings on the curb for neighbors or people in the community to pick up. You see this a lot when people are moving out or renovating. They will leave furniture, toys, etc on the curb for people to come by and pick up.
You can find some real gems by doing this and many people look for items like this in neighborhoods all the time.
If your city is holding a community garage sale or neighborhood garage sale, sign up as a contributor!
Senior Moving Professionals
Believe it or not, there are companies out there that specialize in helping take care of your parents’ home and belongings. You can ask the staff at the senior living center about these senior moving professionals. They can get you in contact with the right people.
These professionals are there every step of the way from planning before the move to support after they move out. They will save you time, money, and support for you and your parents. They know how hard this can be on the parents as well and they are there to make you and your parents feel as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
Consider hiring a senior moving professional and have the comfort of knowing your parents’ belongings are in good hands.