Many families are facing the need to downsize their parents’ homes. With many of the adult children living away from their parents, there just isn’t enough time to go over the details that surround downsizing. When families get together for Thanksgiving, this will be a good time to talk downsizing with your family.
Here are some pro tips on talking downsizing with your family during Thanksgiving:
- Establish a timeline – Every plan has a beginning and an end. The family should look at when the downsize needs to start and when it needs to be completed. Sometimes health is an issue and the timeline is short, making it imperative that each family member engage to help facilitate the plan in a timely fashion. In the best case scenario, a downsize can be approached with a longer timeline which gives family members more time to sift through family heirlooms and memorabilia.
- “When in doubt…” – My all-time favorite saying when it comes to families downsizing is, “When in doubt, throw it out.” While the family begins to sort what they want to keep or not keep, this is a helpful reminder that makes the process of downsizing easier. If you have to think about whether or not to keep an item, it is likely that it does not need to be saved.
- Assign tasks – Each family member should be given specific tasks to accomplish in the downsize. Organized family members can take on detailed tasks and the more “big picture” family members can focus on larger projects like listing the home and/or looking for a smaller home.
- Be positive - Getting together to celebrate as a family should be a joyous time. Talking positively about the benefits of downsizing can help ease the stress a downsize can have on the parents. A family downsize can mean less worries, less stress, less maintenance and upkeep and, fewer decisions to make.
- Cherish the time - This may be the last time the family gets together in the “family home,” so cherish the moment. Walk through the house and relive the memories you had in each room. When our family upsized from the small starter home we had had for 19 years, we walked through each room and relived memories that we’ll never forget. You never know when a family member will no longer be with you so any time spent together should be positive and impactful.
When a plan has been established for a family downsize it is important to connect with a moving and storage company that can help make this stressful time as stress free as possible. The William C Huff White Glove Moving and Storage Company has been making downsizing stress free for homeowners for over 100 years. Highly trained and tenured staff is the key to making a downsize stress free.