Downsizing Your Aging Parents


Moving is one of life’s top stressors. It can be both physically and mentally exhausting. This is certainly true when you are working with your aging parents in downsizing to a smaller home or senior living housing. The process of sorting through decades of family history can be a huge challenge and one that may require assistance.

moving-boxes-4118678__340At Mastodon Moving, we have helped many clients in the packing, moving, and storage aspects necessary to downsize aging parents to a more manageable residence, an adult child’s home, or even to a senior living community. We have worked closely with family members about what items need to be packed and unpacked, and what items are going to a new location. We have also provided temporary storage for high-value items, family heirlooms, and sentimental items. We pride ourselves on communicating and working with all members of the team to make this a smooth transition.

Downsizing can be difficult, especially since items will need to be either moved, sold, donated, gifted, or handed down to other family members. Here are some suggestions from our team to help you in this emotional and physically demanding labor of love.


Create a Space to Get Organized

Create a space where you can begin to categorize each item. Some people find a cleared out garage, a basement, or even a guest bedroom works as a good sorting area. When categorizing, families find it helpful to sort items by category such as keep, discard, to-be-gifted, items to sell, and items that will be packed for moving. This is probably the most difficult part of downsizing – deciding on what should be passed on and what should travel to the new location. Take it slow and use the time to reminisce about items that have sentimental value.

declutter signMake Some Ground Rules

Since decluttering and downsizing can be emotionally tough, decide on how many boxes can potentially fit in the new location and how long you will work on decluttering each day. We recommend, if you have time before the move, to only do a few hours a day rather than a marathon packing day. Knowing when to call it quits each day can save you a lot of hardship. If there are many prized possessions that will not be making the move, decide with family members how you will gift them and who will get the items.


Consider Temporary Storage

If there are high-value items, larger items that may be needed later, or family heirlooms that will be handed down, consider storing them until the time comes to pass them on to the next owner. Our short-term storage means that these items can be taken off site, thus allowing for more room to sort and catalog what is left.


Manage Paperwork

One thing that can get overwhelming (in any home) is the amount of paperwork that can build up over the years or decades. Shred or toss obvious items such as old canceled checks, old bills, and papers that are not needed for taxes. If you’re not sure, ask an accountant or tax professional what records need to be retained. For paperwork that remains, sort it into labeled files so that accessing it in the future is easier.

Mastodon Moving has a team of professionals who can help at each step of the way from packing and unpacking, to accessing our storage facilities. We can help make this transition easier for the whole family. Contact Mastodon Moving at 774-421-9004 today for senior moving, move management, long distance moving, and storage services.


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