Downsizing or Rightsizing … when is the right time?

One of the services I offer my clients is to help them downsize.  Or I like to call it “rightsizing.”  To me, downsizing has a negative sense about it.  You are losing something.  But rightsizing has a positive feel about it.  You are rightsizing because this next season of life has some changes.

These clients could be transitioning to a smaller home or condo or moving into a Community.  Or they could be staying in their current home and just be de-cluttering.  Sometimes the client is on board and sometimes they are not.  The children could be the ones to make the initial call or even the Community they are moving to can be the one to call me.  It can be a hard decision and one that takes a lot of emotional energy to make.

I have had clients that were totally on board with the decision and for the most part that transition is easiest, and I have had those clients that are not on board and ambivalent with the potential move.  For those that are on the fence, not sure if they should be doing this or are doing it to appease their children, much love and tender care must be given to them.

I share with these ambivalent clients that change can be good and to look at this transition as an adventure.  Adventures can have wonderful experiences awaiting them.  Four years ago, my sister and I moved my mom into an Independent Living Facility.  I know she wished she could stay in her home of 60+ years.  But she truly understood that she couldn’t live alone and being closer to me would make life easier for all of us.  She made the move and I have to say the last years of her life were full of adventures, new friends and a beautiful community.

I also share with these ambivalent clients my personal experience of my children and I having to leave a home we built because of divorce.  My children loved this home because they spent much of their life there.  But we still had to move.  I remember the day the movers arrived and were moving our items out.  My son who was 12 at the time was in the backyard walking in circles crying.  Broke my heart.  But I still had to move forward.

Well a few years later, my son told me how much he loved his new home, glad we moved here and doesn’t even think about the old home.  As hard as it was, I believe God changed his heart and gave him so many new opportunities that he would not have had if we stayed in our other home.

So, are you in the process of working with your mom/dad or both to help them consider a transition to a smaller home or community?  Well, here are 5 tips to consider that might help with that transition.

  1. I tell my clients to “make a decision while you can be in control of the decision. Don’t wait for circumstances to make the decision for you.”
  2. Rightsizing doesn’t always mean moving. It could mean pairing down belongings and making more space to move around the home easier.  Remember Safety is Key!
  3. If you are not eating “well”, meaning eating a lot of processed foods or sugary food, then consider having meals brought in or move to a community where meals are provided for you.
  4. Do you go weeks without communicating with another human? Then perhaps consider moving to a Community where you can make new friends.
  5. Before you start downsizing/rightsizing, take pictures of each room so you can have a great remembrance of your home.

If you decide to move forward on transitioning your parents to either de-clutter their current space, move to a smaller home or make a move to a Community, many times working with a trained Professional Organizer can make the transition smoother.  Children’s emotions can get in the way of working with their parents.  Their decision on what to let go of can be hard and if your time is limited to working with them, your impatience can get in the way and in a sense of frustration push them to make decisions they will later resent you for.

Working with a Professional who is trained to work with the Senior population can make the transition smooth, easy and successful.  It can be worth the cost.

I hope this message helps and these tips shed some answers for you.  Coming forth in the next few weeks will be more information about helping your parents make that transition.

Know that I am here to help you.  Would you like to chat?  Just respond to this email and we’ll set up a 30 minute “free” phone consult.  You can pick my brain for answers to those questions lingering in your head.

Your Health, Wellness & Organizational Coach … believing in you!

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