Sunday, September 22, 2013

Go Slow Downsizing An Elderly Parent's House

Laughter Helps Us Keep Sane When Moving An Elderly Parent: But Remember To Be Gentle

I have previously written humorously about the topic of helping an elderly parent downsize a home. Let's be honest.... laughter does the trick to keep us sane when we are throwing out expired can goods from two decades ago. But while we adult children are busy cleaning out and dumping STUFF.....our adult parents are really not finding anything funny about the process. In fact, you really need to be gentle....and go slowly. Packing up an older person's things, especially if they have been widowed is for many a very emotional time.

Socks and Coffee Can Be Emotional Triggers

Even throwing out an expired jar of coffee can be difficult for someone who attaches fond memories to that jar of coffee and the days when they went shopping to the grocery store together as a couple to buy the week's (or decade's) coffee.

If you think food can bring back memories...old socks can do the same thing. Frankly, everything a person owns can become a sentimental experience.  Go's not easy packing up a lifetime!

Tips To Ease The Emotional Experience Of Downsizing An Older Parent

1. Offer to store family pictures and albums.
2. Consider placing extra boxes in storage unit.
3. Bring along a small curio cabinet or small China cabinet to new apartment to display keepsakes.
4. Build wall shelving or add open book shelf type cabinet to display keepsakes in new place.
5. Gift items to meaningful charities.
6. Pack important items in plastic boxes of different sizes that can stack under bed or in closet in new place.
7. Think out of the you need to bring big couch or can comfortable chairs work better?
8. Donate extra linens, towels, sundries etc to Shelters

Readers please add your suggestions in the comment section, we would love to hear from you.

If you need help regarding Senior Care Services and Eldercare contact my friend Sheri Morris MSW, ACSW, LCSW a very experienced Geriatric Social Worker. Her website is My Senior Care Connection. 
 C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at Visit my website, Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists


  1. Such good, thoughtful points! "Stuff" isn't just about monetary value or whether it's a popular collectible at the moment. "Stuff" can be very personal!

  2. "Very Good" piece you've shared here. Will save for future reference. Thank you!