Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cleaning Out Your Parent's House: Letting Go Gently

Selling An Estate Or Helping Your Parents Downsize

That dreaded day has finally are asked to go clean out mom and or dad's house. But where do you begin? Your elderly parents tell you often that they have a lot of "valuables" in the house. But what do they mean by "valuables" ?

First I would like to clarify the term "valuables". An object (collectible) has psychological "value" as well as market value.
Most of us get attached to parts of our home whether it be a favorite chair or treasured coffee cup.

It's hard to say good bye to our dear furnishings and or housewares, decor etc. Older adults often need help letting go of belongings which have lots of meaning for them Adult children need to help their parents let go of their treasures in a gentle manner.

Sentimental Value: Letting Go Of Family Treasures

Lets us start with the concept of sentimental value? Getting to the place when you are beginning to let go of family treasures and furnishings is a very big deal. This is a process which needs to happen over time in stages.

Unfortunately, many older adults who downsize into a smaller apartment, nursing home, assisted living facility etc. simply can't take everything with them. So often time, adult children are faced with having to help mom and dad part with rooms filled with memories. It is my hope that many of you may take some time to make wise decisions.

Have Family Gathering Sessions To Share Memories

Sometimes, the transition is made easier, when furniture and belongings are dispersed among family members such as adult children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Many older adults feel so much better knowing that what they have will be passed onto to others in the family. I remember my Aunt Dotty inviting me over to her apartment before she moved to Florida to pick out some of my favorite kitchen dishes and serving pieces. But what if the younger members of the family are not interested in older furniture or decorative accessories? What is the next step?

Having An Interim Plan Before You Let Go Of The Contents Of A Home

For some families, the need to sell off the contents of a house or even the house itself, comes way before the psychological work of letting go of memories has been completed. Older adults may need help in the letting go process. Here are some ways to begin helping older adults transition into smaller space.

1. Have immediate family members (adult children) gather in the home to have time to share memories and to go through belongings together.

2. A second or third gathering might include adult grandchildren or nephews and nieces to the home to also share in the letting go process.

3. Designate important belongings to come along into the new residence.

4. Consider putting furnishings and family collectibles in storage as an interim step.

5. Consult an estate liquidation expert. Consult: Estate Mavens on my site I Antique

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 dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists

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