I appreciate your advice on helping people with parents who need to downsize, but I could use a bit more information. My mother has so many belongings stashed all over her house that she can’t imagine having to sort them or get rid of them. All the closets, cupboards, attic, and basement areas are full of valuable and sentimental things, and we are all overwhelmed with the idea of going through them.
Her doctor has advised her to go to an assisted living, and I believe she would really like it there. How do you recommend we assist her so that she can move right away?
If it becomes necessary to move, and you haven’t had the time or energy to gradually sort and give things away or sell them, you might need to go ahead and move. You can sort later, but not while trying to live there, and find a new place.
I recommend that a person makes the move to the assisted living or senior community, and take what they need to make the new place feel like home. After the pictures are hung, and the furniture is arranged, live in the new place for two weeks, and see how it feels. Are there items you wish you had brought? Ask someone to get them for you, or if possible take you back to the home and retrieve them. Are there things you moved with you that are in the way or that you don’t need? Ask someone to come by and remove them.
Adding two or three weeks to the moving process diminishes the stress and helps you make better decisions. Adding more than two or three weeks adds unnecessary work and anxiety to the process.
After this time is passed, you can have family members or even professional downsizers come in and prepare your home to be sold. It will be easier for them to help if they know that you have the items you want and need in your new place.