Getting ready to move granny? Chances are you will be helping her downsize. There is an undeniable attachment to a home, especially if one has been there for a long time. Leaving it for new “digs” can cause a tsunami of emotions; anxiousness, frustration, joy, anger, excitement, and worry. What did I leave out?
It need not be so bad. Take it one step at a time. Be organized, be alert to and acknowledge the emotions as they arise.
Let’s assume you already found the place granny is moving to, if not that is another topic in itself.
Who’s in charge? I would like to suggest granny is in charge. Work with her to make decisions, guide and suggest instead of telling. You will find things will go easier. If you need to put the conversation on a contentious item on hold, do so. Circle back when you think it might be better to get back to that conversation.
Some wise person once said, dealing with big issues is best done by dealing with the many smaller issues one at a time. One of the biggest challenges will be deciding what will fit into her new home. Obviously if she is moving from a house to an apartment or condo she may less of a challenge than if she is moving into an extended care facility.
Start by taking inventory. What will she need? What will fit? If the cellar is full of preserves, you are going to need to get rid of those. You might ask which clothes in the closets have not been worn in the last two years. A pretty good indication they would not be missed. What might the kids or neighbours be interested in?
Once you know what items are keepers, you need to deal with the “this has to go” stuff. Local thrift stores will welcome clothing, small appliances and items they can re-sell for their cause. Some organizations will take granny’s furniture for a fee but issue a tax receipt for the value of the item.
Did granny ever hide things, like money? You might be surprised if you asked her. It is not uncommon for seniors to tuck some cash away for emergencies. As you go through the household items, check the pockets and flip through books. You don’t have to “toss” the place, but do keep an eye open.
The stuff you are not moving or giving to a thrift store is next. Can any of it be recycled? Does your city have “big item” junk days where they will pick up larger pieces destined for the dump? Chances are you’ll have a fair amount that defaults to the “garbage” category. Many cities have services that will haul away your items. Check for referrals if you can. If they have access to the home, ensuring they are bonded may provide an added layer of comfort.
The last line – make a list! Imagine all the things you need to do and cross them off as you get them done. Before you know it, granny will be downsized.