Helping your parents downsize

5 years ago
3 minutes

There are plenty of benefits to downsizing. There’s greater security, with many new projects offering 24-hour concierge services, so residents can live a lock-up and leave lifestyle — especially attractive to those looking to travel. The homes are brand-new so they are low-maintenance, and often apartment projects feature on-site amenities such as swimming pools and yoga rooms — perfect for low-impact exercise.

If your parents are downsizing and looking forward to their new lease on life, there are a few things you can do to help support them with the moving process.


Talk it through

Have a conversation with your parents about what kind of lifestyle they’re looking forward to living. If they’re moving to an area with tonnes of restaurants and cafés, they may not need the array of cooking implements they’ve collected over the years. Or maybe they’re looking to escape the coming winters by travelling so they may not need the entire range of jackets, coats and jumpers they’ve amassed.


Break it down

Help your parents manage the task ahead of them by creating a schedule. There is no reason why everything should be packed up in one week — especially if your parents have bought off-the-plan and are waiting for construction to be completed. You can dedicate a fortnight to childhood bedrooms, and another fortnight to bathrooms, showers, and laundry, and so on.


Start with emotionally neutral rooms

To get the ball rolling, start in the bathroom where you can throw away old medicines, lotions and shaving gear — things which are unlikely to hold any sentimental value for your parents. Move on to the linen closet, and then the tool cupboard, anywhere which has practical items which can easily be slotted into ‘trash’ or ‘keep’ piles.


Take responsibility

Your childhood room should be your responsibility. While you’re at it, create a pile of your adult possessions which you’ve been keeping at your parent's place because they had more storage than you.




Do your parents want to keep an old and ratty couch which you think won’t fit in their luxurious new home? Let them explain to you why the item is so important to them. Perhaps it was the couch they bought when they first moved in together. If you listen to them talk about it, either you’ll understand the ‘why’ or they might realise it’s not as important as the memory itself.


Create a facebook group

Post photos of items which your parents don’t want but which your friends and family might. This can save drama in the future when your aunt realises your mum threw out an item which she didn’t want but her sister had coveted secretly. 


Treasure this time

It’s unlikely you’ll ever get to spend this time going down memory lane with your parents again. At least, not in the same way. Even if they move homes several times, it won’t be the same as uprooting from the family home, so make sure you value this time with them and support them through it.

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