When you’ve left the nest for good and you’re parents are all alone in a big house with too many possessions, it’s time for them to start thinking about downsizing. You’re building a nest of your own, so we realize this is a busy time in your life, but your parents took care of you for your entire childhood, so now it’s time to help them with the next stage of their life. It will be difficult for both sides, which is why we’ve put together a few tips to help you convince your parents to downsize.
1) Start the discussion casually
Next time you go home to visit your parents, make subtle comments about how the house feels so much larger than you remember. They’ll likely get the hint right away. Keep in mind that if your parents don’t take kindly to slightly passive opinions, this isn’t the best way to approach the discussion.
Being straightforward and honest is the best way to go about it. Express that you’re only suggesting it because you have their happiness in mind. They have a lot of years left and they shouldn’t be burdened by too much space and stuff, plus some of their retirement money is probably tied up in the home.
2) Offer to help with getting rid of stuff
The process of downsizing can seem overwhelming, especially the part where your parents need to get rid of a lot of their possessions. You should offer to help with this, especially since you probably left some things behind when you moved out.
Tackle the home one room at a time. Divide the things into three piles; donate, junk, sell. Tell your parents you can list the items for sale online and bring the rest to donation drop-offs. Not having to worry about doing this alone will make your parents more open to starting the downsizing process.
3) Put your smart tech savviness to good use
Some parents are good with smart technology, some aren’t. If yours aren’t, let them know that you can Google any questions they have about certain neighbourhoods where they may be interested in living.
Finding the right place to live is another big hurdle – and an intimidating one at that – but with your access to a variety of apps and sites like Newinhomes.com, you should be able to narrow down the list of potential neighbourhoods. If you’re going the resale route, your agent can take it from there.
4) Suggest a more walkable area
It’s no secret – mobility becomes an issue as we age. Some people feel uncomfortable driving at an older age and some just flat out can’t do it for health related reasons. Anticipating not being able to use a car is a smart strategy for downsizers.
Tell your parents that there are many downtown condo units that can accommodate them, where they’ll be able to walk to the grocery store, the bank, clinics, and pharmacies. Plus they’ll love the convenient area amenities like theatres and shops.
5) Offer to help with packing/unpacking and moving in/out
Make sure your parents know that you will be with them every step of the way to make the process of downsizing as easy as possible. Whether you’re hiring a moving company or renting a truck and enlisting some friends and family members, let your parents know that they don’t have to lift a finger if they don’t want to.
Just thinking of packing up everything, loading it into a truck, driving it all to a new destination, unloading it, unpacking, and organizing everything makes a person in their early 20s exhausted. Imagine how your parents feel. Taking this off their plate makes downsizing much easier.
We hope these tips help you start the downsizing discussion with your parents and make the process as smooth as possible. Good luck!
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