Encouraging A Senior Family Member To Purge Their Home- What Not To Say

No one wants to inherit a hoarded or cluttered house. I personally have cleaned out many of them. I see the stress, frustration, and anger. The most common complaint is the time and money they have to spend to get the home ready for sale. And as we know with hoarding, treasures are hidden everywhere.

I am seeing a trend of more and more family members trying to encourage their relatives to "shovel" it out as they get older. With that being said, there is also an increase in family drama. Last week I did a consultation and the lady told me that her niece told her she was going to toss it all. She left her Aunt traumatized.

I understand both sides of this story. This isn't my first time at the rodeo. I am the chick that will pull family members outside and gently school them on the way to handle the clutter and flaring emotions. As we say in the south- "You get more flies with honey".

1. Don't threaten your family member- If you threaten your family member, they will rebel. They will cancel the appointments with the organizer and stop the process.

2. Don't rush the process. Your family member will need time to make decisions on their belongings. Start the process when they are still able to participate.

3. Don't take control. Work with your relative. They need to feel in control to make this work. Gently guide them. Set up a plan that works for both of you.

The above statements maybe simple but they are so true. Time and time again, I have seen people quit the process due to others actions or words. Be gentle and kind. We all have challenges in life.

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