Every week I get several calls from a distraught daughter or son about their parent's house. Its very common for a well lived in house to be pretty full of stuff. It can make an adult child nervous about the prospect of having to navigate through it.
Most of us don't have the luxury to take a few months off work to clear out a house. We have to find alternative ways to get this done.
When should you start talking to your parents about clearing out their longtime home? There is no time like the present. Here are some tips to help you get the ball rolling.
1. Have a gentle conversation with your parents. Put a game plan in place.
2. Don't expect them to purge their whole home at once. Identify what needs to be done. If time is not a consideration, then have them do a few projects per year. This is what I call a level one purge.
3. Start in the attic or basement. These areas tend to have the older stuff that is no longer being used in the home.
4. Decide what should be donated, shared with the siblings, or sold.
5. Hire a professional organizer to come in and help with the process. This will help keep your parents on track. They will also give you resources to help you with the sale or donation of items.
The most important thing to remember is to be patient and kind. This project will take time.
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