After living in a home for decades, a home can become packed with items
connected to memories, amazing moments, and life events. When you visit your
parents, you are more likely to notice the accumulation of items from 30, 40 or
50 years ago while they may not notice it. It’s possible they have become
“clutter blind” since these items are associated with memories and moments. You
are sandwiched between their belongings and your own.
If you want to help your parents let go of some of their clutter so
they can leap into the next season of their lives, we have 7 steps to get you
Discuss the need for decluttering and rightsizing
into the right space.
- Approach the subject with patience and respect.
- Acknowledge the benefits of decluttering and rightsizing.
- Decide what the goals will be for decluttering
and the time it will take to complete the task.
Create a realistic timeline for completing your
- Talk to
your parents about a schedule to minimize their belongings with you or your
through each room and decide if it is easier to declutter by category of items
- Come to an understanding that some items may be
easy to declutter while other items will take more time, patience and thought.
Create rules for what stays and what goes.
- Always dispose of broken or outdated items that
are no longer useful or functional.
- Be willing to get rid of multiples and worn
- Consider reducing their inventory of seasonal
décor, especially if there are multiples of items.
Identify items your parents need, want, and
- Have an open discussion about what items are
necessities for everyday life.
- Decide which items are loved and should be kept
after essential or needed items are identified.
- From the list of “loved” items, decide which
items are more of a want than love.
Remove items from the home beginning with those
attached to the least emotions.
- Discard items like old bills, canceled or voided
check, spoiled food, expired medications, torn or damaged clothes.
- Reduce the amounts of linens and clothing that
are multiples or the wrong size.
- Sort through more emotional items last in the
process with the patience to enjoy walks down memory lane.
Identify charities your family loves that will
accept the items you decide to donate. Here’s a few ideas:
- Homeless Shelters – Linens, toiletries, some
- Shelters for battered women – linens,
toiletries, clothing, toys, furniture
- Animal Shelters – Towels, pet related items
- Thrift Stores – Clothing, shoes, furniture,
- Food Pantry – Canned goods or boxed items (Great
way to donate food from pantry’s of parents who no longer cook.)
In all of the cases
above it’s important to know what your favorite charity needs and will accept.
Be sure to contact them for a list as each charity’s need is different.
Use this time to bond and share history.
- Take the task of decluttering one moment at a
time since this may be an emotional process for your parent/parents.
- Remember to use each moment as a way to share
heritage and family history.
- Share stories, laughter, and enjoy the company
of your parents and family members.
Need a few extra hands for the decluttering process? Contact us! We’d
love to help you host an online estate sale.