There may come a point when your senior loved ones (parents or grandparents) decide to move, downsize or simply begin the oftentimes-overwhelming task of “decluttering.” Of course, too, there may be deaths in the family that necessitate cleaning and clearing out a home. Regardless of the situation, it can be stressful, emotional and time-consuming.
Before you go into a panic and vow to just “junk” everything, here are some suggestions on how to most efficiently handle the situation:
When a senior has amassed a tremendous amount of “stuff” tucked into pretty much every nook and cranny and covering all visible surfaces, you should consider calling upon the services of an organizer that specializes in exactly this type of work. Check out the National Association of Productivity and Organizing to identify an organizer in your local area.
If you have time prior to the organizer coming into the home, spend some time to sort through the items and remove things that may have sentimental meaning. Start with one room and when you have finished, move on to the other rooms in the home. Don’t underestimate the amount of time it is going to require and the emotions that can overtake you as you are clearing out the home. Leave yourself enough time if you intend to do this step.
If you come upon items that you feel have value and that you would like to sell, contact a reputable company that buys and sells antiques, flatware, ceramics and jewelry. We recommend that you do this prior to posting your items online at eBay or any of the other online sites. Protect yourself and understand the value of your items before you take the steps to sell them. (Of course, I am going to suggest that you reach out to Syl-Lee. Our reputation speaks for itself!)
If you are downsizing or helping a senior to downsize remember that emotions can run wild and keep in mind that you can certainly hold on to specific things that you feel are too important for you to part with. At the same time, remember to not take it personally if your family doesn’t want to “inherit” some of the furniture, flatware or ceramics. Personal tastes and what is “in-fashion” keeps changing and even though it was once a prized possession it does not mean you will be able to find another person that has the same feelings towards the item.