The Value of Support: When a Loved One Needs to Downsize and Move

As families gather together over the holiday season, observe if your parent or loved one needs help cleaning up. Don’t tell them what to do, but ask how you can help them. No one likes to be told what to do. They might have a lack of energy or sense of purpose to accomplish some tasks. Take one room at a time.

It’s appreciated by the loved one if you ask permission to straighten up their bathroom and find more room for items. Open the cabinets and see if expired toiletries and cleaning supplies are there. Tell them you can re-arrange to have more room to put their items, if you can discard (I like that word rather than throw out or trash.) old items.

Use this technique possibly in other rooms. Ask your loved one what room would you like us to help you with? Make them feel it is their idea and their decision. Have lots of trash bags on hand. Let the loved one sit in a chair and have water available so both of you stay hydrated.

If you hear signals like: “I’m overwhelmed, I don’t know where to start, it’s more than I can handle”, they are saying it’s too much for them to handle. I just had a client, 79 years old, who was telling our team it is too many decisions to make. Or minor bumps in the road happened where he had to wait for AT&T to come out and reconnect his cable. The technician left and the TV picture was still not clear. It’s all these minor incidents that pile up and overwhelm our loved ones, whether they are moving in or re-settling to a new place.

This is where family/friend support comes in. If you hear them say, I am overwhelmed, this is the cue to give them help.

In addition, this is the value of our service as a move manager and professional organizer. We take care of it, if the family lives out of the city or out of state. It’s not only the physical help of getting those activities done they need to accomplish, but follow up with repair people, address and utility changes.