Helping Your Parents with Letting Go
Have you tried telling your parents that it’s time to declutter and to let go of some of things? How did that go? It’s usually a difficult conversation because no one wants to be told to downsize. And sorting through a life-long collection of belongings is hard work. But I know you love your parents and want to help them. Whether you’re standing by their side as they sort, or you’re offering some advice on their decisions, it can be an anxiety-inducing and emotionally draining experience. So, I have a few tips I want to share with you.
It Has Sentimental Value
While it is okay to save things with sentimental value, it’s also okay to let them go. There is a little guilt that comes along with sentimental items, the feeling that we must hold on to things that span time. It’s important for your parents to know that they don’t have to feel bad about getting rid of things. They might need to hear that they have permission to let things go, such as family heirlooms and your childhood artwork they’ve been holding on to for you. Sorting through special things can be tough but passing them along can be so rewarding.
A Lifetime of Collections
We are all collectors, of something, at every age. Your parents have been growing and curating their belongings, surrounding themselves with the things they love. So, having to minimize is a tough one. Instead of ‘getting rid of’ these items, use a ‘less of’ approach. Give them lots of time to select the most special 3 (or 5) pieces in their collection that they will keep.
We Might Need It Later
Probably not. And when the time comes, will we be able to find it or even remember we have it? It doesn’t matter, because hanging on to things ‘just in case’ feels better. You can help your parents learn to live with less with a few organizing tips. First is to group like items, to eliminate duplicates scattered around the house. Then, sort areas by separating items used daily versus occasionally so they can find what they need when they need it. You’ll be surprised by how many extras you find of those ‘just in case’ items.
We can help! Another Opinion has vast experience with clients of all ages; helping with clutter, organization and downsizing. Call Staci at Another Opinion 314-623-4594