Whether it’s to help them downsize, move in with a family member, or into an assisted living facility, moving a parent can be an emotionally fraught process, possibly adding stresses and challenges for everyone involved.
Making the choice to go through and pack up a lifetime’s worth of memories and belongings is never an easy decision. But depending on your parent’s mental or medical condition, it may be a necessary step to ensure the continued quality of life and care for them, as well as peace of mind for you.
Five Essential Packing Tips for Moving a Parent
Moving is generally stressful, but even more so when you’re faced with the task of moving a parent. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few packing tips to help limit some of the stresses surrounding the process.
- Don’t rush – Because of the countless factors involved — from potential health concerns to emotional considerations — you want to take your time when planning and executing your parent’s move. Build-in ample time to accomplish tasks such as sorting, packing, and preparing your parent’s existing home for sale. Most of all, remember to be kind and patient. Moving at any age is never easy, least of all after decades in a home filled with memories and keepsakes.
- Sort first, pack second – Your parent is probably moving to a home that is smaller than their existing place. That’s why it’s important to pencil in time to sort through their belongings before you start packing. Although time-consuming, it will help you better organize the actual move by only packing and bringing essential items. Additionally, you’ll identify any items that must be trashed or donated ahead of time and can deal with them without packing tape, moving boxes, movers, and other extra stressors related to the moving process. At your closest Storage West facility, you’ll find moving supplies.
- Digitize photos and important documents – Downsizing means there likely won’t be as much space to display decades’ worth of photos or store critical documents. Once all photos are stored digitally, you can set up a digital photo frame or TV screensaver in your parent’s new home, allowing them to enjoy their lifetime of memories. If it’s too difficult to let things go, you can get a month-to-month lease at Storage West.
- Distribute or inventory heirlooms – For items or heirlooms that your parent already plans to bequeath to family or friends, discuss with them the possibility of giving (or “pre-queathing”) heirlooms now. If not, create an inventory of items intended for others. For example, you could use color-coded stickers and assign a color to individuals to make it easier to determine who receives what when the time comes. This will also help if you put everything into a storage unit to disperse later. You and your parent, as well as family and friends, can use the inventory labeling to find items.
- Consider senior moving services – Moving a parent can be an emotional process for everyone involved. Sometimes it is helpful to recruit outside help. More than just professional movers, senior moving services understand the unique challenges of moving senior and elderly individuals. They can assist with sorting, organizing, packing, and new home setup, alleviating a lot of the inherent stresses of the process.
From health concerns to family dynamics, moving a parent comes with its own unique set of challenges. Although every situation is unique, the above tips provide a starting point to help you plan your parent’s move and make your experience as stress-free as possible.
All Moved In: Finding Self-Storage
If you find you need extra space after settling your parent into their new home, a self-storage unit makes sense to store and organize those extra items. Find Storage West locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas.