DIY or Hire a Professional?
Even the closest of families have a difficult time staying out of conflict during the downsizing process. If one or more siblings are involved in sorting and downsizing past memories and collected possessions of their parents, it can quickly unwind and get stressful.
It takes time and patience. So, for some families, it may make sense to hire a professional. Following is a look at some of the benefits and considerations during the process.
Hiring a Professional:
A professional “Downsizer” becomes a third party that is completely impartial to your family’s possessions.
A professional will be thinking about space availability, safety with clear wide walkways, and future needs.
People have different views of their surroundings. You may want to see your mother’s future house looking quite differently than it does now, but to her, she may be unable to envision a life without most of her belongings. As a family, you will have to have a plan, a vision and patience.
First, collect all similar items. Put them together and start sorting from there, eliminating multiples of the same item. Example: How many kitchen utensils will you need? Can you live without three spatulas and decide on just one that fits your hand better?
You might just give in and let your parents keep what they want, even if they don’t need it, but professional downsizers may not. They are impartial to your family’s items. Just because a certain item holds a memory or is special in some way, is it the best choice to keep? A professional downsizer understands that key things are important. Walkways need to be clear, use caution with rugs. Clutter on furniture and countertops can cause spills and injuries. The kind of furniture and the placement is key. No sharp corners, glass-tops and unsteady items like floor lamps. Each item needs reconsideration for future needs and safety.
Things to consider:
Time and distance are a consideration as well. Not all families live within close proximity and the best time to downsize is before a move.
Is there another family member who can step in and help or continue the job if you can’t?
Most importantly, gather family members and make a plan together. Getting everyone’s opinions before starting a downsize helps develop a collective vision and a goal that all can take part in.