How to tidy your elderly parents’ cluttered home
At one point in life, everyone faces the challenge: to persuade their elderly parents to let go of at least some of the piles of things accumulated over the years. It is not an easy task because many of the items and furniture have sentimental value for the old elderly. Or these things have been acquired with the cost of hard working and deprivations which makes the separation with them painful. We'll give you some proven ideas to convince your parents to live more spaciously.
Keep the story, not the item itself
Be curious about things and their stories. The most interesting ones could even get recorded, why not? When your parents tell you how they are emotionally connected to the items, it will be much easier for them to "let go" of them - for example, to store them in a rental warehouse. It may be a little time-consuming to learn a few stories, but in this way the seemingly boring furniture and belongings will become an exciting part of your own family history.
Four main categories
It would be quite hard to persuade your parents if you don’t give them the chance to choose which items to keep. A good strategy is to propose them to divide the items in a few key categories: “Keep forever” - for the emotionally related stuff; “Keep in a rental storage” - for those which are not so important but are still of some use; “Gift or sell” - for well-maintained tools and items that can be of use to someone else; “Trash” - for the stuff you are ready to part with. Do not forget to start the cleaning with the least sentimental of things like old towels or bowls for instance, not with albums or souvenirs - the psychological impact has been proven.
Work in small portions
We advise you to implement such unclutterings in several steps. Instead of rushing in to do a weekend cleanup, you better spend a few weeks on the process. Older people adapt to change more slowly and it will be easier for them to split up with their belongings in several phases. We recommend that the cleaning sessions be no longer than 4 hours.
Safe storage for peace of mind
Having an easy option to just move some of the precious belongings to a small self-storage cell will bring great peace of mind to your parents. That way they won't feel like you're throwing away things. Tell them about the new self-storage service - about the security, the ability to choose the right size together, the online management that will be easy for you to handle. This will make it much easier for your elderly relatives to accept it - you do not throw away, you store smart, and you do not have a problem with complicated procedures.