Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide to Connecticut

Letting Go of the Family Home

Moving is never easy and can be very stressful in the best of circumstances. Leaving a home that you loved living in for 20, 30, 40 years or more, is one of the hardest moves you will ever have to make. Part of the reason is that we have become attached to the possessions we saved over our lifetime. Memories of our younger self and the lifestyle we had, are hard to part with and can hold us back. The thought of moving can seem overwhelming, if not impossible.

However, circumstances change as we grow older; our health, our relatives and friends. For some, raising children and having saved all their stuff, plus those of other relatives, can mount up. Family treasures have been stored in the attics or basements, out of sight for decades.

It may not be practical to stay in your home forever. Home ownership responsibilities take our time, money, energy and special knowledge, to keep up with. Too much space, the stairs, a death of a spouse, feeling isolated or whatever the case may be, can feel burdensome. To age gracefully, we have to take care of ourselves and make things easier, not ignore them for our families to manage.

Planning ahead and clearing out spaces by beginning way beforehand, a year or two, or more, gives you enough time to take stock and weed through some of what you don’t use or need any longer. Many adult children have homes that are filled with their own stuff and they have no room for more. Find out. It is wise not to be caught off guard with an untoward event.

With the help of a Senior Move Manager, you can be guided through this process; that of reviewing your whole life in the things you have kept. This is a golden opportunity to remember the stories attached to the items you saved. Looking at them can make you feel happy, sad, proud, or nostalgic. These feelings are normal and can help you feel positive about your life and about moving. It is important to share some of the family history with loved ones. By recollecting stories from your past, you and your family can gain new insights and comfort in remembering them.

Decisions about who wants what, and gifting items you will not need, can bring joy when giving them to family and friends who will cherish them, and to favorite charities that can use them, or by getting extra cash by selling them.

You can preserve life stories in many creative ways. Scrap books, recording devices; such as videos, tape recorders, DVD’s, can assist you in capturing your family history. Your family will appreciate it.

Take action now and gain control over your future! With help, you can:

• PLAN by taking stock in all your possessions
• SORT with help from family, friends, and professionals
• REMINISCE as stories unfold and feelings emerge
• LET GO of what you no longer need, use or have room for
• CATEGORIZE your items into keep, gift, donate, sell and toss with professional advice
• GIVE away items to family, friends and charities
• CELEBRATE your memories and gather with loved ones
• LOOK FORWARD to your new place by making it your own and taking with you the items you love

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