Everyone's family will face the time when they must sort through the belongings of senior family members or aging parents. This may be as a result of a move to assisted living, or upon the senior's passing. If the senior is still alive, the decisions are more difficult, whether the move is to a retirement community or a nursing home. In most cases, the new home is smaller, and thus, many of their possessions can't go with them.
Downsizing, right-sizing, and sorting all refer to helping seniors determine which belongings can be accommodated in their new home. For some, the prospect of sorting is so daunting they postpone moving. For others, the anxiety about the move itself takes on the form of indecision about belongings. Family dynamics may complicate this.
Organizing in advance and documenting decisions is a critical ingredient of smooth, efficient moves. This should be done before moving day for the least stress. Even when sorting is done in advance, the senior may take too much with them, resulting in over-crowding. A senior is less likely to be happy in their new home as a result. That is why sorting in advance is critical.
Remember these are the senior’s belongings, not yours. They have a right to make their own decisions, even if they are irrational. When helping a senior, provide what help and guidance you can, but don't interfere with their right to self-determination.
It is the client’s right to take as much or as little to their new home as they wish. This is the core principle of sorting.