Downsize Your Things NOW
It is understandable that you, the senior, feels protective about the things in your home. After all,
they are comfortable to you. You’ve created your own museum of special things that tell your
It is a rare person that likes to think about his or her own mortality, but it is an eventuality for all
of us, no matter what our age. The things we leave behind in our living space will need to be
dealt with when we pass away, if we haven’t dealt with them beforehand
I have heard more than one senior say, “Dealing with all of my stuff will be my kids’ problem. I’m
not going to mess with it.”
If this is your mindset, my senior-aged friend, then it is with as much love as possible that I tell
you this is a bad attitude.
When you pass away, your children will be dealing with a whirlwind of emotions. Forcing them
to deal with making decisions on what to do with your things places added burden on them.
Because emotions will be heightened, there may also be arguments between siblings over the
intent of certain items. Nothing is worth having your things come between family members.
Don’t be “that parent.” Own up to the difficult task now, while you can go through your things,
maybe even together, and create even more warm memories.
For an adult child, if your parent carries the attitude that you will have to deal with it when he/
she passes on, here are some logical statements you can make in conversation to perhaps help
them see things differently:
1. You would enjoy going through your parent’s things with them so you can hear some of the
great stories they have about where the items came from. (Journal them – will make a great
2. You don’t want to have to guess at which things were most important to your parent. It is
better for him/her to tell you directly.
3. You don’t want to have to potentially argue with siblings over “who gets what things.” Allow the
parent to maintain the parental role and tell the children the fate of the items.
4. Tell your parent that he/she has been responsible and independent for a lot of years, and this is
the perfect time to maintain control over what happens to his/her things.
These conversation starters should help your parent see clearly that it is the right choice to
address downsizing while he/she is able.