It’s a theme that is all too common in an increasingly minimalist era where space is a luxury and when tastes and trends are changing: you love your family, but not their STUFF! You may have read our ‘Etiquette of Heirlooms Series’ in which we reviewed the what, why and how of the polar shift in the desire (or lack thereof!) surrounding heirlooms. An article published on Next Avenue, the PBS platform dedicated to aging issues, projects those same themes are not only continuing – but becoming the ‘biggest nightmare’ among the families of senior move management professionals.
The Next Avenue article titled ‘Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parents’ Stuff’, also picked up by Forbes, addresses the reality that Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers face when helping family members downsize and/or dealing with their estate. Among the 8 tips outlined to help with the ‘unfurnishing’ of your parents’ home today, we noticed an important but painful truth: be prepared for disappointment. The article wisely points out that this is the first time, possibly ever in history, where TWO generations are downsizing at the same time. With both Baby Boomers and their parents facing life transitions simultaneously…the only happy medium may be one of acceptance and acknowledgement.
Our best advice is to keep the lines of communication open, remain considerate to your loved one’s feelings as the clearing out process progresses and hear their disappointment even if you can’t fix it. Making an effort to keep perhaps one depression glass vase and/or one beloved heirloom quilt in their honor will be a treasured gift of appreciation that you can give in return.
Disenchantment, whether it is a minor disappointment or a major shock, is the signal that things are moving into transition in our lives.
~ William Throsby Bridges
While disappointment may be an inevitable part of the many aging transitions, it isn’t a part of the process you should endure alone! Please feel free to reach out if we can support you and your loved ones at this critical juncture in your life.