Portage and Kalamazoo MI Senior Real Estate- In our last article we talked about senior citizens that express resistance to a housing change when living in their house presents too many challenges.
In this article we will explore another very real barrier which keeps some senior citizens from making housing decisions that will be the most beneficial for them. Making a housing change can be completely overwhelming!
The emotional attachment to the home is one thing….but the shere reality of sorting and getting rid of years of accumulation and memories is daunting just to think about.
So, how do senior citizens get help in clearing out their home before selling? Here are some ways to get help!
- Seniors who are going to be moving into Friendship Village have the benefit of a professional organizer and a professional stager which is hired for and paid by Friendship Village. Often a professional organizer can get lots done in much less time. A senior professional organizer can often do some of the first sorting and organizing which makes the task much more manageable. A senior professional organizer may be able to help the seniors decide what furniture and household items need to be moved with them, which might be offered to children and which should be sold or given away. The sorting process is one of the first important steps.
- Once it is determined what items need to move with the seniors, then it may be a good idea to check with family and close friends to see if there are some items that might be given away.
- I have heard of many different ways that families have given away items. Here are a few ways that seem to have lots of merit (and can avoid potential conflict).
—-Give the children (and grandchildren?) a certain amount of monopoly money and hold an “auction” for the items. In this manner, people can choose to spend their money on items that are most valuable to them.
—Friends of our have allowed their children to “tag” furniture pieces with masking tape over the years. As a child or grandchild expresses interest in a furniture piece, they are allowed to “label” it, thus claiming it when it is no longer needed by the seniors.
—Perhaps the “tagging” of furniture as described above could be something that a parent or grandparent does as part of a Christmas celebration. Perhaps on Christmas, or over the course of several Christmases, family members might be given the opportunity to “tag” one item that they would like to inherit.
—Some families put as many numbers in a hat as there are desired items to be given away. Each person in line for inheriting is able to pick 1 or 3 or 6 numbers (whatever the number divided by the number of people). Once everyone has drawn their numbers, the person who drew number 1 gets first pick, 2 gets second pick and so forth. This is a totally random manner of allowing people to choose what they would like without some of the typical conflicts.
- When family members do not have a need for any of the items which will not be needed by the seniors, there are some great ways to bless others who are needy or are raising money for great causes. (In Kalamazoo those options include the Kalamazoo Deacon’s Conference, Second Impressions, Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, Goodwill, Nuway Thrift Shop, Salvation Army, St Vincent De Paul, YWCA, Love In the Name of Christ, Area Churches and more. We will devote a post sometime soon to explaining how some of these places bless others with the items.)
- There is a great opportunity for the Church to extend its love for senior citizens too! I don’t currently know of any churches that have a “specific program” that helps seniors transition from one living situation to another, but I know that many churches respond to individual needs. If a senior does not have family in the area or has special needs, there is a great opportunity for the church to step in with a group of people to assist. This can also be a great outreach for a church to offer to families in the neighborhood.
- The Veenstra Team partners with some local businesses that help senior citizens work through this process as well. Give us a call if you would like to be connected to these businesses. One of the companies is available on an “on call” and “as needed” basis and is very reasonably priced.
Portage and Kalamazoo senior citizens, we hope this article helps you recognize that you are not alone, the task does not need to be so daunting, and sharing the household items that you will no longer need can be a real blessing to others!
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