I had my last child at age 42, which I’m told increases my odds of becoming a centenarian (100+ years old.) The thought of being around to enjoy more time with my children is appealing, but I’m not sure my kids would be that excited about spending time with their 100-year-old mom!
Both of my (long-ago divorced) parents are robustly enjoying their 80’s, but as my mom nears her 90th birthday we, like thousands of other 40/50-somethings, are making plans for Mom to come live with us.
We are fortunate that my Mom is healthy enough not to require professional care on a daily basis, so she will be moving into our son’s bedroom and we’ll create a living space for him in our basement. As a blogger, I am going to be able to be home with her during this
interesting challenging precious time.
I plan to fly across the country to California, help Mom go through all of her possessions, and then whittle it all down to four suitcases that we’ll bring back with us. I’ll package and ship any remaining items she wants to hang onto.
My Mom and her now deceased husband, moved regularly while I was in my 20’s and 30’s, so fortunately she doesn’t own too many pieces of furniture. I do know that it will still be an undertaking going through all of her belongings with her though, so I decided (as always) to do some research and find ways to simplify, and reduce potential anxiety at the same time.
The most important and honest article I found on the topic is from the blog Next Avenue, Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parent’s Stuff. It’s better to be prepared and start thinking about the value of your possessions now, so your heirs don’t have to. If your parents are still alive, help them start downsizing now, before it all suddenly falls on your shoulders.
Another valuable article I also found at Next Avenue, discusses the 10 Things You Should Save for Your Kids. These 10 Things are smaller items which are full of memories that can easily be shared and passed down for generations, unlike the 1930’s China Cabinet!
Many “Boomers” are going through this with their parents, while at the same time, Generation X-ers are committed to downsizing. The result, is a glut of “antiques” for sale, so be aware that your parents things may not be as valuable as you had hoped.
You may decide to squirrel away a bunch of furniture in a self storage facility, anticipating an increase in value someday, but I would discourage you from doing that. Things that are out of sight are out of mind, and will undoubtedly become another “houseful of
junk treasures” your children and grandchildren will have to empty out in the future.
Focus on the saving the smaller items with valuable memories attached to them. Those are the things your heirs will treasure and be excited to share with their grandchildren someday!
Once I am in the process Moving Mom, I’ll write again and let you know how it’s going!
Pura Vida, Penny