You are thirty years old. You are married with kids. You have a nice house. You are on your way to building a solid career.
Then one day there is a knock on your door and, surprise, your parents are ready to move in with you.
I am exaggerating slightly. Your parents are probably not going to show up at your house with a moving truck one day. Most likely you will know well ahead of time and be a part of the decision-making process that leads to them moving in with you.
In many ways you become their caretaker, and it can be pretty stressful. Here are some helpful tips on how to make this process as painless as possible.
First things first, try and give yourself and your parent(s) plenty of time to prepare for the move. There are going to be a lot of moving parts and more than a few things will end up not going exactly as plan. The more time, the less crunch, the less stress.
Second, it is time to start decluttering, both in your own home and your parent’s home. The less of their stuff you have to move, the less room you have to make in your own home. Especially focus on whatever space they will be occupying in your home. Get rid of any unnecessary junk by either throwing it away or donating it to a local Goodwill or Salvation Army. This can help to make your home more handicap accessible. Keeping the clutter off of the floors helps prevent tripping hazards.
This is also a good time to begin looking into storage spaces, as there is a very good chance all of your parent’s stuff will not fit into your house. Take your time to consider your options so you can make sure to get the best deal.
You will also want to start laying out the boundaries of how living together is going to work. Like with any sort of cohabitation situation, there needs to be lines around what is expected, what is accepted, and what is forbidden. Get the ground rules laid out now, so that once they are moved in everyone is on the same page.
Lastly, make sure you have worked out the logistics of the move. If they are using movers, make sure the movers know where to go and when to be there. If they aren’t using movers, see if you can get some of your friends and neighbors to help out. Do some research on the movers to make sure they are trustworthy and that your parents (or you) are getting a good deal. This is where you want to ask all of your friends and neighbors, as well as consulting a Senior Move Manager like Karpoff Affiliates.
During the actual move, it helps to have all of the spaces in your house prepared to hold whatever it is your parents are bringing with them. If they aren’t, reach out to friends and neighbors to see if anyone can help. There is a very good chance your parents won’t be able to do any of the physical moving.
I can guarantee they will want to direct where everything goes, though. Make sure they know where they can put things and that they have an out of the way place to supervise from. If they are anything like my grandmother, you may have to make them sit down from time to time and forbade them from lifting anything over 25lbs.
Make sure to have plenty of water and healthy snacks for everyone involved in the moving process. And above all, be patient. It is going to be a long and tiring day, but you are all in this together.
Once they are all moved in, you may think the hard part is over. That isn’t necessarily true. It will take your parents some time to get used to living in a new space. It’s also going to take you some time to get used to having your parents living with you.
The key thing is, once again, to be patient. Everyone is adjusting to this new way of life and, depending on the circumstances behind the move, this could take a while.
Make sure to set aside time each week for family time. Stop in on your parents to talk every so often and see how they are doing. If both you and your parents have a busy schedule, set up a calendar in the kitchen and have everyone write down their engagements. Make sure they feel involved, like they belong.
And above all, be patient. They raised you, it’s the least you can do to help them.