How to Help Parents & Grandparents Leave the Empty Nest

Vacating the family home can be hard for many older Americans who are still living in a large house that was once bustling with family activity, but is now just too big to manage. Although it may be difficult to leave all the memories behind, the move to a smaller home can be an exciting change. That said, cleaning out the house in preparation for the move can be an emotional and time-consuming challenge. The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) can help make the emotional and physical transition smoother. Consider the NAPO tips on how to SIMPLIFY the transition:

  • Space Considerations –  Map out the new home room by room and determine the furniture that will actually fit.
  • Integrate something old with something new –  While it’s important to keep items that are meaningful, you might want to bring in a few fresh pieces to celebrate the start of a new locale and lifestyle.
  • Mediate –  If you and your significant other (or relative) don’t agree on what to keep, be prepared to make your case – calmly. Compromise is key – and holding on to every old Grateful Dead tee-shirt or Beanie Baby is silly.  Pick your favorite and let the rest move on. Photograph items to remember them before donating them.
  • Professional Guidance – Don’t be afraid to get Help – Hire a professional to streamline the process; declutter and identify items that will fit into the new home and lifestyle. They can help arrange for the move and finally can expertly organize the move into a brand new home.
  • Love it or Leave it –  If you unearth items that have been packed away for years, chances are you can let them go. It’s OK to be nostalgic – but don’t let that get in the way. Take photos of items you can’t keep as a reminder. 
  • Important Documents – A professional can help you organize your most important documents, scan them on your computer and back them up. You’ll be surprised at how much paper you’ll be able to toss out as a result.
  • Family Affair – When you’re weeding out the items to leave behind, ask your family what they might like. The rest you can donate or toss.
  • Yield – By opening yourself up to new experiences and change, your life can be greatly enriched and significantly SIMPLIFIED.

To set up an interview with a NAPO expert for more tips, contact Judy Musa ( or 732-687-1556) or find a NAPO expert near you:

Leave a Reply