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Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

We did this when my parents moved out of our family home:  We had a dumpster, a moving pod and yardsale/charity pile. As a family of 7 children plus spouses, we comfortably sat my parents at the door and had them direct which pile the items were to go (with some occasional gentle persuasion at times!)  We moved them to a small home 1/4 the size of what we grew up in and they were so relieved.  They hadn't a notion of what they would have done otherwise.  Sometimes, the grown up decisions need to be made by the children.   We did it again when our Father passed and our Mother was to move in with us to a small 900 sq ft apartment in our home.

Feb 10, 2021 01:05 PM
Susie Kay
Ultra Real Estate Dallas Fort Worth - Plano, TX
North Dallas Specialist

I usually found that sellers are emotionally attached to the home and many items in the home.  We have to be sensitive about it.  I've had one that wanted me to sit and went through the family photos together.  

Feb 10, 2021 02:01 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

I am not sure of the context of this question ... feels rather open-ended to me. 

Advice on managing the move - dealing with emotions of the move. 

I would suggest resources. I do a lot of this in my probate real estate business. I always provide whatever kind of support they need. 


Feb 10, 2021 01:44 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Susan Emo has the right idea.  Downsizing is a big ordeal and emotionally tasking. Keep/Donate/Trash need to be the piles.  Celebrate the small victories.  It's hard to part with stuff you've had that long.  

Feb 10, 2021 01:37 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Treat them gently, I am sure that it is quite a shock to leave after this much time.

Feb 10, 2021 01:23 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Start getting ridding of all that stuff.  Be brutal about it.

Feb 10, 2021 03:58 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

get a dumpster, throw it away, you don't need it and your children don't want it.

Feb 10, 2021 02:05 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Smell the roses...pause and give thanks with every breath...lead on oh life

Feb 10, 2021 12:59 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Advice will vary according to the circumstances surrounding the move.

No matter, what the circumstances, I suspect a difficult time will be had in deciding what to keep, what the family circle wants to keep, what can be donated, what can be sold, what is trash. 

Feb 10, 2021 04:55 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

About 2 years before my husband died, we dealt with my dad's house - 40 years of OMG . . . so much . . . and it was at that time we decided to start downsizing NOW so our heirs would not be so overwhelmed . . .

5 years later, I'm STILL downsizing . . . and I'm not moving anywhere, anytime soon, God willing and the creek don't rise! It feels fabulous to have that lightness, and what is retained is even more valuable and beloved.

So it may be too late for this advice, but if at all possible, clear what you don't need, use, love well in advance of when you have to.

On a strictly emotional/psychic level . . . redirect focus if possible to 'what is next and under our control' . . . it's an amputation, to be sure . . . but now can there be the new adventure of an acquisition? 

It's a hard question, there is pain and sentimentality and so much emotion. 

Feb 10, 2021 02:45 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Get help from a professional organizer.

Feb 10, 2021 01:02 PM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

This is a really good question. I know what I tell clients  but then its different when it is your own home or parents home.  I do suggest the dumpster to clients and I just recently had one placed here in my yard!!

You got some really good answers here

I agree with Susan Emo on her approach. 

Feb 10, 2021 11:09 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC


1. Pack-up everything that you want to take with you to the next home. Move into your new place if at all possible.

2. Then, call the children; let them pick what they want. Tell them they have a finite period of time to move it out.

3. Lastly, hire an estate sales company. They will sell everything they can, donate what they can't, throw out the trash and even have the house cleaned!

Feb 10, 2021 06:33 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Memories are great... but look forward, not backward.

Feb 10, 2021 06:18 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


You have wonderful suggestions, and Susan Emo gave you great advice.  We did a similar thing with Ron's mom...A

Feb 10, 2021 02:14 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

You have to plan ahead, be patient, proceed at slower gradual pace, and include them in the process. What kids and family don't want can be donated to favorite charities, or homeless. If they can afford it, things they aren't sure about can be put in storage. Auctions are another option. I'm currently getting a home ready for a 75 year old lady where every room in the house looks like this. Things that have no value to me might have value to her.

hoarder room

Feb 11, 2021 07:02 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
Tropical Beachside - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

Everyone handles this type of thing differently so there is no right or wrong answer. Assess the people and situation then proceed with patience, sensitivity, tact and a lot of diplomacy.

Feb 10, 2021 11:05 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Check the attic, for memories that may be stored or left up there.  Gonna be hard to say goodbye to the house and the neighbors. 😕

Feb 10, 2021 09:34 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Plan in advance, up to a year or so if needed.  I've got a couple like this right now and they worked on getting the home ready for sale all last year.  A LOT of work. Finally close to being ready.

Feb 11, 2021 12:36 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

One of my favorite clients put all of the treasures that she thought her children would want and had them come over and take it then or she was selling or donating it. 

It's hard to toss stuff that you've lived with for so's easy for us to say that but wait til it's your time. I like what Susan Emo's family did. Also there are people who specialize in these kinds of moves who organize charitable organizations to take what you don't want as well as hold estate sales. 

Feb 11, 2021 10:44 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Get rid of all of the stuff you do not need. 

Feb 11, 2021 07:06 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

5, 6 and 7.
Over the horizon is a new life where they are free to embrace the deep values and purpose of their 5, 6 and 7.
Very often, after 41 years, the 5, 6 and 7 are tied to legacy.

Feb 11, 2021 05:29 AM
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

I have a client that has been in their home for 63 years! The best suggestion?  Recognize their emotions, encourage them to carefully pack away the memories to take with them, & then connect them with some resources to get packing.  :)

Feb 11, 2021 05:08 AM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

We moved two households and refurnished another using 1-800-GOT JUNK. Best money we ever spent in the process. Simply point to anything you want to rid yourself of and magically it's in the truck moments later. Movers can then access what you're keeping easier and get it to the next home. Once we started it was a pleasure to "let go" of items we knew would not work with the new decor and / or square footage available.

Feb 11, 2021 12:39 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Do it before you have no choice... beforeno time to make it a good move that improves your life.

Feb 10, 2021 07:15 PM