How to Move Your Parents Without Stressing Everyone Out

Seeing a loved one’s health or memory begin to decline is beyond heartbreaking – and you’re eager to help them move to a more comfortable living situation – either in your home or nearer to you.

Moving your parents closer to you feels like the right step, but with all the factors involved, it’s overwhelming. Moving, even for a short distance, is tricky and stressful.

Thankfully, there are proven ways to handle tough issues like decluttering a family home; moving loved ones “seamlessly,” and finding the best health professionals in the new area. And there are ways to handle these issues without burning out. Here are some strategies:

Cut down on clutter

Your parents’ house may have been accumulating stuff for 20, 40 or even 50 years. The mere thought of piles of clothes, drawers of memorabilia and stacks of VHS tapes may seem overwhelming. Talk to your parents about the positive side of purging stuff. Japanese decluttering expert Marie Kondo recommends that people keep only those items that “spark joy.” If the item the owner feel only “just fine” or evokes a “nice memory”, Kondo says, let that material thing go. The lack of clutter will be well worth it – and make the move far easier.


You can also cut down on bulky memorabilia by using services (available at companies like Costco) that will digitize photos and VHS tapes. You might also want to look at a company like Photos Movies More that will come to your home as part of a digitizing campaign.

Talk to your siblings. Don’t try to do it all on your own.

The biggest decision

The level of health and medical assistance is one factor that can affect the decision to either bring parents into your current home or to a nearby living situation. As you make this decision, a few factors to consider, as suggested by AARP:

Meet with siblings to exchange ideas and feedback. Don’t do it all on your own.

Consider the size of your home and its particular features, especially if accessibility is an issue. Calculate how much any new safety additions or remodeling will cost. Money can affect the decision of where your parents will move. Whatever you decide, it’s vital to consult your parents early in the process and make sure they’re happy with the decision.

Understand the level of medical attention that’s needed for now and in the future

Don’t hesitate to get help

Even if your parents and other family members agree on the arrangement, moving can still be daunting. It is much more than merely the physical aspect. Leaving a home, especially one your parents have been in for years, even decades, can be emotionally draining.

This is where a Senior Move Manager® can be a powerful resource.

Senior Move Managers® are professionals who help to move older adults and support their families through the process. It goes far beyond the physical move, dealing with the emotional aspects of moving, such as having to say goodbye to a long-familiar home and all the sentimental feelings that come with that. From downsizing and decluttering to home planning, these professionals seek to reduce stress during this major life transition.

Hire movers – on a budget

While the emotional aspects are, of course, important, the act of moving furniture is a whole other story. If you’re worried about traveling or taking time off work to help, there are new ways to hire help that are effective – and actually affordable.

In the past, hiring movers has been tremendously expensive. Thankfully, in the new gig economy, there are options to spend far less on moving. For example, to find a variety of movers local to your parents use this tool to calculate the cost of hiring movers.

Talk it out

As the roles of parent and child start to shift with older age, know that your parents are still adults who have made their own decisions for a long time. Before deciding what sparks joy for them or hiring movers without approval, take that time to have a conversation with them. Share your concerns you have or know they have – and all the solutions you have found. Remind them of how much you love them. Your love is the reason you’re here for them.

Allison Evelyn Gower is a writer at You can find her teaching yoga, sipping a hipster coffee drink or watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


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