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Paring Down Mom's Belongings Before She Moves In

Judie Rappaport
October 21, 2014

Dear Judie, 


My mother is a hoarder: magazines ("I'll read this later"), pens ("We might run out"), dishes (four sets), and decades of photographs that she never looks at. Now she's moving in with me and there is no way all that junk is coming with her. I don't want her to change her mind because she's too frail to stay alone, but we don't have room for even half of her rubbish. What can I do? 

- Tidy Daughter, Stuart


Dear Tidy, 


The move might go a bit more smoothly is you stopped calling your mother’s items “junk” and “rubbish” and tried to understand that mom is facing two extremely difficult emotional events: simultaneously acknowledging her own decline (she can no longer live alone) and permanently parting with items she has treasured for years. Consider hiring a Senior Move Manager ( who specializes in compassionately helping seniors pare down their belongings when they move to smaller spaces. If that isn’t financially possible, go to and click on the “Moving Your Family” icon. You’ll find “10 Tips” for moving seniors that may make this difficult time easier for both you. 



Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©


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