I had a revelation today I want to share with those of you that are preparing to help your parents move. As children, we are often the ones to help our parents sort 30+ years of clutter. They have attachments to items that have been packed in boxes that have hardly been used. We don't understand this. To us, we see old stuff that needs to be donated as quickly as painlessly as possible!
I was working with a client (I'll call him Bill) and his daughter (I'll call her Sally) today and Sally was teasing Bill about an unopened pack of golf balls we wanted to keep. He hadn't been golfing for years. As he held the golf balls he started to tell stories about the days he would spend with his friends on the course, and how mad his wife used to get that he was not home mowing the lawn. I'm not sure why, but a light bulb went off in my head. All of a sudden, I understood that those golf balls represented unused life. Bill had purchased those golf balls with the intention When we are on our twentieth hour of de-cluttering, it's difficult to be empathetic to this grieving process. We may insist on tossing or donating something that was left in a box-forgotten without realizing what that item means.
This "AHA" experience I had today reinforced the advice I give my clients. If at all possible, hire a pro to sort, pack and move you. It will save you time, anguish, and possibly, your relationship with your parents.