Understanding Storage Concerns

Understanding Storage Concerns

Putting Your Elderly Parents' Items Into Storage: Five Helpful Tips

Letitia Lucas

If the time has come for your elderly parent to downsize or move into assisted living, you may be considering putting some of their items into storage. This eliminates the need to donate or throw everything away -- which may be stressful for your parent -- and also ensures the items are kept on hand if your parent or another relative later needs them. With the tips below, you can simplify and streamline the process of putting your elderly parent's possessions into storage.

Minimize their involvement if at all possible.

Older adults have the tendency to want to hold onto everything. And you really can't blame them. These are their possessions that they've worked for their whole life to own, and now they have to face the reality that their health is declining and they can no longer keep everything. This can cause them to put everything in the "keep" pile and nothing in the "send to storage" pile.

If you can persuade your parent to allow it, try to sort through some of their items when they're not around. This way, you can make sure the items they'll never use again -- like that specialty French toast maker or 1960s record player -- end up in storage and not cluttering up their new living space.

Do get rid of items that are clearly junk.

Putting things in storage lets you escape some of the challenge that comes with convincing your parent to throw away items they don't need. But if you just pile absolutely everything into the unit, you'll still have to sort through the junk eventually. Try to at least throw away anything that's clearly garbage -- like old magazines and bills from the 1970s. Burn or shred any sensitive information for your parent's safety.

Organize the storage unit based on likely future use of the items.

As you are packing items up for the storage unit, try to distinguish between items that your parent may, realistically, need one day in the future and those which are likely to go to family members some time down the road. Label one category of boxes with red marker and the other category of boxes with blue marker. 

When it comes time to put the actual boxes into storage, stack all of the red-label boxes in one place and all of the blue-label boxes in another. This way, if you have to later fish something out of the unit for your parent to use, you'll have fewer boxes to sort through.

Keep an eye out for potential valuables.

As you go through your parent's things, you'll probably find that most of them only have sentimental value. That sweater from 1965 and the picture from 1980, for example, may be important to your parent -- but nobody else would pay a thing for them. You may, however, come across some items that you think may be worth something. Try to set these items aside so you can store them somewhere else -- like in your own home. If they are really worth a pretty penny, you may want to take out an insurance policy on them in case they end up damaged or stolen during storage (whether in your home or a storage unit.)

Packing up your parent's items and putting them in a storage unit can be pretty time-consuming and stressful. Remember to step back and take a deep breath every once in awhile. Understand that this is hard on your parent, too, but once the task is complete, they'll live in a much less cluttered space while still having their items on hand if they do ever need them again.

For information on your storage options, contact a storage facility like National Self Storage - Denver.


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About Me
Understanding Storage Concerns

When it comes to storing your belongings, it isn't always easy to find a great place to keep things. Sometimes areas in your home can become so filled with other things that it becomes difficult to store things that you really need to. I wanted to clean up my home and make things a lot better, so I started looking for a great place to keep my stuff. I found a storage facility that was close to my house, and they helped me to understand and avoid several storage issues. This blog is all about storing successfully right from the start.