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How can I help my parents?

18 years ago

My parents are downsizing into a place half the size of their current home. They have had a good offer and will probably have a contract signed by tomorrow. This is great news, especially in their slow market, but it's come much sooner than any of us expected (in fact, their market is nearly dead).

They've been there 10 years, were in their previous house 10 years, and while they aren't clutterers like me, they have all the issues people will have when downsizing at 80. Now they will have to move in 6 weeks. Their 3 daughters, including me, all want to help, but they can't think of anything for us to do. My mother was working hard even before they got the offer, and got rid of shoes and clothes to charities. The buyers want some of their furniture. They have already identified a person to do the moving sale - the woman who did my grandmother's estate sale. They will pay movers to pack the stuff they will move.

They have lots of family papers and old clothes, I guess, and old dishes and small kitchen appliances. It's true my parents will have to make the decisions - but can you all think of ways we can help? There's a lot of stuff, but not an outrageous amount; still, I hate to think of them spending the last 6 weeks in this home they love so much sorting and getting rid of things, and not taking favorite walks and my mother going to artists' groups and my father to baseball games and the senior center and so on (they are moving from Cape Cod to Chicago).

Any ideas welcome!

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