The garages and basements of the sandwich generation overflow with both their parents’ belongings and their children’s’ leftovers. It is an overwhelming task to sort through when deciding what to sell, keep, pass on, donate, and throw away. Especially if you, the generation who inherited it all, are also thinking about resizing your home and making a move.
Planning ahead before parents move into senior living or pass on gives everyone a little more peace of mind. It not only makes dealing with the estate and selling the house easier, it can also help reduce family tensions. As a Realtor helping seniors move, and as one who just lost a parent, I feel qualified to speak about planning ahead. I’ve had clients who want to move but lament that it might take them years to clear out the garage and basement of the belongings of their family’s’ past generations. Don’t put that burden on your children.
Go through your home with your children and grandchildren. Make a list of who wants or gets each piece of jewelry, art, and furniture. If there are collections that might be valuable, get them appraised and decide what to keep or sell. Also any valuable property might need to be factored into an estate plan. Likewise, if items are of sentimental value, they should also be listed. All items listed should be kept with a will so there is no question of what has been decided.
Don’t guilt your children into holding onto items that have little or no economic or sentimental value to them. Also, work together to get rid of the many items that haven’t been used for several years or are simply worn out. Long before moving into senior living start decluttering and simplifying your life. Planning ahead and preparing your home for moving or your death, reduces the stress for all; especially if the home needs to be sold to pay for the next step.
Some resources that might be useful include; senior move specialists, churches, A Place for Mom, and estate sales professionals. Dealing with the loss of a parent is hard enough but to be burdened with all of their belongings often completely overwhelms the family. As a Realtor, I help my clients to strategically simplify the process and recommend resources. If you are looking to move your parents or yourself, please contact me and I will help make it as smooth as possible.
I have a summer obsession, well to be honest a few summer obsessions. The great thing about these obsessions is that they really help to forge new relationships, especially since we are relatively new to the area. As you can see, my biggest summer obsession is probably creating a beautiful garden. Wherever we have lived, we spent years toiling in the yard cultivating beautiful gardens. Not only do we love them, we get visitors coming to check them out. In one of our previous neighborhoods’, we had people walk up the driveway to sniff and admire the flowers. In our new neighborhood, we have people visiting the backyard to admire the gardens. Cultivating a garden helps to cultivate relationships. We give tours, talk about each others garden joys and woes, and share perennials.
Of course once you establish a garden, you attract other visitors. Now that several of us have gardens, we have also bonded over attracting the Baltimore Orioles, hummingbirds, finches, and butterflies, and unfortunately the occasional rabbit. One obsession leads to another. I love working in my sunroom so I can enjoy the beauty of my garden and catch a glimpse of the birds and butterflies.
My third obsession that helps me to meet new neighbors is walking my furry friend. Who doesn’t want to stop and pet this adorable cavachon. We have children ask to pet him, adults stop to talk about how cute he is, and our “adopted granchildren” ask to run with him. Of course we meet other dogs and get to know their owners.
Moving to a new city and neighborhood can be very difficult. It is even harder when you don’t have young children that help pave the way to new introductions. You need to find a way to meet and get to know your neighbors. Fortunately, my summer obsessions help do just that.
As a Realtor, I help my Buyers find ways to get to know their new area and neighbors. Let me know if I can help you.
Hope you also take pleasure in some of our pictures.
Ok, this is not your typical Real Estate blog post. On the other hand, if you are thinking about living in the Fox Cities, you might wonder what activities are available for adults. I see many Facebook posts asking about “Date Night” activities that don’t cost an arm and a leg. So, I thought I would share some of our favorite “date nights.
We like FREE, music, and the great outdoors. And the Fox Cities offers plenty of free music from June to September at all kinds of outside venues. Many of these are great for the adults and/or family friendly. And they all serve beer and wine if you want that option. As a matter of fact there are so many free outdoor music options that you could have a date night at least 5 days a week.
Last night we visited the lovely Hydro Park and soothed our souls as we listened to the beautiful voice of Janet Planet. It was relaxing and had plenty of space to stretch your legs. On Thursday nights, we are a mainstay at the Heid Summer Concert Series in Houdini Square. Staying downtown, the Red Lion Paper Valley Hotel offers music in the courtyard on Wednesday nights. Also on Wednesday evening Shattuck Park in Neenah woos residents with a Summer Concert Series. If you work in the evenings and have your days free, both Appleton and Neenah offer music during lunchtime. I’d certainly be amiss if I failed to mention the Mile of Music that draws huge crowds. You can enjoy all kinds of bands both indoors and out. There is music for all different tastes and ages.
Although it isn’t free, the Green Bay Botanical Gardens also offers a wide variety of music in a beautiful setting with a brand new amphitheater. The acoustics are fantastic and the gardens are every photographers’ dream.
Since our days are long and our nights are short during the summer there are plenty of hiking, boating, kayaking, and biking opportunities for the outdoor enthusiasts among us. Appleton Memorial Park Gardens are also free and open to the public. Don’t forget the Trout Museum, as well as our history museums.
Obviously, “Date Night” does not have to consist of sitting in a bar or going out to an expensive restaurant. The Fox Cities has plenty of options that are free or inexpensive. Feel free to pack a picnic, take a walk, and soothe your soul with the music of the Fox Cities.