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December 21, 2018

How to move grandparents into your home with a warm welcome

  • Move Management

There are plenty of reasons why you might be considering or in the process of moving your or your spouse's parents into your home. Everything from some help looking after the kids to giving parents a little more support and a more manageable living space can be the single reason for the change, or some of the many.

No matter why you're bringing two or three generations under one roof, you should prepare ahead of time for any changes that could or will occur after they move in. You also need to make sure the move is as smooth and easy as possible.

A grandfather playing with his grandchild.Moving grandparents into your household requires some careful consideration, but can also offer some powerful benefits.

Getting grandparents ready to move in

One important consideration to make when bringing the older generation into your household is how big their current space is, and how much stuff is in it. If they live in a house full of furniture, appliances, guest beds and other necessities gathered over decades of occupancy, you'll need to have a clear conversation about how big their new space is and how much room is available there, as well as in any storage areas like the basement or garage. Don't pitch this as a self-imposed limit, but a reality of essentially combining two households.

Look for opportunities to let them bring items you may want but do not have, and be especially respectful of heirlooms, antiques and favorite possessions. Your family may not have or need a player piano, for example, but if mom and dad love to tickle the ivories a few times a week, start thinking about rearranging the living room to create some space or setting up the piano in a study or den. Compromise, understanding and mutually clear expectations are all important. Have open, honest and polite conversations about how to expect 

Other aspects of moving in to consider, helpfully highlighted by Consumer Reports, include potential changes to your taxes, modifications to make your home larger or more accessible and potential reductions in your own income if you need to help care for parents. These conditions can change greatly from one family to the next, so carefully consider them. Similarly, AARP offered a detailed list of dozens of questions to answer as you consider whether moving parents into your home will lead to positive results for everyone involved.

Making plans for moving day

Whether a short- or long-distance trip, one that will barely fill the smallest truck your mover offers or will stuff the largest, a good plan for moving day is vital. If it's an especially small, local move and there aren't many fragile, heavy or large objects to carry, you can certainly consider handling the process yourself.

However, if greater distances are involved, heavy belongings are making the trip or moving items into your own house seems difficult - certainly possible in an already furnished home - don't be afraid to reach out to the expert movers and packers at Atlas. With the professionals taking care of things, you can make sure the newest residents in your home have a safe trip and a great welcome.