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Helping your parents downsize their home could be one of the hardest things you ever do, both emotionally and practically speaking. There are decades of belongings to contend with, not to mention the inherent tension of an adult child/elderly parent relationship. Not to worry, though. Help is here.

Our experts gave us the inside scoop on simplifying downsizing, while remaining sensitive to all involved parties. Most importantly, everyone needs to recognize it’’s a process.

“You can’’t downsize a 40-year-old household in 48 hours,” says Mary Kay Buysse, the Executive Director for the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM). “You have to give it the dignity it deserves.”