Multi-Generation Home Organizing: Living with Your Parents

So, your life has come full circle: you’re living with your parents again. Only this time, they moved in with you.

This is happening more often than you think. The changing economy, culture and family dynamic is resulting in retirees moving in with their adult children. At first glance, this sounds like chaos – two (often three) generations all in one house.

It’s not something to dread – it’s a big opportunity, especially for Millennials facing the current housing market. There is serious potential in this partnership:

  • Financial aid (down payment, co-ownership, expenses etc.)
  • Help around the house
  • In-house babysitting
  • Close to family
  • In-home care for aging seniors

All you must do is figure out how to actually live together. It starts here:

Create Defined Spaces

You can live in harmony if you technically live separately. It’s not about isolating yourselves from each other, but creating personal space.

In-law suites are ideal for this reason. Not every home has one and you don’t necessarily need a big renovation to create one either. Clearly identify a separate space for your parents for a bedroom, bathroom and lounge area.

Some bedrooms are big enough to incorporate a den area, while others include an ensuite bathroom. In the perfect world, there’s a separate apartment unit on another floor for your parents’ exclusive use. In a non-perfect world, focus on creating a separate retreat for each of you.

Set Personal Boundaries

Set personal boundaries too. It’s everyone’s pet peeve to have you parents judging how you parent your own kids. Make it clear from the beginning: they’re the grandparents, not the parents.

This doesn’t have to be a difficult conversation but it is essential. Establish certain topics that are off limits while living together. The most common topics to take off the table are usually politics, parenting and finances.

Downsize Your Stuff

Let’s face it: the older you are, the more stuff you’re likely to own. You don’t want your parents bringing a lifetime’s worth of possessions into the mix.

Work with your parents before the move to sort through their possessions. Decide which ones can be thrown away, stored, kept, donated or gifted. Get that stuff to a minimum; you’ll thank us for it.

Browse through our blog for some great tips on the downsizing process.

Embrace Storage and Organizing Systems

We swear, organizing is fun! Take a stroll through your local IKEA, Dollarama, or Solutions stores to find the best storage solutions. This could be storage containers, shelving, multi-purpose furniture or even built-ins.

No matter how much you both downsize, there’s still going to be a lot more items moving into one home. An efficient, well thought-out organizing plan helps everyone keep their sanity.

Use a Professional

Ok, we think organizing is fun but it’s not for everyone. Some downsizing, organizing projects and moves are too overwhelming. In those cases, do the smart thing and call a professional.

We work with families every day helping them to downsize for a move – yes, even moving parents into their home! We have numerous strategies to make it a breeze.

Ready for the big merger? Give us a call to see how we can make this modern living arrangement work for you.