Multigenerational households are on the rise in Canada. According to some statistics, nearly 270,000 children live in a multigenerational home, reflecting about 3.1 percent of the households across the country. This is an increase from a decade ago, and the trend seems to be taking hold. After all, the benefits can be enormous from cultural, familial and fiscal perspectives. The key is to make certain that the merging of two – or more – households into a single multigenerational home goes smoothly. This effort goes beyond getting the right boxes for moving; it involves planning for success.
Understanding the Natural Stressors of Moving to a Multigenerational Home
Even if family members are excited to be living under one roof, there are several inherent and predictable stressors that should be taken into account when preparing to merge households. The first is that life is going to change for everyone. Whose needs will have priority when space is limited? What types of sleeping arrangements are suitable for everyone? Who will be in charge of parenting young children, and how will all the adults stay on the same page in terms of discipline and expected kid behavior? And who is paying for which bills?
Some of these challenges can be headed off by discussing them ahead of time. Others will need to be addressed when they arise. Open lines of communication are critical during the first months of living together. Otherwise, resentments can start to build, which will increase the tension in the home.
Moving Day – Who Does What Role?
On the actual moving day, it’s essential that everyone have a role to play. Even if an older family member cannot safely handle boxes for moving, he or she could always be in charge of watching children or pets. Having a role for every person helps give a sense of control to the process, which has a positive psychological benefit.
With this being said, there must always be some concessions. It’s not worth getting into a major battle if grandpa insists on packing boxes for moving rather than taking the grandkids to the park, even if you think it’s too much work for him. Unless he’s going to be risking his health, it might be better to just let it go.
Easing Into Your New Lifestyle
Even if you plan everything about your new life together as members of a multigenerational household, you can’t predict everything. Be open to that fact, and accepting that there will be surprises as you get more accustomed to being part of a larger group of relatives under one roof. Remember, too, that time will help you all create a rhythm of living that works. Multigenerational households can be extremely rewarding; you just have to have patience and allow the experience to mature a bit.
Are you going to merge at least two Mississauga households into one multigenerational home? Let Blue Bins help by providing boxes for moving, as well as other moving supplies! Simply rent the boxes and peripheral items you need. It’s one way to lower your stress and making the move much smoother!
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