Five Tips to Help you Downsize into a Senior Living Community
Moving — a six-letter word that everyone dreads to hear. Thinking back to your first move out of your parents’ house or thinking ahead to what may be your last move into a senior living facility can be nostalgic and emotional. But planning ahead to pack, transport and downsize (when necessary) will help make you’re your move smooth and give you more time to reminisce on old memories.
We’ve helped thousands of clients make the transition from large homes into more manageable spaces. Here are some of the tips and tricks we tell our clients when they are downsizing.
- Check in with your new living community - Every facility has different guidelines on what they encourage you to bring and not to bring. Does your new home allow you to bring your own furniture? Will you need your own cleaning supplies? These are simple questions but may not be something you or your family have considered asking. Understanding your property’s limitations can make the transition process much easier.
- Prepare to sort – Downsizing means you will need to get rid of some of the items you currently own. Whether selling, donating or simply throwing away your items, allot time to sort through things. This is often the most emotional and difficult part of downsizing. While it can mean getting rid of items that you have had for years, it also provides you with the opportunity to reminisce and rediscover which items you find truly valuable. A great way to expedite the sorting process is to use colored stickers to place on items throughout your home. Assign a meaning to each color - such as sell, donate or trash - and simply place a sticker on each object. This will allow others to easily assist you during the move while ensuring that the correct items make it to your new home.
- Start early – Moving is a time-consuming activity but downsizing and moving can be particularly draining. Make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to sort and box things. Since this process can become emotional, allow time to stop mid-process and decompress or relax. Rushing around while moving will only make the process more stressful.
- Ask for help – The best way to move is with the help of professional movers but may not always an option. Asking friends and family to lend a hand will make the move much easier and creates an opportunity for you to reminisce on fond memories together.
- Stay organized – During a move your house will be a mess and misplacing things will happen all too often. While downsizing, this can be especially true. With items being sold, given away and thrown out, staying organized can save you from simple mistakes. Take detailed notes, label boxes and keep track of valuables to help yourself stay organized during the downsizing process. Using an easy organizational system can make all the difference.
Moving out of the house you have made a home for many years can be difficult, but the downsizing process is a rewarding one. Decluttering can feel freeing. With less physical items comes less upkeep, greater attention to relationships and often a better sense of well-being. Take this process slowly and enjoy it. The next chapter of your life begins when your move is complete!