Embarking on the journey to senior living is a significant transition, one that often involves downsizing from a larger home to a living space more in line with a senior’s needs. While the prospect of downsizing may seem daunting, with careful planning and a step-by-step approach, the process can become more manageable and even liberating.
Begin the downsizing process well in advance of when you plan to move in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Starting early allows for thoughtful decision-making and helps you sort through possessions with less pressure.
At communities like ours, we welcome seniors to speak with our team about setting a reasonable timeline for a move-in. We’re here to help as you navigate this big step!
Understand the layout and dimensions of your new living space in the senior living community. This knowledge will inform your decisions about what to keep, what to donate, and what simply won’t fit.
With a variety of floor plans to choose from, you’ll be sure to find the right space for you and your needs.
Organize your belongings into categories: keep, donate, sell, and discard. It could be helpful to use colored stickers or labels to easily identify each category. This system streamlines the downsizing process.
Begin with items that hold significant sentimental value. Decide which heirlooms, photos, or mementos are must-keeps, and carefully consider their placement in your new home.
This is also a great time to pass down special items to children and grandchildren, if you desire. Keepsakes that they loved in your home will be meaningful in their own home, too.
Assess your furniture in terms of both size and functionality. Opt for multi-functional pieces when possible, and choose items that will complement the layout of your new living space.
This part of the process can be a lot of fun and might lead you to finding new ways to use your furniture that’s perfect for your new residence.
Reduce paper clutter by digitizing important documents. Scan and store legal, financial, and medical documents digitally, ensuring easy access without the need for physical storage space.
Important documents you want to ensure are saved include a durable power of attorney, federal and state income tax returns, and medical information such as treatment plans and insurance information.
Streamline your wardrobe by donating or selling clothing and accessories you no longer need. Focus on versatile, seasonless items that will fit comfortably in your new closet space.
Remember to keep any items that are sentimental or valuable to you.
Pare down your kitchen items to the essentials. Consider the available storage space in your new residence and keep only the cookware, utensils, and dishes you use regularly.
A main perk of senior living is that dining is part of your experience. You’ll enjoy gourmet meals and delicious snacks prepared each day by our culinary team.
Enlist the help of family members, friends, or professionals to make the process more efficient. They can provide emotional support and assistance with heavy lifting or logistics.
You can even seek out moving companies that specialize in supporting older adults with the move to a senior living community.
Update your technology to suit your new lifestyle. Consider simplifying your devices and ensuring they are user-friendly for your convenience.
Arrange for the proper disposal of items you’re discarding. This may include scheduling a bulk pickup, donating to local charities, or organizing a garage sale.
Plan the logistics of your move well in advance. Hire professional movers experienced in senior relocations, and make arrangements for transportation and assistance with unpacking at your new home.
Other items you’ll want to considering on moving day include:
- Assigning someone to meet the movers at your new residence.
- If you’re moving with a pet, ensure you have food and water ready for them.
- Packing a small bag with personal items so you’re ready for your first night without digging through boxes.
- Preparing to spend a few days unpacking and organizing.
Take the time to acclimate to your new surroundings. Personalize your space with cherished items and gradually explore the amenities and social opportunities offered by the senior living community. There will be many new friends to meet and things to see!
Downsizing is a transformative process that opens the door to a more comfortable and enjoyable living experience. By following this checklist and embracing the change, you’ll find yourself on the path to a fulfilling and vibrant chapter in your golden years.
At Waterstone at the Circle, we believe in living bigger within a smaller space. Our luxury lifestyle provides modern conveniences while you enjoy all the benefits of senior living. For our residents, the entire community becomes your home.
Downsizing can be overwhelming, but when you’re planning for your next step, it can also be liberating and inspiring. Give us a call at 617.396.4422 to learn more about how our team helps seniors through the process of moving to senior living.