The day to start your new retirement life will be here before you know it. You’ve made the decision to move into a great senior living community and will be downsizing your home.

While this may at first seem like a daunting task, creating and following a plan will make it manageable – and ultimately successful.

10 Effective Downsizing Tips for a Move to Senior Living

Review these suggestions before you start and you’ll soon be on your way to a life full of activities and adventures.

1. Make a plan

Planning ahead will allow you to organize and think through how best to manage the process.

Purchase a notebook, preferably one with a pocket, where you can keep important receipts or other documents. Put everything about the move in this notebook so the information you need is in one place.

2. Create a schedule

After you’ve chosen your move-in date, work backward to create your schedule. One downsizing tip: allow for more time than you think it will take to account for any missteps.

Be specific about what tasks will be completed on which days. It’s much easier to check off from a list than lose valuable time trying to decide what should be accomplished before starting each day.

3. Determine what you will take

Before you begin giving things away, take time to decide what you’ll be bringing with you. For furniture, you’ll want to have the room measurements of your new home.

A great downsizing tip is to ask for a copy of the floorplan and cut out shapes to represent the size of furniture to consider options of what will fit and where.

Download our complimentary Successful Transitions guide to learn more about making the move to senior living.

4. Decide what to do with the rest

Now the downsizing process begins in earnest. Create four categories for your remaining possessions – sell, give to family and friends, donate to charity, or discard.

Avoiding any “maybe” piles is a productive downsizing tip. It can be tempting to procrastinate but these piles often take on a life of their own and grow. Eventually, you’ll need to make a decision.

5. Designate a staging area

Choose a room or area in your house to serve as a downsizing staging area. Place items that can be moved into predetermined sections.

This downsizing tip provides an emotional boost as it allows you to complete a room and know that you are finished. Leaving things in each room creates the illusion that you’re making little progress.

6. Invite the family over

Your home may have become a storage center for your children’s possessions. Old high school yearbooks, clothes or stuffed animals and awards may be taking up space in your closets.

Let your children know that you’ll be having a downsizing party and it’s time for them to claim their possessions. This is also a great time to distribute any items you would like them to have.

7. Begin with the easiest rooms

Another great downsizing tip is to begin where it’s easiest to see results and realize success. Don’t start with boxes of photos or your children’s keepsakes. Those trigger memories which will undoubtedly slow down the process.

Instead, begin packing up the linen closet or guest bedrooms. It’s much easier to go through towels and decor than sentimental items.

8. Eliminate duplicates

An easy downsizing tip is to begin by eliminating duplicates. You will likely be moving to a more efficient but smaller space so necessity dictates leaving the extras behind.

You may have accumulated several sets of dishes, pots and pans, towels and linens. You may also have more beds than bedrooms or will only need to bring your kitchen table instead of a full dining room set.

9. Allow extra time for sentiment

Prepare to spend more time when going through sentimental items. Old photograph albums, scrapbooks of family vacations, your grandmother’s jewelry or your children’s drawings will trigger your mind for a trip down memory lane.

This is important and the memories are lovely recollections of wonderful times so enjoy browsing.

10. Don’t get stuck

A downsizing tip to help you stay productive is to check your calendar daily to ensure you’re on schedule. If not, you can readjust your timetable.

If you find that you are stuck and struggling with moving forward, try to discover where the problem is. Is it something you can correct? If not, reach out to someone who can help you get back on track.

Moving day! Congratulate yourself and enjoy

You did it. What may have seemed monumental at the beginning is now behind you and you are ready to enjoy your new lifestyle in your senior living community. Freeing up this space can provide room for all the adventures waiting ahead.

The Charleston Senior Living Community

Locally owned and operated, we offer personalized care by our dedicated team members. Setting a new standard in Assisted Living and Memory Care, we don’t define our residents by their limitations or illness but instead believe in focusing on the positive and the possibility.

The Charleston Senior Community includes private apartments for assisted living residents and for those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Your loved ones will benefit from our attention to detail, routine health assessments, delicious dining and daily activity programs as we support everyone to live their best life.

Consider a few of our amenities:

  • Chef-led dining program
  • Community movie theater
  • Salon
  • Ballroom
  • Live entertainment
  • Outdoor patio
  • Social lounges
  • Housekeeping

If you or your family is thinking about Assisted living or Memory care, we hope you will consider The Charleston Senior Community. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions, contact us today.

We also invite you to download our complimentary Successful Transitions guide to learn more about making the move to senior living.

Guide to successful senior living transitions