Senior woman moving boxes with the help of a younger man and woman

6 Tips for Downsizing Before Moving to Independent Senior Living

For many of us, the most difficult part of moving is deciding what to take with us and what to leave behind. If you’re moving to an independent senior living community from a home you’ve been in for many years, then you understand how easy it is for belongings to accumulate. While there may have been plenty of room in your previous residence for these items, your new home at a senior living community is likely to be much cozier. But when there is so much to go through ahead of your move, how do you get started? Here are five tips to help you downsize your belongings in order to right-size them for your new residence.

Tip #1: Plan Your Move Well Ahead of Time

The time to start downsizing is as soon as you know you’ll be moving. By starting your planning process early, you’ll give yourself plenty of time to mentally and logistically prepare for the move while also reducing much of the stress associated with sorting through items and coordinating with sellers or family members to distribute belongings you won’t be taking with you. 

One of the best pre-planning steps you can take is to make helpful lists you can store in an easily accessible location. These lists can include all of your necessary to-do items like making an inventory of belongings you want to take with you, gathering important documents, updating contact information on important accounts and other miscellaneous tasks. By writing items down, you’ll help minimize the chances of the dreaded, “Am I forgetting something?” thoughts.

Tip #2: Stop Adding to Your Current Home

If you know you’ll be leaving your current home soon, the last thing you want to do is continue to add items that will soon need to be moved. Whether it’s clothing, furniture or something else that takes up space, if it comes through the door today, you’ll be moving it again tomorrow.

While some purchases may be necessary, try to keep them to a minimum if you can. When possible, consider borrowing items that don’t need to be stored or attempt to make do without for a few weeks or months. A slight inconvenience today can save you from even more frustration in the near future.

Tip #3: Get Friends and Family to Help  

Moving is a stressful process no matter what stage of life you’re in. Instead of going it alone, consider enlisting the help of family and friends to help you objectively go through items, or to help move, sort and organize.  

Sometimes the act of downsizing can bring with it numerous conflicting emotions. It can be helpful to have a friendly face with you as you decide what to take and what to toss, donate or sell. Take a few minutes to reminisce together.  

Tip #4: Review Your Items Room By Room

You may find that one of the most difficult tasks you’ll face before moving to a senior living community is making decisions about what to keep and what to sell, donate or toss. While this task may seem daunting at first, it helps to break the larger task down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Go room by room and take your time.

Don’t procrastinate, but be patient and understand that it may not be easy to part with some of your items. It’s important to recognize these feelings, but don’t let them overwhelm you. One strategy for making tough decisions is to start with non-sentimental items and build momentum as you go.

Tip #5: Prepare for Your First Day in Your New Residence

With all of the excitement and anticipation surrounding your move, it can be easy to become flustered when your actual moving day comes. One way to make the day easier is to pack a first-day bag that includes all of your essential items.

By packing a first-day bag, you’ll reduce the chances that you or a loved one will need to dig through all of your boxes to find a necessary item like medicine, personal hygiene supplies or something similar. In addition to reducing your stress, this strategy can help you feel at home in your new place sooner while also giving you the opportunity to unpack at a leisurely pace rather than a frantic one.

Find the Ideal Retirement Community at Edgemere

One of the best ways to ease your stress about a move to independent living is to select an exceptional community to live in. At Edgemere, we’re committed to cultivating a warm, welcoming community with resort-like services and amenities that cater to your every need. 

We know this move is a major transition in your life, which is why we’re here to help however we can. Contact us to learn more about our community, and a team member can answer any questions you may have.