Complete the Downsizing Checklist for Seniors

When you’re moving to a senior living community, you could go from a house to an apartment. This move is an exciting new chapter to live without worrying about home maintenance or security. A great way to prepare for this new chapter is to consider downsizing.

Downsizing is a process that allows you to look at where you spend most of your time in your home and what belongings you love and cherish, and which ones are adding clutter to your space. This can make your new living space feel special and functional – with everything you need to feel comfortable and right at home.

Breaking down the downsizing process into small steps can help you feel motivated to keep progressing until you’re ready to move into your new space. Follow this downsizing checklist for seniors to help you stay on track and downsize as effectively as possible.

1. Start Planning for Downsizing Early

When you start the downsizing process months in advance of your move-in date, you leave yourself space to take your time. You’ll be able to move at an even pace without feeling rushed or struggling with the subsequent steps in the checklist.

2. Get Support and Help

There are multiple resources to help you with your move. You can reach out to friends or family members, and you can also reach out to professionals to help you go through the downsizing process.

LivNow, a company that helps seniors relocate to senior living communities, can provide you with a Senior Move Manager to work with you and your family with various moving services. Having them by your side to help you declutter a room, pack your belongings, or think about what you’ll need in your new home can relieve a lot of stress.

3. Create a Timeline

Making a timeline for downsizing can help you set and meet goals so you’ll be ready to move to your new community. It’s important to set realistic expectations and consider the different factors that will affect your timeline.

This could be the size of your house–downsizing a smaller home may take less time than a larger one. If you are moving across the state or even further, consider how long it will take to send your belongings there.

4. Keep the New Floor Plan in Mind

You can map out your new floor plan so you have an idea of the space you’re working with. Knowing the dimensions of your apartment and what you want to bring can help you with the layout, making settling in easier.

ginger cove senior living bedroom

5. Start Piles of “Keep, Trash, Donate”

When going through your belongings, make three separate piles of keep, trash, and donate. While it’s important to keep possessions that mean a lot to you, it’s also essential for you to simplify your life so your new space will be organized and clean.

This step may take a while, and it can get tricky. Implementing the one-year rule can help you decide which items to keep or pass along. If you haven’t used or thought about an item for the past year, add it to the trash or donation pile.

Your donation pile could be to donate to charities and other organizations that help others. You can also use this pile to donate valuables to other members of your family. You pass down jewelry or other family heirlooms that are special but that you don’t want to bring to your new living space.

If you have items you want to get rid of but don’t fit in the trash or donate piles, you could have a yard sale. This is a great way to recycle your belongings, and you may make some money.

6. Sort Items by Room

It’s easy to put anything that fits into a box when you’re packing up your belongings. Putting your items in labeled boxes that identify the contents and the room they belong to will make your move-in process go more smoothly.

7. Take Favorite Items

Downsizing doesn’t mean you must get rid of everything but the essentials. If sentimental or personal items mean a lot to you but take up a lot of space, try and think of ways to consolidate them.

Do you have a t-shirt collection from memorable vacations? You can have those made into a blanket.
If you have jewelry you love but don’t wear because it has difficult clasps, is broken, or doesn’t fit anymore, you could go to a jeweler to turn them into a new piece that’s easier to wear. Imagine taking stones out of earrings you don’t wear anymore and putting them into a beautiful new bracelet that you can easily slip on and off.

Beloved collections can be turned into art displays by putting them in a shadow box to hang on your wall. They also make for great conversation pieces.

8. Keep Track of Important Documents

You will want your important information to be organized and easily accessible. You may want to invest in a safe to store items like your social security card, credit cards, birth certificate, information about durable power of attorney, and insurance information.

ginger cove senior apartment

9. Plan for Move-in Day

Another instance where LivNow can help you having a company to facilitate the transport of larger items can take a lot of stress off you and the family members helping you move. When you’re working with LivNow, they’re by your side every step of the way, including helping you get to your new place and starting the unpacking process.

While you’re getting your new place set up, you will want to have some essentials easily accessible to you. Packing a bag with a change of clothes, pajamas, medications, toiletries, and bedding will give you access to your important items on the day of the move without digging through boxes to find them.

10. Learn the Community

Getting acquainted with your new community will help you feel more comfortable and ready to embrace this time in your life. When you need to take a break from your move-in and get some fresh air, you can walk around your community and introduce yourself to others.

You’ll be prepared for your first full day at the community because you’ll know the lay of the land and you’ll see friendly and familiar faces.

11. Enjoy Your New Space

There are so many exciting things to look forward to in your active community. You’ll have opportunities to try new things, make friends through social activities, and fully live your life as you want to.

Visit Us at Ginger Cove

Are you interested in living in an active senior community? Ginger Cove in Annapolis, MD provides a vibrant and engaging lifestyle that helps older adults thrive.

We have a Financial Fit tool to help you find which living option makes the most sense for you.

Give us a call at 410-670-7793 to learn more about making the move to your perfect residence at Ginger Cove.

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