4 Steps to Downsize your Move to a Senior Living Community

Downsizing and Moving to a Senior Living Community?

Senior living marketing representatives often hear that a huge obstacle to moving to a senior living community is getting rid of “stuff.” The downsizing process certainly can be overwhelming, and giving up items you’ve owned for many years can stir up a range of emotions.

If you’re planning a move to a senior living community, you may have six months or even a year to get ready. But that time will pass quickly, and downsizing will take more time and effort than you might think.

What are some steps you can take now to downsize your move to a senior living community?

Step 1. Stop Allowing More Stuff In

Items come into your home from a variety of sources: gifts received and yet to be given, clothing, housewares, books, seasonal decorations, kitchen items, furnishings, electronics and more. When new items come in, the old ones often remain in closets or end up in a junk drawer, contributing to the overall stuff that must be dealt with before a move.

Before you can actually downsize, it’s vital to stop the inflow of more items into your house. Since it’s unrealistic to think you won’t buy anything new for months or longer, the best strategy is the time-tested “one-in, one-out” rule.

Step 2. Clean Out the Usual Hiding Places

One of your first downsizing strategies should be sorting out the basements, attics, garages, sheds and other out-of-the-way spots where things tend to accumulate.

Often, the items that land in these storage areas are the ones you don’t know what to do with. Regardless of the nature of the item, if it has been sitting in a shed for years, you probably don’t need it.

Step 3. Set Aside Time each Week

Devote some time on a monthly basis — or, better yet, weekly — to tackle one room at a time. Go through drawers and closets, setting aside items that can be discarded.

If you think there are things your children might want, have them go through the house with sticky notes to mark the items they’d like to keep. For large or bulky items that the kids don’t intend to take, consider snapping photos to keep your memories intact without retaining the item itself.

Step 4. Plan to Sell, Donate or Recycle when Possible

To paraphrase the old saying, one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Things that might not be useful to you in your new home may serve someone else well, so it’s wise to donate items when possible. Selling is also an option, although dealing with the sale of many individual items can be quite a hassle.

For items that are broken or not worth donating, try to recycle. When all else fails, throw items away rather than keeping them around and, worse yet, moving them only to discard them later.

The time to get started is now, even if your move is months away, there’s no time like the present to start downsizing for your move to a senior living community. When the time comes, having less stuff will result in less stress and a pleasant moving experience. Lake Park Retirement is a full service retirement community in Oakland, CA and provides a variety of choices from housing to services to amenities. Contact Us TODAY!