Learn & Grow/Assisted Living/How to Downsize for a Move to an Assisted Living Community
Assisted Living

How to Downsize for a Move to an Assisted Living Community

If you or your loved one has made the decision to move to an assisted living community, congratulations on starting this next chapter of your life. Assisted living communities offer numerous benefits beyond a little extra help with daily tasks. You or your loved one will be able to enjoy access to exceptional services and amenities, social clubs and much more.

However, one aspect of the move can be challenging, and that is downsizing belongings in order to right-size them for the move. Read on to learn more about the benefits of downsizing and get tips on how to do so successfully ahead of the move to assisted living.  

The Benefits of Downsizing

When moving from a traditional family home to an assisted living community, downsizing is almost always necessary. There are many benefits to clearing out those storage spaces and streamlining the number of items you possess.  

Ease of Organization

With fewer things to organize, keeping things neat becomes a much simpler task. Previously unmanageable spaces will become simpler to navigate. Finding what you need becomes less cumbersome, and you may find that having fewer belongings to care for actually makes you feel more peaceful.  

Fewer Chores

Fewer square feet means less daily housework. For seniors moving into an assisted living community, this relief from seemingly endless cleaning tasks is even greater. At Oak Trace, we have laundry and housekeeping services that keep your chores to a minimum so you can focus on living your ideal life. 

Simple Home Navigation

When you move to a smaller home, finding your way around is easier than ever after you downsize. In assisted living residences, you don’t have to worry about trying to manage stairs or confusing layouts that leave you scratching your head. Downsizing is all about finding the right sized space for you to live easily, and that includes navigating your own home. When you downsize, everything is at your fingertips, or at least a little closer to them than before. 

Helpful Strategies to Downsize for a Move to Assisted Living

Once you’ve decided that assisted living is the right move, it’s time to prepare. From before the move even begins, through the packing and downsizing processes, to move-in day, there’s a lot to consider. Here are some of our top tips to make it as manageable and enjoyable as possible. 

Pre-Move Planning

Spend time before the move putting pen to paper. Creating a plan based on what you know about your current living space and your soon-to-be home will help guide you throughout the process. Here are a few key things to make sure you’ve written down: 

  • Timeline. Jot down any known dates such as move-in, the day your contract begins, sell-by dates, and any other necessary details. This will help plan for things like professional movers, when you want to be ready to pack, etc. 
  • Must-move list. Especially when you’re downsizing, having a list of things that cannot be thrown away or donated at the start can help ease anxiety while you sort. This list will likely include items such as family photo albums, important documents, heirlooms and other non-negotiables. 
  • Current floorplan versus new floorplan. Compare your current floorplan to your new floor plan. Make measurements of any large pieces of furniture that you want to bring with you and work out if it will all actually fit.

Break it Down By Room

Go room by room as you sort through belongings. Tag what needs to be kept, donated, tossed or sold. Depending on the amount that must be tossed or given away, you may want to consider contacting third-party organizers or sellers who can provide extra helping hands. Many charities also offer pick-up services for those who have a large number of gently used items to donate. 

Call in Reinforcements

There is absolutely no rule that says you have to downsize alone. In fact, asking friends or family to help can reduce the emotional and physical labor of the job at hand. This is also a good time to pass on beloved family heirlooms. If there are larger items that you or your loved one wanted to bequeath to others after you pass away, why not do so now? 

Pack a “First Day” Bag

As your moving day approaches, considering packing a first-day bag. Things to include in this bag: 

  • Toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, skincare. Anything you need for daily hygiene should be easily accessible. 
  • Medications. This is critical to maintaining your health during your move. 
  • Familiar favorites. Whether you’re reading the latest thriller or have a half-knitted scarf on hand, a familiar form of relaxation will make your first night in your assisted living space easier.
  • Snacks. While there are bound to be plenty of on-site dining venues in your new home, there’s nothing more convenient than having a snack on hand. Pack your favorites. 

Explore Assisted Living Options at Oak Trace

Oak Trace offers a range of bespoke amenities, activities and services that can be customized to meet your needs and help you reach your personal goals. Our residents thrive here, surrounded by like-minded peers who encourage one another to live their best lives every day, whether they are in our independent living, assisted living, rehabilitation, or memory care living spaces. Ready to see what life at Oak Trace could be like for you or a loved one? Schedule a tour today, or contact us using the form below.

Related Stories