If you or a loved one is considering a move to an assisted living community, now is a great time to take stock of current living arrangements. Older adults who move to an assisted living community gain enormous benefits, from getting a little extra help with everyday tasks to on-site dining venues, wellness programs and enrichment opportunities.
However, getting ready for the big move can pose its challenges. Senior living accommodations tend to be cozier than large family homes. This is great for reducing the labor of everyday maintenance, but it means not everything from your current home will fit in the new one.
Fortunately, downsizing and moving to a community can be made much easier with a little planning. Here are some helpful strategies to help yourself or a loved one with the downsizing process ahead of a move to assisted living.
Preparing Yourself for a Move
Ensure that you or your loved one is in the right frame of mind ahead of the downsizing process. Beloved collectibles taking up spaces in boxes could find new life in a home with someone who has room to display and enjoy them. Similarly, gently used items can be donated to those who need them most. Look at this as a time of transition to a freer, easier stage of life where you won’t be responsible for the care and maintenance of so many things.
Determining What to Keep
Going through your belongings and determining what to keep can be challenging. While your natural instinct may be to hold on to everything you’ve collected over the years, your new home is unlikely to have enough storage space for it. As a result, you will need to determine what makes sense for you to keep and what you will need to sell, donate, recycle, or toss.
One way to make the process easier is to start with non-sentimental items. Items in storage or otherwise unused are easier to donate, recycle, or toss. From there, you can move on to items that may be more difficult to make decisions about. Take your time, but keep moving.
What to do With Unneeded Items
Items that you’ve decided to part with can be dealt with in several different ways. These include:
- Selling. Post items online, in classified ads or have a garage sale. This can be a great way to generate some extra cash, as well.
- Gifting. See if any of your friends or family members would like your items. This can be a great way to make parting with somewhat sentimental items easier. By knowing an item is going to a good home, you may feel better about letting it go.
- Donating. Similar to gifting, you can feel good about donating items you no longer need. Your unused items may be a great help to someone less fortunate.
- Recycled or tossed. Items that cannot be sold, gifted or donated can be recycled and given new life in another form. If they cannot be recycled, they can always be discarded.
Stop Adding New Items
One of the best ways to prepare for a move is to stop adding new items that will need to be moved or sorted through again during a final downsizing pass. Clothing, furniture and other items that take up space will not only need to be accounted for at your new residence, but also physically moved to the new location, so it’s best to avoid bringing more home!
Before making any purchases, consider borrowing a similar item to get by or find a way to go without the purchase, if possible. While this may seem inconvenient, remember that this is only temporary, and the item can be purchased at a later time if it is still necessary.
Enlist Family and Friends to Help
Instead of undertaking your downsizing journey alone, consider finding friends or family members who can help you throughout this process. Third-party organizers, movers and sellers can also help you sort through and manage a large downsizing project.
Spend Your Retirement Years at Friendship Village of Bloomington
Moving is well worth it when you’re transitioning to a place you love. At Friendship Village of Bloomington, we are that place for many seniors looking for enrichment and fulfillment during their retirement years.
If you have questions about life in a community, we’d be more than happy to answer them for you. Contact us to speak with a member of our team and learn for yourself what makes our community in Bloomington, Minnesota, so inviting for so many.