senior couple downsizing to move to assisted living community

Rightsizing to an Assisted Living Community

Moving can feel stressful, so it’s not surprising that many people flinch at the thought of downsizing. You have a lifetime of treasured possessions – and sometimes it can feel overwhelming to decide what to do with them. But don’t worry! Downsizing doesn’t mean throwing away your cherished belongings. It can be a thoughtful, wonderful journey as you decide what you really need – and what you can pass along to be loved by others.

Beginning the process as soon as you seriously start to consider a move into senior living will make the project almost fun. You might want to talk to your favorite family members and friends to see if they have interest or need for something you have. Knowing that your belongings will have a good home and being thanked by friends and family can add joy to the process.

If you’ve picked out your floor plan and know your square footage, you can make decisions about the furniture. Think about the process one room at a time – what will you need to keep from your kitchen? With Wesley Court restaurant-style meals and menu choices, you won’t need many of your household kitchen items, but there may be some you’ll still want. Think about the way you envision your lifestyle: Do you love cooking or consider it a chore?

As you go through each room, it’s important to keep in mind that while you’re downsizing to a smaller space, you’re rightsizing to a community that will provide much of what you need. Your garage or workshop may be filled with tools, but here, the maintenance, both indoors and out, is done for you – there’s no need to pack up that box of wrenches, screwdrivers and hammers!

Another thing to consider: Will you want to keep your car? That depends if your new community has convenient transportation, like Wesley Court. You may decide that getting rid of your vehicle will actually provide you with more independence and freedom! You won’t have to worry about oil changes and if your gas tank is full – but you’ll still be able to get everywhere you need to go.

Making a Plan Makes Rightsizing Easier

Rightsizing goes better with a little planning. Make a chart with a room-by-room inventory. Create columns labeled: Keep It, Toss It, Donate It, Gift It. You might want to get round stickers and color-code each item. Invite a friend or family member to stay with you during this process for moral support and for advice. There’s an old adage: If you haven’t used it or looked at it for a year, you probably don’t need it.

As you look at each item, let these questions guide your decision:

  • Do you absolutely want to keep it?
  • Would a family member or friend enjoy it?
  • Is the item in good enough shape to donate to charity? List those items along with the condition and keep it for your tax records.

If you are going to give away something that was meaningful to you, consider capturing it in a photo. You’ll be keeping the memory close while still passing it along for someone else to love.

One Room at a Time

The day you start deciding which items to sell, pass on to family members or donate may be filled with emotion. It also will probably take longer than a day. So just take on one room at a time. If you have second thoughts about giving away certain items, that’s to be expected. It’s okay to change your mind, but consider why this item was put on the list in the first place. Do you really need it or want it? Will it have a better home with someone else?

You Don’t Have to Do It Alone

The more time you have to downsize, the less exhausting the process is and the better you’ll get at making decisions. This may be a project that you work on with a close friend or family member who can help you decide – or you may wish to consider working with a professional company. There are senior move managers who specialize in helping older adults in this part of the moving process. Having someone help can keep you focused and can help you answer the questions about what should happen to each item. And as you go through the process, keep in mind how great it will be to move into your new home where you don’t have to worry about clutter but will still have your most treasured possessions.