Downsizing Tips to Prepare for Your Move to Senior Living

by | Senior Living

Now that you or your loved one have chosen to move to senior living, a decision which will no doubt be tremendously rewarding, you’re probably wondering: what’s next? Actually, there are several steps involved in preparing for the move from selling the home to decluttering to planning what to bring to your new senior living community. Yes, that’s a big to-do list but don’t panic. We can help make the process much easier with these downsizing tips.

Preparing to Sell

Although it’s incredibly emotional to think about selling your home, it’s important to try to approach prepping the house from as practical a standpoint as possible. It may help to focus on the benefits that lie ahead in senior living from a worry-free lifestyle, more social opportunities and great amenities just to start. Then, try to look at your home through the eyes of potential buyers to see where updates may be needed.

Tip #1 – Small Updates Make a Big Difference 

A fresh coat of paint and updated lighting can do wonders to freshen up the space but it’s always best to use neutral colors and fixtures to appeal to the widest group of buyers.

Tip #2 – Invest Where It Matters Most

There’s likely no need (or room in the budget) for a whole-house makeover, but there are key areas in which you’ll get the most return on your updates: kitchen, bathrooms, landscaping and exterior updates such as siding, paint and/or simply the front entry.

Tip #3 – Depersonalize the Space

It seems counterintuitive, but ideally you want buyers to picture themselves making memories in the space rather than admiring the ones you’ve made. So, make sure to remove those personal photos and/or keepsakes.

Tip #4 – Stage It

For your home to be as inviting as possible during showings, make sure all the surfaces are not only clean and dust free but also that everything is picked up and organized. Don’t forget to open the drapes and turn on the lights as well. Adding a little extra fluff to the pillows won’t hurt either!

Tip #5 – Inspect Yourself

Have your own inspection done before listing to uncover any hidden issues in the home. If any do come up, either proactively address them or consider purchasing a one-year home warranty plan to cover repairs and replacement during the first year to give potential buyers added peace of mind.

Downsizing Your Stuff

The next step, or perhaps a concurrent step if you choose, is to downsize your stuff. If you’re like most of us, that’s a monumental (and emotional) task all on its own. A life well lived means lots of accumulated mementoes, right? Here’s how to get started.

Tip #6 – Create an Inventory 

It may seem like overkill, but making a list of categories like bedding, dishes, electronics, etc. really helps to keep things organized. If you don’t want to be that detailed, perhaps categorize by rooms. But make sure to set aside a place to sort your items where you have room to spread out like the garage.

Tip #7 – Take a Breath

It’s easy to get overwhelmed while downsizing, but it’s important to remember you don’t have to sprint through the process. It’s ok to take it slow and focus on one room of the house at a time. But to avoid taking too long, set a timetable for completion.

Tip #8 – Sort, then Sort Some More

Sort your items into Keep, Sell, Donate, Recycle or Gift piles. A general rule is that if you haven’t used something in six months, you don’t really need it. But if the item has sentimental value, you may be more comfortable gifting to family or friends. Or, perhaps take photos of special items to save space but preserve the memories.

Tip #9 – Make it Fun

The more the merrier definitely applies here. Not only is downsizing more manageable with help, it can actually be fun. It’s a great way to reconnect with loved ones and have some laughs reminiscing over old times. With a little work thrown in!

What to Bring to Senior Living

Last but certainly not least is planning for the actual move itself. Senior living communities want you to feel at home so we encourage personalizing your space and are here to help in any way we can to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Tip #10 – Plan Ahead

Ask the community for a copy of the floor plan or they may have links to videos, interactive floor plans and room planners online that can help you visualize how you want to make the space your own. Also check for any recommendations and/or restrictions on what you can bring so there are no surprises.

Tip #11 – Pack the Necessities

From comforters, sheets and bath towels to personal care items like a toothbrush, hairbrush and shaving kit to comfortable clothing, your robe, socks and rubber soled shoes; don’t overlook these necessities until the last minute.

Tip #12 – Feel Free to Bring Favorites

The best way to make your new space feel like home is to fill it with things you love like favorite photos, books, music, a favorite throw or even some favorite snacks to share (or not)!

For more information on our senior living community, contact us today to schedule a tour →.