6 Steps to Downsize for Senior Living

downsizing tips for seniors

Downsizing Tips Before Moving Into a Senior Living Community

Congratulations, you’ve found the perfect senior living community to call home! It’s an exciting time, though there will surely be challenges during the transition. For many seniors and their families, downsizing for the move can be one of the most emotionally challenging parts of the process.

Moving into a smaller place isn’t easy. Luckily, there are ways to streamline sorting through belongings that need to be donated, thrown away or given to family members. Here are 6 downsizing tips to make the move into a senior living community successful.

1. Start downsizing early

Downsizing is one of those things that always seems to take longer than expected. If you can get started a few weeks to a couple of months ahead of the move, it will be less stressful for everyone.

2. Buy a moving notebook

This notebook will be your master resource for all things related to downsizing and moving.

Write down notes, important dates, ideas for donations and anything else you need to keep track of. You can also track this information on your smartphone or computer, though writing lists with a physical pen and paper can be a great way to de-stress.

3. Make a plan (and factor in downtime)

Downsizing takes a lot of work, which is why it’s smart to make an action plan before getting started. It’s helpful to set goals for each day, just be sure to keep your expected accomplishments realistic. Planning ahead also gives you time to contact friends and other family members for extra help if needed. They’ll know exactly when they need to lend a hand and can block off calendars accordingly.

Since this can be an emotionally draining experience, you should consider adding some “off” days to the schedule. To avoid burnout, give everyone time to reflect and process and don’t try to accomplish all of your downsizing in one go.

4. Start small and unsentimental

Generate some motivation for the rest of this project by starting small, preferably with items that don’t hold much sentimental value. Many seniors are understandably afraid of losing the possessions they love most, but starting with a room like the kitchen or bathroom can be a less intimidating introduction to downsizing.

5. Take downsizing one room at a time

Don’t feel like you have to downsize every room at the same time. An easier method is to go room by room. You can also break rooms up into categories. For example, the bedroom might be divided into clothing, sentimental items and linens/decor.

6. Communicate with your loved one throughout the entire process

This time is full of change for your aging parent or loved one. They might be confused or scared, and they need you to guide them through downsizing and the eventual move. Be sure to share frequent updates and keep them involved, even if it’s a tough topic to talk about.

Before you know it, downsizing will be finished and it’ll be time to get excited about all of the good things that come with senior living!

As a local nonprofit, The Argyle has brought high quality and affordable care to Denver’s seniors since 1874. To this day, our caring team remains committed to encouraging independence and preserving the dignity of every resident who calls our community home.

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