Downsizing? Seven steps to simplify the process

Deciding to move into an independent or assisted living home can be a challenging choice to make. Seniors who make the leap often do so to feel safer, have support on hand if they need it, become more socially connected, or simply so they don’t have to worry about things like yard maintenance or cooking.

Whatever the reason for the move, the time leading up to a relocation can be a stressful one. Here are a few tips from Route 65.

  1. Start early! If possible, start early. This will make the process less stressful and will allow you to take your time making important decisions.
  2. Make a plan. Whether you go room by room or decide to tackle all of the closets at once, for example, develop a plan and stick to it. Having a plan in place can make things feel less overwhelming.
  3. Make a list of the items which absolutely must go with you. Whether the items are sentimental or practical, making a list of what you cannot live without can help you let go of items that are not as important.
  4. Know how much space you will have in your new home. Knowing how big your new home is can help you make realistic decisions about how much downsizing you need to do. Ask to visit your new suite, or one like it, and ask about what furniture (if any) it will come with.
  5. Take photographs of sentimental items. Getting rid of meaningful possessions can be emotional. Scanning or taking photos of important items or documents can help you let go of the physical object, while retaining the memory that item triggers for you.
  6. Get help! Whether it is the help of family or friends, or the help of professionals, like a moving company or downsizing agency, getting help is important – after all, it is a big job. Ask family members to help you organize items into keep and donate piles, take items to the thrift store, or come up with a plan for moving day.
  7. Practice good self-care. Remind yourself that downsizing can be difficult, and that experiencing mixed emotions is normal. Treat yourself when you’ve had a successful day and try to take time to reflect on the good memories that come up for you as you go through the downsizing process.
Skip to content