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7 Tips for Downsizing as You Prepare to Move into Senior Living

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Heading to another phase in your life is always both an exciting and scary experience. Perhaps one of the major life transitions you’ll go through at one point is moving into senior living. What makes the facility even more special is that it’s the place you’ll be spending the rest of your years. That said, it’s non-negotiable to bring the things most important to you once it’s time to move.

That’s why one of the most common challenges to moving into senior living is downsizing. The packing process can be a nightmare, depending on how prepared you are to tackle it. Yes, you have to gather your things—but you can’t bring everything with you. So you have to know exactly what to pack and limit the things you can’t leave out once you move.

At the same time, moving can be the perfect opportunity for you to declutter and get more organized. Take a look below to know how you can efficiently jumpstart your senior living in Clinton Township transition!

1. Make Early Preparations

Give yourself ample time to make preparations for your move. By making early preparations, you won’t feel overwhelmed and rushed once moving time comes. Take the time to sort through your closet and look at your belongings.

One commonly overlooked step in moving preparations for senior living is how your things will fit in your new home. It’s crucial to request a floor plan and pictures of the rooms from your senior living community. Having the exact room measurements as a guide can help you evaluate what you should and shouldn’t bring.

Also, try to ask about what amenities the senior living community already has. For example, if you can’t live without a coffee maker and they don’t have one, you can bring your own. But for things such as a stove, dishwasher, clothes iron, etc., they most probably have one that you can use. 

Lastly, while many senior living communities are pet-friendly—it doesn’t apply to all. So it’s crucial to ask what their rules are regarding bringing pets. You don’t want to end up moving only to find out you’ll have to leave your furry friend behind.

2. Create a Checklist

Packing can be an overwhelming process—we’ve all been there. To alleviate this feeling, it’s best to create a checklist of the priority items you should pack. Note what you’ve gathered from your early preparations. 

Ticking off this checklist one at a time can be satisfying, helps you focus, and makes the packing process more seamless. Some senior living communities also provide their own list as guidance on what’s allowed and not allowed.

With that, here are some general tips for what to bring in your new home:

  • Financial documents
  • Legal documents
  • Emergency contact list
  • Clothing
  • Bedding sets
  • Toiletry
  • Personal items like picture frames and albums
  • Entertainment items

While incomplete, this list will give you an idea of the priority items when moving into senior living in Clinton Township.

3. Decide What to Bring With You and What to Leave

Once you have a checklist in place, it’s time to decide what to bring and what to leave. Put aside all necessities first—objects that are non-negotiable and are staying with you no matter what. Then, choose only one if you have any duplicate items.

Get multiple boxes or storage bins to separate what you will bring/not bring, and label them accordingly. For things you’re not planning to bring, label their box as to where you plan to take them. Are you going to donate them to a local charity? Or give them to family members?

If you struggle with letting things go, you can try delving into resources on decluttering, such as the KonMari Method. As world-renowned organizer Marie Kondo says—ask yourself whether these things spark joy.

4. Be Mindful in Packing Important Documents and Sorting Out Medications

Moving into senior living means bringing all important documents, IDs, prescriptions, and medications with you. Sorting these out early can help you more than you may imagine once you’ve moved.

First off, keep all your documents and IDs in folders or clear binders. It’s easy to miss files and papers and accidentally throw them away if you’re not mindful enough. That said, here are some important documents and cards to take note of:

  • Will
  • Medical records and prescriptions
  • Power of attorney
  • Diploma
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Insurance documentation
  • Social security cards
  • IDs

For medications, store them in a handy medicine organizer so that you know where everything is when you need it. Also, don’t forget to transfer prescriptions if you’re moving to a community in another city, like senior living in Clinton Township. It will save you from a lot of headaches once you’ve settled in.

5. Determine a Removal Plan of Action

We’ve already touched on it earlier, but it’s best to determine a clear removal plan of action. Often, most things people don’t end up bringing in senior living are still in good condition. It would be a waste to throw these things away, only for them to end up in a landfill. Completely throwing away items is only an option if they’re badly damaged.

Fortunately, it’s not difficult to find a new owner for most things. Here are some excellent ideas on how you can find a renewed purpose for items you no longer need:

  • Donate to charity
  • Host a garage sale
  • Give away to family and friends
  • Recycle

6. Set Deadlines

Finally—set deadlines. Having a clear timetable of when you should accomplish things can help you become more accountable. Remember that you don’t have to do the downsizing and decluttering process by yourself. You can ask for help from family members on planning and even on the packing process itself.

Set a schedule on when you should finish packing things, when a local charity can pick up your donation, etc. Try to stick to the deadlines you set so you won’t get overwhelmed when the time to move comes.

7. Keep Things That Bring You Joy

The thought of downsizing can be a hard pill to swallow. After all, there are special memories attached to the things we own. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable to leave things behind when you move into senior living. The simple formula is to keep the things that bring you joy. Otherwise, it’s time to move on.

In a way, downsizing gives you the chance to celebrate the memories you have with everything you own. We hope the tips above can help you transition smoothly into senior living in Clinton Township. Cheers!

Written by The Parkdale

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