Downsizing to Assisted Living — Tips to Declutter and Simplify

senior downsizing into an assisted living communityAre you or a loved one planning a move to an assisted living community? If so, you are not alone. Nearly 50% of all baby boomers and older adults are downsizing—realizing that less can actually be more. 

A smaller home makes sense if you want more time and money to travel, pursue your passions, and just enjoy retirement. Many choose to make the move to a senior living community so they can seize opportunities to meet new friends and have engaging and exciting experiences. They also want to simplify their lives with a clutter-free residence and no maintenance worries.

Although the goal is to downsize, getting there can feel a bit daunting. Whether you are actively considering a move to an assisted living community or are just starting to think about your downsizing options, we can help. We have gathered tips that will make decluttering and simplifying your life easier than you ever thought possible.

Tips for Downsizing Before You Move to an Assisted Living Community

Get started on Downsizing to an Assisted Living Community.

It is that simple. Often the anticipation is worse than doing it. So, if you start as soon as possible, you can give yourself time to properly sort through your home. This way you will not feel rushed or overwhelmed. The rule of thumb is to start at least three months before you plan to move. But truth be told, the sooner, the better.

Concentrate on one room at a time

The thought of decluttering or organizing your entire home is daunting. Taking things one step at a time is the key. You are more likely to complete the whole process if you break it into several manageable projects.

Put it on the calendar

When it comes to downsizing, mapping out what you want to accomplish beforehand will help you get it done.  Also consider creating a schedule with both busy, productive days and resting days. The resting days are essential because they allow you to step back and assess your progress.

Single out the sentimental

Downsizing is as much about your mindset as it is your drive to get the job done. Sentiment is a great thing and a natural human emotion. However, people often mistake items that are not dear for possessions that are. Here are three questions that will go a long way in helping you decide what you are keeping and what you are not. Does this item have memories that are cherished? Is it something that has been passed down for generations? Can I emotionally do without it?

Look at your possessions through practical glasses 

We have established that sentiment is a beautiful human emotion. However, we should make sure that we do not neglect the practical side of things. To help with this, ask yourself questions like: Do I ever use this? Does it have a place in my new clutter-free residence and lifestyle?

Gift the things you no longer want

There are bound to be some sentimental items that will not fit into your new home at your assisted living community. Go ahead and reach out to your family so you can give the items a good home. This is especially important if it is an item you would like to keep in your family. By doing this, you and the recipient will feel good. You can even put friends on the list as well. But be sure to do this early and schedule pick-up times at least a week or two before your move.

Pay it forward

If there is no interest in certain items from family or friends, consider donating them to a good cause. Perhaps the local school’s music department could use a piano, or the community college art department some camera equipment. And you can feel good about your donation because you are giving items a new life.

Work smart and have fun!

There is something else about downsizing you should know. There are professionals who do it for a living and are great at it. Hiring the services of a move manager or transition specialist can help make your move as stress-free as possible. Plus, they will be there to guide you every step of the way.

The fruits of downsizing can be satisfying and rewarding. Seniors who have gone through the process and made a move to an assisted living community, like The Cabana in Jensen Beach, FL near Port St. Lucie, now enjoy and appreciate an active, maintenance-free lifestyle. Simplifying their lives has allowed them to pursue the important things in life. They can now engage in new and long-time hobbies and have more time with friends and family. That is the sweetest part of downsizing!