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September 27, 2021

Downsizing into an Assisted Living Apartment

Moving into a new home is always a momentous occasion. When your move coincides with a significant lifestyle change, like downsizing to assisted living, it’s an even greater event that produces a wide range of emotions.

If you or a loved one will be downsizing to assisted living in the near future, these 10 tips will show you how to downsize one step at a time so you can look forward to feeling settled in your new home and ready to explore all the possibilities your new retirement community brings.

1. Take an Active Role

Participating in the move every step of the way will give you a necessary sense of control at a time when you’re experiencing a lot of change. This is especially true when it comes to your belongings; choosing what you’ll take to your new home will ensure you’re surrounding by the things that matter to you when you get there.

2. Set a Reasonable Pace

Recognize that a lifetime of possessions and memories won’t be sorted, boxed, and ready for the moving truck in mere days. Once you confirm plans for downsizing to assisted living, set a realistic timeline with milestones along the way so you can celebrate each victory and keep your momentum strong until the finish line.

3. Ask for Help

Moving to assisted living is a laborious task. Enlist family members and friends to assist you with tedious jobs like decluttering, heavy lifting, and anything that protects you from injury. It’s a great excuse to spend time with loved ones, and having someone to share the burden just seems to make the job seem smaller. If you don’t have loved ones nearby, ask your assisted living community for a referral to a senior relocation service in your area.

4. Enjoy the Memories

You’re sure to uncover plenty of mementoes as you move from room to room, so give yourself permission to enjoy the memories they bring. Share the stories with your loved ones and enjoy reflecting on your life’s precious moments.

5. Process the Emotions

A big change like downsizing to assisted living can bring big emotions, even if it’s a move that you’re looking forward to making. Acknowledging and processing those feelings (even the negative ones) is a healthier approach than powering through, only to have a wave of emotions overcome you.

6. Keep What You Love

Throughout your home, you undoubtedly have things you need, things you could easily do without, and things you truly love. The items you love are the ones you should prioritize keeping, even if it means parting with other things you have lukewarm feelings toward.

7. Be Realistic About Your Space

Even if you have a spacious floor plan, everything you love may not fit your new home, especially if you have a large collection. When you’re downsizing to assisted living, creative solutions like taking photos of those items to display and gifting the actual pieces to a loved one will ensure you can take your treasures with you, while knowing they’ll be cherished and protected.

8. Give to a Good Cause

You may also find that you have perfectly good items with plenty of life remaining. There’s no need to toss them; instead, check around (or ask a loved one to inquire) about local organizations that could benefit. For example, women’s shelters and organizations that provide disaster relief often accept gently used household items to pass on to the families they serve.

9. Plan for Your First Few Days

You’ll need some time to get settled in your new home, so it’s a good idea to consolidate some of your essentials into one or two boxes you can easily locate and access. Include clothing and pajamas for a few days, toiletries, medications, vital documents, and your wallet with identification.

10. Make the New Space Feel Like Home

After the basics are covered, make it a priority to unpack and display your personal possessions so your new space feels more comfortable and familiar. Place your favorite throw in easy reach, fill your shelves with photos of loved ones, and add the little touches that make the home uniquely yours.

Looking for a Place to Call Home?

If you’re considering downsizing to assisted living in the Manapalan, New Jersey, area, Springpoint Living at Manalapan is a brand new community offering a variety of living options. Contact us to learn more about our inviting neighborhood and our person-centered approach to senior living.

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