How to Downsize Before Moving to Assisted Living – Checklist

If you or a loved one are preparing to move to an assisted living community, it often means downsizing from a house or condo to a smaller apartment. For some, that process can be daunting or confusing, leaving you uncertain about where to start.

Our team at Reformed Church Home in Old Bridge, NJ, has put together some advice on how to downsize your home before moving to assisted living. If you follow this checklist, you can make the downsizing process straightforward and even enjoyable, setting you up for a smooth transition into your new home.

Plan ahead

The further ahead of a move you can start planning to downsize, the better. But whether you have days or months to conduct the move, planning is key. You’ll need to set aside time when everyone involved will be able to dedicate time to sorting and packing, ideally choosing times when you are all likely to be focused and productive. You should also reach out to friends or additional family members to ask for their help in the downsizing and moving process, if necessary.

Tackle your belongings by category

It can be daunting to start going through all the belongings in your home, or even in one room. This process is easier if you break it down into categories: clothing, books, papers, kitchen supplies, makeup, cleaning supplies, office supplies, games, etc. Start with only one category, gathering all of those items into one place. Then go through item by item and only keep the belongings that truly bring you joy or that you use on a regular basis.

Map out furniture for your new home

Deciding which furniture to bring when moving into assisted living can be one of the more difficult decisions, since these are likely pieces that were large investments, have sentimental value, or have long been a regular part of your daily life. In choosing what to bring, you should map out the floor plan of your new home and take measurements of your furniture. Pencil in different arrangements of furniture that you think might be appealing, determining which pieces will likely fit and which will not. Sell or donate the remaining furniture, or ask relatives if they are interested in any of the pieces.

Leave the sentimental stuff for last

Sentimental belongings can be some of the most difficult to go through, which is why it’s best to do them last. At that point, you’ll be skilled at making decisions about what you truly value and want to bring with you. You can also choose to give sentimental items away to family members who would really value them — just be sure not to overload family members with belongings that won’t actually bring them joy or be meaningful to them.

At Reformed Church Home in Old Bridge, NJ, we are dedicated to make the transition of moving to an assisted living community smooth and enjoyable. Our staff can help answer questions or guide you to community resources that can assist with selling a home, moving furniture, and managing some of these important decisions.

For more information, contact Andrea Walls, Director of Marketing at Reformed Church Home, at 732-607-9230 or awalls@rchnj.org.

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