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Kaplan 9-12-23_12 Tips for Downsizing to SL (1)As you prepare for downsizing to senior living, it’s common to feel overwhelmed by the list of to-dos. From preparing your home for sale to downsizing your belongings to what to bring to your new senior living home, we know the logistics seem never-ending. But just think about the rewards in your new community! These tips for downsizing to senior living can help make it easier too!

Tips for preparing your home for sale 

You see your home through the lens of the many family milestones and memories that took place there, and as such, you may think it’s perfect as is. However, it’s important to be as objective as possible. Look at the house through the eyes of a potential buyer when considering what updates it might need before you list it for sale. 

Tip #1 – Update where it matters most 

Spend your time and money on areas in your home where you’ll get the most return, like the kitchen, bathrooms, and curb appeal. What’s more, a fresh coat of paint and updated lighting can do wonders for relatively little cost. Just keep in mind that neutral colors and fixtures appeal to most buyers. 

Tip #2 – Declutter where you can 

Personal touches and photos make a house a home, except when you’re trying to sell it. You want buyers to picture themselves making memories in the space, not distracted by your mementos. Plus, you want to show off your home’s features, and too much clutter can make the space feel smaller than it really is. 

Tip #3 – Stage your space 

For your home to be as welcoming as possible during showings, make sure everything is clean and organized. Beyond that, open the drapes, arrange the pillows, and turn on the lights, and set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature to make it even more inviting. 

Tip #4 – Avoid surprises with your own inspection 

Having your own home inspection done before listing helps to ensure that there are no surprises that could derail a sale. You can either proactively address any issues or provide a one-year home warranty plan during the first year to give potential buyers added peace of mind. 

Download our Choosing the Right Community Guide today! 

Tips for downsizing your possessions  

Another part of downsizing for senior living is to go through your belongings. For many people, this can be more emotionally and logistically overwhelming than even selling the house! We recommend taking it one step at a time with these tips. 

Tip #5 – Make a plan 

Identifying categories for your belongings – like bedding, dishes, clothing, and electronics – can help keep things organized. Or, if that’s too detailed, categorize your belongings by specific rooms. Then, set aside a place with plenty of room like a spare room or garage to sort your items.  

Tip #6 – Go slow and steady 

Trying to do everything at once is the quickest way to become overwhelmed. Instead, slow down and focus on one room of the house at a time. To make sure you keep moving forward, set a timetable for completion. 

Tip #7 – Sort your belongings 

As you go through your belongings, sort them into keep, sell, donate, recycle, and gift piles. Following the rule that if you haven’t used it in a year, you don’t really need it can help make it easier to let go of items. For those sentimental items, consider gifting them to family or friends.  

Tip #8 – Ask for help 

Not only is downsizing to senior living more manageable with help, but it’s also more fun! You can look at it as an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and have some laughs reminiscing. Plus, it’s a perfect time to gift items to family and friends. 

Tip #9Plan the move  
Now’s the time to decide whether to move yourself to your new community or hire professional movers. You’ll want to consider the number and weight of your boxes, the size of your furniture, whether you’ll be going up or down stairs, the distance to your community, your willingness to take this on yourself (or not), and your budget in this decision. 

Tips for what to bring to your senior living community home 

This is the part you can look forward to: planning your new space. We want our residents to feel at home, so we encourage personalizing your space and are here to help in any way we can to make downsizing to senior living as smooth as possible. Here’s what to consider: 

Tip #10 – Envision your space 

Ask for a copy of the floor plan to decide on furniture placement and how to make the space your own before moving day. The community may have links to videos, interactive floor plans, and room planners online to make it even easier.  

Tip #11 – Confirm what to pack 

You’ll need necessities like a comforter, sheets, bath towels, personal care items, comfortable clothing, and non-slip shoes. Check with your new community for any recommendations and/or restrictions on what you can bring so there are no surprises. 

Tip #12 – Don’t forget your favorites 

When downsizing to senior living, the best way to make your new space feel like home right away is to fill it with things you love. Don’t forget your favorite photos, books, music, artwork, and mementos.   

To learn more about downsizing to senior living, download our Choosing the Right Community Guide today! 

Click here to download our Choosing The Right Senior Living Community guide


Written by All American