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Kaplan 9-21_Tips for DownsizingIt goes without saying that a move to assisted living is a big change. And while you’re undoubtedly navigating a range of emotions about the move, there’s also a whole other area you need to navigate as well: the logistics. For many, this is just as overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. These tips on downsizing to assisted living can make the move much easier.

The House

Downsizing the house really involves two parts: preparing the home itself to sell and the process of downsizing your belongings. Whether you do one before the other or both simultaneously, these tips are important to consider.

Prepping to Sell

  • Do your own inspection – Hire your own home inspector instead of waiting for an inspection at the potential buyer’s request; it’s always better to be proactive and uncover potential hidden issues before they can derail a sale. Then you can either fix them before putting the house on the market or offer a one-year home warranty.
  • Update wisely – It’s a good idea to freshen up the space with a new coat of paint or perhaps updated fixtures; in neutral colors and styles that appeal to a wide group of buyers of course. But, if it’s been a while since you’ve done more extensive updating, focus on areas where you’ll receive the most return on your investment like kitchens and bathrooms. Also, don’t forget about the impact of great curb appeal!
  • Stage the space – Once the home is listed you want to make it as inviting as possible whether people are touring virtually or through in-person showings. Beyond cleaning and decluttering (potential buyers want to imagine their pictures and keepsakes in the space, not yours), make sure to turn on the lights, open the drapes and fluff the pillows.

Downsizing Your Belongings

  • Take a room at a time – Or, a category at a time like dishes, linens, or electronics so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. But, have an end date in mind so you can keep yourself on track.
  • Sort it out – Designate a space where you can spread out and identify categories like keep, donate, gift, sell or trash/recycle. A good rule is if you haven’t used something in six months you don’t need it. Keepsakes are different of course and you might consider gifting them to friends and/or family.
  • Include friends and family – Not just for the help (also that’s a bonus, too!), but it’s also a great time to reconnect and reminisce with loved ones as you go through everything. It gives you an opportunity to turn what might otherwise be a bit sad and laborious into something more special and fun. 

What to Bring When Downsizing to Assisted Living

First, you want to check in with your assisted living community to see what items they may provide as well as recommended items to bring (or not). Then check out the floorplan for your new space – either ask for a copy or some communities have interactive planners on their website – to better understand what will fit and/or what else you may need. We encourage our residents to personalize their space as much as possible so they truly feel at home here. But in general, you should plan to bring linens, personal care items, comfortable clothing and rubber-soled shoes as well as favorites like photos and keepsakes.

Easing the Transition

Regardless of the many benefits of assisted living and how confident you feel in the decision; a change this big is bound to come with some highs and lows. Just give yourself time; the first 30 days after your move are really key and these tips can help new residents settle in:

  • Personalize the space – The quicker you unpack and set up your space to feel more like home, the quicker it will. It’s about mindset as much as anything, really let yourself settle in with an open mind.
  • Be positive – Along the same lines, it’s helpful to focus on what there is to look forward to in your new assisted living community like the maintenance-free living, plenty of amenities that you likely didn’t have at home and peace of mind that support is always at hand.
  • Get connected – One of the best ways to feel at home is to make friends. We know that’s easier for some than others, but you may be surprised to find that the community can help. From making introductions to residents who share similar interests to New Resident Ambassadors whose job it is to make you feel welcome; each community is different, but we all want you to feel comfortable and connected.
  • Get involved – Assisted living communities are known for the opportunities they offer to be active and engaged in life. That may have even been one of the draws to your new community to begin with and the first step in getting involved is to grab an activity calendar that is sure to be full of activities, classes, clubs, outings and social events to enjoy.

For more information download our Just the Facts Guide to Assisted Living or contact us today to schedule a tour.

Guide to Assisted Living

Written by All American