Downsizing is a difficult task for anyone. It can be particularly challenging for seniors making the move to an assisted living or independent living community. Not only do they need to declutter their belongings, they have to let go of precious items that they have accumulated and cherished over the years. Many of their possessions may have traveled with them from home to home or may remind them of special times in their lives such as their early years of marriage, raising their children, or perhaps a time when their own parents were alive. These 5 steps will help ease the process of moving to a senior living apartment in Saratoga and improve the experience for both seniors and their loved ones.
1. Take A Tour
Taking a tour of the new apartment will help seniors prepare for a move. They can get a feel for the space and determine which belongings will fit in their new home. They may find that some possessions will no longer be necessary in their new senior apartment. Many senior living communities offer in-house dining options, such as the beautiful dining area in our Woodlawn Commons community: Georgia’s Restaurant. Some dining areas serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, limiting the need for extensive kitchen appliances. Though tours can be very helpful, some seniors may find them overwhelming. Join your loved ones on the tour to make them more comfortable and help highlight the benefits of their new home. A tour can be the first step in deciding which possessions seniors would like to take to their new apartment.
2. Make A List
Once seniors have visited their new home, they can begin to compile a list of the items needed for the new space. It’s best to prioritize the items on the list by categorizing which items they will need versus the ones that they want to bring with them. Encourage your loved ones to make the list prior to going through their belongings. This will help them select the things that are top of mind and of more importance to them. Creating this initial list may make it easier for them to reject less important items as they go.
3. Plan in Advance
Planning out the decluttering and moving process can help ease the stress of this difficult time. If possible, set a firm date for the move and then work back from that day to lay out a timeline. Help your loved ones determine when they will be tackling different sections of the house and when they need to move larger items (furniture, televisions, etc.). This will allow them to figure out when they will need help from family members and friends. Plan dates weeks or months in advance to provide people with more notice. This will make the process less stressful for the seniors and their loved ones.
4. Set Aside Items for Family and Friends
It can be easier to let go of an item if you know it’s going to someone you love. Encourage your loved ones to set aside certain belongings for family members and friends. Sharing their belongings with loved ones can be a comfort to seniors and make it easier for them to move on. This is also a great time for sons and daughters to come by and collect any childhood possessions they would like to hold on to. This process will help clear out some of the excess items that have been taking up space in the home. Once those items have been given away, the seniors will have more room for packing and organizing their other possessions.
5. Donate or Sell Belongings
If your loved ones are open to it, consider having a garage sale to sell some of the remaining items. If you don’t have enough time to plan a garage sale or if the prospect of selling is too difficult for your loved ones, encourage them to donate their belongings. Donating to charity can help them feel good about letting go. Seniors may have old clothes, shoes, and other items they have held onto. Even extra kitchen appliances or old furniture can be donated. Though this process could still be difficult, it will make it easier for seniors to organize the remaining items before their move to a senior living community.
Schedule Your Visit To The Wesley Community
If your loved ones are considering downsizing, come take a tour of The Wesley Community. We offer maintenance-free senior living and supportive care services in the heart of Saratoga Springs. The Wesley Community provides a wide variety of amenities, senior activities, and conveniences. Call us at (518) 587-3600 to schedule a private tour today!