Tips to Make Downsizing to a Retirement Community Easy
Moving is no fun, but it doesn’t have to be painful. When getting ready to move to a retirement community like Sonrisa Senior Living in Roseville, California, take advantage of these tried-and-true tips for downsizing that will make your move a breeze.
Tip #1 - Make a plan
The devil is in the details but with a plan in place you can avoid the stress of hurrying and making decisions you might regret. Start with a week-by-week schedule that begins as soon as you know your move-in date. Each week, define which rooms will be packed. Tackle the closets, bins, and boxes in each, so their contents can be kept, given away, recycled, or thrown away. A good rule of thumb is to do the least-used rooms first and save the kitchen, baths, and bedrooms for last.
Tip #2 - Tag large items for the move
Consult the floor plan of your new retirement community home to assess what large items will be moving with you. Keep in mind that a smaller home will require fewer furnishings, appliances, and equipment than large family homes and there is no point in moving something that isn’t needed or won’t fit. To avoid this scenario, measure and tag what will be going with you and then let family and friends know you are giving away or selling all that is leftover so it can be of use to someone else.
Tip #3 - Enlist help and delegate
If you haven’t moved in a few years (or decades) you might not remember how much physical stamina it requires. Rather than risk getting hurt, ask your adult children, grandkids, and friends if they can pitch in, and delegate jobs like carrying heavy boxes or moving furniture to the strongest. Since many family homes still hold long-forgotten items belonging to kids, it’s a great time to let them take their own “stuff” with them so they can decide what to do with it, instead of you. If possible, try to schedule your volunteers according to your weekly plan so you have help available when you need it most.
Tip #4 - Stock up on supplies
Save yourself the aggravation of running out of moving supplies by stocking up in advance. Among the most important are:
Boxes in different sizes
Bubble wrap or newspapers
Furniture covers if needed
Permanent markers and labels
Small plastic bags for nuts and bolts from disassembled furniture
If you will be moving yourself, also consider renting or purchasing:
Furniture pads or blankets
Stretch wrap to wrap furniture with drawers
A dolly or hand truck
Use smaller boxes for heavier items to keep them manageable and larger ones for lightweight items. Save on packing materials by using cloth items like towels and sheets to cushion and protect more fragile pieces.
Tip #5 - Have it hauled
Once you have a pretty good idea of what you won’t be moving, giving away or selling, it can be a huge help to have what’s left hauled away. Many charities like Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries offer free pick up of items that they accept like furniture, household goods, clothes, books, and art that no one else wants. Don’t forget to ask for a receipt so you can itemize and value your donations to deduct on your taxes. For junk, contact a local hauler, some of whom also take metal to recycling facilities where available.
Tip #6 - Keep valuables close
For those with jewelry, art, or other valuables, it pays to keep them in a safe place when packing and by your side while you move. It may be easiest to just move them to a trusted relative’s home during the downsizing, or small items can be stored in a safe deposit box. Also remember to do the same with personal documents such as wills, medical records, birth certificates, etc. so they do not get lost or accidently thrown away.
Tip #7 - Gift it now
On the note of valuables, more and more older adults are giving family heirlooms and other precious objects to loved ones while they are still alive. Not only does this relieve them of the need to keep them safe, but they are also blessed with the joyful experience of giving a gift face to face and seeing it treasured by someone they care about.
Thinking about downsizing to senior living? Find out how wonderful your next chapter can be by touring our beautiful community at Sonrisa Senior Living. To schedule your tour and learn more about what we have to offer active, vibrant seniors, contact us today at 916-713-5471.