The Downsizing Dilemma

Moving into a new residence offers critical advantages: less time and money spent on upkeep, a worry-free lifestyle, a more extensive range of activities, and more. But a move can be stressful for older adults – not to mention physically exhausting. It can seem that, even with help, the tasks associated with a move will just be too overwhelming.

But fortunately, as with any other challenge, there are solutions. In fact, Lutheran SeniorLife offers a range of supports to simplify the moving process for new residents. From a move-in coordinator who will help make your move as seamless as possible, to area professionals who help you decide what belongings to keep, donate or gift.

While not all older adults will have access to the resources we provide, anyone moving into a new residence can learn valuable lessons from our approach. Over time, our teams have helped ease the move-in process for numerous residents. Here are a few critical tips from our staff:

Start Early

It can be daunting to organize years’ worth of possessions and furniture, but starting the inventory process well in advance will help eliminate the feeling of being rushed to prioritize and pack.

Focus on ‘rightsizing’

Plan carefully for which possessions will fit in a smaller living space. One of the most common complications on move-in day: bringing too much. One trick: calculate the percentage difference in square footage from your old and new residences so you have a point of reference for how much you can bring along.

Organize with purpose

Separate possessions into groups: “Keep,” “Donate” and “Sell.” Separate “Keep” items and label them by room to make for a smooth and organized move.

Use your community contact

Know who will be there from the community to greet the new resident. When a new resident arrives on the day of his or her move, it is important to ensure that someone will be there to answer questions and handle last-minute issues.

A final word of advice: don’t go it alone. Family, friends and neighbors can all provide invaluable help, and so can we! Downsizing need not be a dilemma; in fact, it’s a necessary step closer to an unencumbered home and a positive new life.