If you or a loved one are considering a move to an assisted living community, it can be an overwhelming time. Not only may you be wondering what is ahead for you, how you’ll adjust to your new surroundings or how you’ll make friends, but you may be wondering how you’ll prepare your home for a move to assisted living. While many people think they will be able to take a lot of their belongings with them, it’s not likely. In fact, you may be able to take some smaller pieces of furniture and some decor along, but the rest likely isn’t going to fit. Fortunately, you won’t need too many of your old belongings, because you’ll be far too busy enjoying everything your assisted living community has to offer.

According to Cynthia Villalovoz, Family Advisor at Astoria Senior Living at Oakdale, an assisted living and memory care community in Oakdale, CA, downsizing is often necessary when moving to assisted living. “Although many of us will admit we have more belongings than we really need, it’s still not easy to think about letting go of our possessions,” says Cynthia, “especially when we have certain possessions that are closely linked to our identity and our pasts. While it’s not easy to downsize, it is crucial to the process, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult or painstaking.”

When preparing to downsize, try to look at it in a positive way. This can help you to dread the process less and have more fun, instead. Get some friends and loved ones together, share stories and memories, see if you have any items they might love or simply share a glass of wine and get to work. This time is all about celebrating you and your new chapter in life – a new chapter with more living and less stuff!

A step-by-step guide to making downsizing less overwhelming

To make downsizing more simple and much less overwhelming, try some of the following tips.

  • Make a plan. When beginning to downsize, be sure to break down the tasks and set a goal. Is there a time you’d like each room to be completed by? When are you moving into your assisted living community? Place these events on a calendar and set goals with dates. If you have family or friends helping you, delegate some of the tasks and plan who will help do what.
  • Put together a list. Write down what items you would like to bring to your new home from memory. Don’t walk around your house and begin pulling things out of closets or drawers. If you can’t think of these items right away, chances are that you won’t miss them when they’re gone.
  • Start with anything unsentimental. It’s often easiest to begin placing items in piles of throw-away, give-away or keep when the items are unsentimental. Begin in the kitchen or the garage, as you aren’t likely to need many items from in those rooms. Once all the basics are out of the way, then begin tackling some of the more sentimental items.
  • Consider what each item’s purpose is. When downsizing, it’s important to ask yourself if the item you are considering keeping brings you joy or has a purpose. If it doesn’t bring you joy or if it doesn’t serve a purpose to you now, it likely won’t in your new home either. Give these items away or sell them.
  • Place some items in storage for a little while. If there are a few items that you are unsure if you’ll need or not, consider placing them in storage or asking someone to hang on to them for you. While you may not need every item you plan to put in storage, it’s better than needing it and not having it. If after some time, you realize you don’t need what you have in storage, then consider giving them away or selling them.
  • Don’t throw good items away. When downsizing, you may be tempted to throw things away that you don’t need. It’s important to realize that giving these items away or donating them to people who will appreciate them can be very rewarding. You can also sell some and put the money towards new decor for your apartment, dinners with new friends in the local community or for other engaging experiences.
  • Be sure to go through your new home often. It can often help you visualize the space you have and what items will fit into your new home if you visit often. This can also give you a more realistic view of what items you will need to continue downsizing and what items are truly important to bring.

For more information about making downsizing easier or to talk to one of our expert team members about what you may need to bring along to your new assisted living community, call us today at 209•395•0900. We’d be happy to help you on your journey to a lifestyle with less clutter and more opportunity.

Be inspired to live a vibrant lifestyle.

Offering supportive assisted living and memory care, Astoria Senior Living at Oakdale is Oakdale’s only assisted living residence and one of the few memory care communities in the area to offer a secure neighborhood. Located in one of the friendliest small towns in California, near the Sierra Nevada foothills and Yosemite National Park, Oakdale was the perfect area to place our vibrant, life-enriching and supportive community.

At Astoria Senior Living at Oakdale, we provide assisted living and memory care set in an active, engaging environment that not only meets our residents’ needs but makes them, as well as their families, feel more at home. Although we believe our gorgeous community is a plus, we truly believe it’s our programming and caring, dedicated staff that makes Oakdale home. With our person-centered approach to care, our residents experience days full of joy and meaning. Whether we are learning each resident’s life story, their values, preferences and their likes and dislikes, we can easily customize care and make meaningful connections that help to provide our residents with the inspiration to make the most of each day.

Our LifeCycles wellness programming encourages residents to connect, engage and enjoy each day. Designed to focus on the four dimensions of wellness: physical, social, spiritual and intellectual, LifeCycles programming engages residents, which allows them to connect and embrace their sense of adventure. Through our daily activities and routines, which can include daily bus rides, cookouts, trips and other special events, the peace of mind of care and the personalized approach of our team, our residents have the tools and care they need to make each day fulfilling, engaging and vibrant. Contact us to learn more today!

Call us at 209•395•0900 for more information or to schedule a personal visit.

Astoria Senior Living is part of the Agemark family of senior living communities.