The Senior Citizen’s Guide to Moving - Wesbury Retirement Community

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The Senior Citizen’s Guide to Moving

At some point older adults typically make a move to simplify their retirement lifestyle or meet changing needs. Downsizing can be stressful, but knowing when and where to start can ease much of the anxiety. The key is to start early and develop a plan.

Here Are Some Tips to Help You Downsize Like a Pro:

Start small

Start with things that you’ve been considering getting rid of. Throw away or donate things that have little emotional attachment and work your way to more important items. If you start in your laundry room or linen closet you will ease into the process and get used to letting go of things.

Eliminate whole rooms

If you are moving from a four bedroom to a two bedroom house, eliminate the stuff in the extra rooms. Almost everything in those spaces will need to go, so it should be easier to decide. Pick out the things you do want and pass down, sell, donate or toss the rest.

Toss duplicate items

If you have more than one of anything, pick one and get rid of the other. You will find that spaces like the kitchen have duplicate items you have accumulated over the years. Let go of the extra
ones and watch your clutter disappear!

Reduce your collections

If you have collections it can be tough to get rid of them. Remember that in your new home with less space collections can end up as clutter. Keep your favorites and take pictures of the rest to remember your treasures.

Make yes or no piles—no maybes

Often times a “maybe” becomes a “keep”. If you’re really serious about downsizing then you will need to be efficient about letting things go.

Make money off unwanted items

You can sell things you don’t want on Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, a local consignment shop or yard sale. If there are items that might be worth money, have them appraised. Price your items to sell. You never know—you might get a little extra money towards your retirement!

Pass down special items

There will undoubtedly be valuable or sentimental items that will not fit in your new home. Pass these down to younger relatives who might have more space. It’s never too early to start giving gifts. Ask your relatives what they want!

Allow yourself time to reminisce

While you don’t want to drag this process out, you also should allow yourself a reasonable amount of time to think about the memories some items dredge up. It’s OK to pause and reminisce, then let go and get the job done.

Hire a moving company

Professional movers have the equipment and skills to move your items safely. Some offer packing services. Do your research, compare prices and hire a company that has a good reputation several weeks in advance.


Start early and pack slowly so you don’t get overwhelmed. Break packing into smaller tasks to make it more manageable, like a drawer or closet. Go room to room. Label your boxes so you know what they contain. Keep all pathways clear so you can easily move about your home and avoid trip hazards.

Take pictures of things that you may need to remember

Things like the cord setup behind your entertainment center or the way your rooms are decorated so you can set up equipment properly or arrange your new home to look similar.

Pack a suitcase of daily essentials and keep it accessible

Think about what items you need. Pack toiletries, medications, a few pairs of clothes and shoes, a set of bed linens, essential utensils and shower items so you feel comfortable in your new home.

Get connected in your new location

If you haven’t moved far this will be easy. If you’ve moved to a new area it will take more effort. Reach out to your loved ones and encourage them to visit. Make new friends with like-minded people through joining a church, civic, arts or cultural organization or at the local senior center.

As long as you stay connected in your new community there is no reason you shouldn’t love your new home just as much as your old one. Choose a location that makes sense, plan ahead of time and ask for help when you need it. You may be only a few steps away from a new beginning!

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