Downsizing to Assisted Living

Kim Kubsch

Moving into a senior venue for independent or assisted living can be a big shock to your lifestyle, as so many aspects will change. Don’t underestimate the time and energy required to downsize before you move. You have a lifetime of accumulated stuff to go through. It needs to get done at some point anyway, so it might as well be done now so you don’t pay to move it or pay to store it. By doing it now, you won’t burden your family with it down the road.

Where to start? Focus on the eight things below that you won’t need anymore, and eliminate these items before moving.

Dining and Entertaining

Let someone else take on family dinners, and donate your large dining table, most entertaining supplies, and extra sets of dishes and silverware. Replace the large dining table with a maximum 42-inch round table. You only need enough for one or two people, plus maybe a few friends to play cards, do puzzles, or do crafts.

Bulky Furniture

There is no space for bulky furniture anymore. Bring or purchase smaller furniture that fits in the space. Safe and easy movement throughout the smaller floor plan is a priority.

Rugs and Other Safety Concerns

Anything that can be a trip hazard should be left behind. Even if you don’t have mobility issues yet, why invite the chance of tripping. Avoid rugs, and leave plenty of space to maneuver. Get rid of step stools and furniture that require you to climb or kneel down to use.

Anything Already Provided for You

You won’t need household maintenance, lawn care items, or most of your tools. With meal plans, you don’t need most of your food and cooking supplies. Other services might include an exercise room, music room, crafting space, game room with puzzles, or party room for entertaining. Confirm the amenities to decide what you really need.

Unsentimental Décor

In a small space, choose only the things you love and limit what you bring, or the space will just seem cluttered.

Holiday Decorations

Limit to something for your door and countertop or table.

Other People’s Things

Have a chat with your kids and friends to give them a reasonable deadline to collect their stuff. They may not want those sentimental childhood mementos you’ve been holding onto for them. Save space by taking a photo and letting the physical item go.

Important Papers

If possible, store important papers and valuable belongings with a trusted family member or in a safe deposit box. Community staff will be in and out of your apartment, so secure those items. If you decide on a safe deposit box, make sure the executor of your estate or power of attorney is aware so that the fee is consistently paid.

Don’t put excess items in a storage unit with the intention that you’ll go through it later—you probably won’t.

Remember to focus on what is important to you for helping you lead your new life and what makes you feel at home. Downsizing is my passion and my business. I am here to plan and assist you in this journey!

Stay tuned for monthly articles about decluttering, downsizing, organizing, making transitions, and clearing of estates.

Call me at 480-720-8566 to learn about my free 30-minute consultation or to speak to your group or event. Or reach me by email at [email protected]. My website is