The Ultimate Retirement Living Moving Checklist for Seniors
You’ve made the big decision to move into a retirement home. Though it’s very exciting to embark on this new part of your life, it can also be a bit overwhelming. Moving to any new place requires a lot of planning, packing and keeping track of important tasks. Not to mention, you may be experiencing bittersweet emotions that come along with such a big change.
Leading up to your move, you’ll also need to decide what belongings you want to bring with you to your new home. Downsizing can make your transition much more seamless. We’ve compiled a downsizing checklist for seniors that will help you stay organized and focus on making new memories.
Moving Checklist for Seniors
Whether you’re hiring a reputable moving company or having your friends and family help you pack, start with the essentials. Give yourself a head start with a checklist for moving to a retirement home:
- Medication: Before you move, you’ll want to visit your doctor to get all your prescriptions filled. It’s also a good idea to stock up on over-the-counter medication.
- Assistive devices: These include eyeglasses, hearing aids, walkers, canes, wheelchairs, mobility aids, electronic gadgets, shower chairs and medication reminders.
- Clothing: Pack according to the climate of your retirement community. Remember to bring shirts, pants, jackets, underwear, socks, pajamas, slippers, swimsuits, shoes, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves and accessories.
- Legal and financial documentation: Pack your birth certificate, insurance policies, car information, bank information, contact information of loved ones and doctors, tax returns, trusts or wills, Social Security and Medicare cards, and passport.
- Valuables: Bring your jewelry, family heirlooms and electronics.
- Toiletries: Toiletries include shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, lotion, hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, bathing wipes, washcloths, razors, dental care items, perfume or cologne, and nail clippers.
- Keepsakes: Pack keepsakes like pictures, photo albums and other sentimental tokens.
- Furniture: Necessary furniture items include a bed, dresser, sofa, tables, chairs, recliners, lamps and desk. Certain retirement homes may provide furniture for residents, so make sure to clarify what you should pack. You can also bring appliances your retirement home may not have, such as a toaster, crockpot, kettle, cookware, silverware and glassware.
- Entertainment: Consider whether you want to bring televisions, radios, tablets, computers, chargers, hobby supplies, puzzles, headphones, books or games.
- Outdoor items: Outdoor equipment includes landscaping equipment, golf cart, bicycle, lawn mower, gardening tools, outdoor grill and patio furniture. You may not need all of these items in your new home.
Downsizing Tips for Seniors
Downsizing your belongings can be difficult, especially if you’ve lived in your previous home for decades. However, donating unwanted items can help you arrive at your retirement home with a fresh, positive mindset. It also helps you eliminate unnecessary clutter to make organizing and cleaning your new space easier. Follow these tips for downsizing for seniors:
1. Ask for Assistance
Ask your family, friends or neighbors to assist you in decluttering your home in the months or weeks leading up to your move. This will make the process go by much faster. Additionally, if you’re decluttering by yourself, you’re much more likely to hold onto items you probably don’t need or use.
Your loved ones will be able to help you determine what items are really essential or sentimental and what items you can do without. To streamline the process, separate your decluttering into four boxes: keep, trash, donate and sell.
2. Consider Your New Space
If you’re moving to a retirement home that’s smaller than your previous residence, you’ll need to consider where everything will go. Your retirement home will provide you with an independent living floor plan so you can create a comfortable and functional living area.
Having someone measure your furniture to ensure it can fit in the new space can save a lot of time and effort. You’ll also need to take your kitchen, closet and linen storage into account. Multifunctional furniture can provide extra storage and keep pathways clear for those who use mobility devices.
3. Avoid Duplicates
Try to avoid bringing any duplicates that you really don’t need. For example, you may have several sets of dishes in your kitchen that you’ve collected over the years. If you’re living alone or with a spouse, it won’t be necessary to bring 15 plates. The same concept applies to your wardrobe and linens. An extra set of towels and blankets, for example, is perfectly acceptable. However, look for opportunities to get rid of excessive items, such as having three slow cookers that perform the same function.
4. Use the 90-Day or 6-Month Rule
We tend to hold onto more items than necessary for many reasons, including sentimental value or fear that we might need them “one day.” This mindset often slows down the packing process and may result in piles of boxes collecting dust in your new retirement home.
As a rule of thumb, use the 90-day or six-month decluttering rule. If you haven’t used or worn the item in the last 90 days and don’t think you will in the next 90 days, it’s best to sell or donate it. For those who have a much harder time getting rid of belongings, try the six-month rule. If you haven’t used or worn the item in the last six months, you can probably part with it.
Tips for Seniors Moving Into a Retirement Home
If you or your loved one is moving into a continuing care retirement community, keep these tips in mind:
- Start early: Moving is understandably time-consuming. The sooner you begin downsizing and packing, the better! Leaving it all until the last minute can add unnecessary stress. Give yourself time to tackle decluttering one room at a time.
- Reach out: If you’re struggling to handle the move yourself or have limited help, consider hiring a senior living moving specialist. They will help with the entire move and ensure you’re set up in your new home for a stress-free experience.
- Visit your new home: Visiting your retirement facility before you move in will help you visualize your future home. Do a few walk-throughs and write down what items will go in each room.
- Take pictures: A camera will come in handy for several reasons during your move. If you’re having a hard time parting with some items, taking a picture will bring back fond memories. You can also take pictures of your current home before you pack up your belongings. This will make it easier to set up a familiar layout in your new home, which can help you feel more comfortable once you move.
- Pack a first night bag: On the day of the move, it’s normal to feel exhausted from all the activity and excitement. Pack a bag with the essentials you need for your very first night so you don’t have to rifle through every suitcase and box to find what you need. The bag should include medications, toiletries, sleepwear and paperwork.
- Get excited about your new journey: Moving into a new place often creates many emotions and reminiscing. Take time to reflect on your wonderful memories in your previous home, but don’t forget to look forward to your new chapter. Whether you want to buy a nice decor item for your new home or host a welcome party, do something to make you feel eager to move in.
Enjoy Retirement Living at Elm Terrace Gardens
No matter the reason for your move to a retirement living community, the moving process doesn’t have to be stressful. At Elm Terrace Gardens, we know how important it is to feel at home in retirement living. We provide high-quality, continuing care while supporting your independence.
Our Life Plan community, located near the lively downtown area of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, has all the amenities and attractions you need to get the most out of your retirement. We can’t wait for you to experience our social events, entertaining activities and convenient services right outside your door. Contact us online today or call us at 215-361-5600.Posted in: