Tips for Downsizing and Moving into a Senior Community

You’ve done your research and found the perfect community to call home for yourself or loved one; however now you need to downsize and decide what should come with you. Deciding what to do with a lifetime of belongings can be a stressful time as most people come from a single family home and now need to decide what they’d like to bring with them to their new Assisted Care or Supported Independent Living apartment.

Capture 0170Here are some tips to help make the transition easy on you and/or your parent:

1. Ask for the dimensions of the new apartment or measure the new space.

This will help you decide which pieces of furniture will work best in the new space. Bringing a huge china cabinet or large couch isn’t the best idea to make the most of the new smaller space. It’s important to bring furniture and pictures to make the new apartment feel as comfortable and homey as possible; however you don’t want to pack so much into the space that rugs or furniture may become a trip hazard and are difficult to maneuver around. If you’re moving your parents, it’s very important to make them part of this process so you know what items they’d like to see in the new space. Some people don’t want to leave anything behind so it may be necessary to have a conversation about priorities. Your parents may also have important documents or objects hidden that you want to make sure to safeguard. 

2. Let your parents know you will take care of items not being moved into their new apartment.

Many people finance their long term care by selling their home.  If your parents are selling their house, make sure you have a plan for the items that will not be moving into the new apartment so your parents are at ease and have a say about what will happen to their belongings.  Pillsbury Senior Communities does have limited storage space available on a first come, first serve basis free of charge to be able to store winter/summer wardrobes, pictures, etc. however most items will need to be sold, donated or stored in another location. 

3. If possible, involve other family members, friends, and professional movers.

This can be a lot for one person to take charge of and many items in the home may have sentimental value to you and your family. Siblings, aunts, cousins, etc. may be able to help with the move and see if there is anything special they’d like to keep.

Capture04244. Estate sale

Estate sales are very popular in Vermont and often draw a big crowd. There are many agencies which will organize and run the estate sale for you in exchange for a percentage of the sales.  Any items left behind at the end of the sale are often donated to charity. Estate sales are a great way to quickly downsize items that your parent will no longer need and make some extra money.

5. Decorating to ease the transition

Decorating the apartment so the space looks welcoming and familiar will help minimize confusion and create a sense of comfort.  Going through a transition period is very common not only for the person moving into Assisted Care, but also for you. Having items that are in familiar locations helps minimize the transition. 

If you are moving into an Independent Apartment, you may decide to paint the walls a completely different color and buy new furnishings for your new apartment. This may be a great time to be able to decorate your new space how you always wanted to remodel your living room or bedroom at your previous residence. Our maintenance staff is available to help hang pictures and for a minimal charge, paint the walls for you.

Our Marketing staff is always available to help with the transition by making suggestions as to the best use of the new space and to make sure the new apartment has clear walking paths and is free of trip hazards. Many people like to take a look at how existing residents decorate their rooms to help with inspiration.
Harborview bedroom

Pillsbury is not just a residence- it's home."” – Kathy Kort- retired South Burlington teacher and Huntington resident
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