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  • Andrea Garcia

10 Tips to Prepare Your Loved One for Downsizing

Moving a senior loved one out of their Arizona home and into a retirement community or memory care facility can be a challenge for both of you. From the initial conversation to moving day, these tips will help you all prepare for downsizing or rightsizing.

1. Have a conversation with empathy

A home comes with years of memories and an emotional attachment. When discussing the move with your elderly loved ones, listen to their thoughts, give them choices in their new living arrangements, and allow them time to grieve.

2. Imagine life in the new place

What will the new place be like? Consider this a time for rightsizing—creating a life and lifestyle that aligns with their values and needs. They may need different or less furniture to fit the new layout and home maintenance tools may no longer be necessary.

3. Give plenty of time

If possible, don’t rush this move. Give your loved ones several months to deal with the thought of moving and to take a trip down memory lane when going through belongings.

4. Declutter

Going through a lifetime of possessions is a lot of work, but getting rid of unnecessary things will make the move smoother and easier. The Marie Kondo method of only keeping items that spark joy can help your loved ones decide what to keep and what to let go.

5. Sort and organize

A simple way to sort and organize is to create three categories: keep, sell, and donate. Clearly label each box. If there are sentimental items that are no longer needed but hard to part with, suggest gifting them to friends and family that will appreciate them.

6. Don’t add to the clutter

Now is not the time to be buying furniture or decor. And since the new place will have a different layout and different furniture and decor needs, a shopping spree after the move may be a fun way to celebrate.

7. Visit the new place

Ease the transition by taking at least one trip to the new place before the move, if you can. Doing this ahead of time, can make it feel more like home when moving day arrives.

8. Plan the moving day

There are a few options when it comes to the actual move. You can hire movers to do it all for you, load the truck yourself and have someone drive it to your destination, or do it all yourself. But, most importantly, consider the most comfortable way to get your senior loved one to their new home.

9. Set up the new place with familiar things

Adding familiar decor and sentimental belongings will make the new place feel like home. Items that evoke strong, happy memories can be particularly helpful for those moving to a memory care facility.

10. Don’t forget self-care

While you are taking care of your elderly family members, make sure to take care of yourself too. Lean on your friends and family for emotional support. Take care of your health and find ways to manage your stress. This transition may be difficult for you too.

Although it can be an emotional journey for seniors leaving their old home, the new community or facility they are entering will be a better fit for this time in their life. As your Realtor specializing in family transitions, I would love to assist you and your loved ones as you navigate this change.


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