Downsizing Tips for Seniors

Home » Blog » Downsizing Tips for Seniors
Many stacked moving boxes in a room
The Shores of Lake Phalen

A move into a senior living facility offers a multitude of exciting opportunities. There’s the chance to meet new friends, the promise of fresh surroundings to explore, and the possibility of discovering novel activities. The move also provides an ideal opportunity to let go of stuff you no longer need so that you can move forward with less clutter. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff as you begin the process of packing up your possessions? Implementing these downsizing tips for seniors can help.

Handy Downsizing Tips for Seniors

Downsizing offers an opportunity to evaluate your priorities and find new ways to interact with your memories. It also lets you highlight what is truly important to you as you design your new space. You may discover that getting rid of things that you no longer want or need is surprisingly freeing – and it doesn’t just benefit you. Whether you decide to donate, sell, or make gifts of your items, redistributing them means that your discarded items can find new homes with people who will appreciate them.

How should you go about downsizing? It’s a big job, but using these downsizing tips for seniors can make the process of paring down your possessions easier.

Start Early

Downsizing requires a lot of mental, emotional, and physical energy. Sorting through a lifetime of possessions is sure to stir up lots of memories and emotions. Then, there’s the matter of actually moving objects around as you categorize, pack, and distribute your possessions. With so much to do, you don’t want to be in a rush. To minimize the stress and increase the odds of a smooth transition, allow yourself plenty of time. Start the task of downsizing well before the day that you actually have to move.

Be Realistic

If you’re downsizing, then you’re going to have less space. Be realistic about how much space you’ll have at your new place. Think carefully about what you’ll actually use, what truly matters to you, and how much space you’ll have for both essentials and nonessentials.

Keep Necessities Organized

Any move can be chaotic. A little organization is crucial if you want to avoid losing important paperwork and other necessities. Designate a box or location where all the important stuff will be placed so that you can keep it together and find it quickly when you need it.

Have a Strategy

When you’re downsizing, you’ll need a strategy. You might decide to designate separate areas for items that you’ll save, toss, donate, sell, or give to someone. Alternately, you might opt to pack up what you want first and sort out the rest later. Some people prefer to tackle one room at a time. Others start by weeding through items not currently in use, like holiday decorations and out-of-season clothing. Decide on a strategy that suits you and use it to reach your goal.

Ask for Help

Asking for help when you’re moving to a new place is fairly common, so there’s no reason to feel like you have to tackle downsizing alone. Enlisting the aid of family and friends can speed up your progress and make the experience more enjoyable.

Be Creative

Moving to a smaller home may mean that you have less space for bulky mementos, but it doesn’t mean that you have to lose touch with the things that matter to you. Instead, get creative about how you keep your memories close. Do you have a collection that you’ve spent a lifetime accumulating? One where every piece tells a story that’s dear to your heart? Consider taking photos of your collection before thinning it out to a few favorite items. Are you the family historian who keeps albums brimming with cherished family photographs? Digitize photos so that you can have the images at your fingertips without having to store countless albums.

Prepare for a Fresh Start

If packing everything up is a big job, then unpacking it won’t be a small one. To make the transition easier, prepare for a fresh start by putting together a first-day box that contains the items that you’re likely to need immediately at your new place. Of all our downsizing tips for seniors, this is perhaps the easiest task to perform, and it will prove immensely helpful during your move.


Although moving can be stressful, downsizing offers a great opportunity for a fresh start.

Are you looking for a new place to put down roots? Settling into one of the apartments at The Shores of Lake Phalen in Maplewood, Minnesota, allows you to maintain an care-free lifestyle without the worries of household maintenance. Nestled into a gorgeous wooded setting between two lakes, this senior living community offers apartment-style housing in a resort atmosphere. Residents enjoy numerous health and safety amenities, fun events and activities, a friendly and accommodating staff, and so much more. To learn more about our thriving community and the many amenities our residents enjoy, contact us today and schedule a free tour. We look forward to hearing from you!