boxes for moving

Downsizing Tips for a Stress-Free Move to Assisted Living


Deciding where and when to start.

Determining what’s really necessary to keep–and what to donate or throw away.

Figuring out how to best preserve breakable or sentimental items.

Moving homes has the potential to be an overwhelming and stressful task, regardless of what age you are.

Once a senior and his or her family make the decision to move to an assisted living community, downsizing is the first step in making the move.

Fortunately, there is a way to go through this process with minimized stress.

With our years of experience assisting residents and their families, we have a few suggestions to minimize stress and make the process of downsizing a relatively positive one.

Read on to discover helpful tips and advice to help a loved one in your life downsize before moving to an assisted living community.

Start Early.

First things first–procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to start the downsizing and packing process will only add unnecessary stress.

Instead, start as early as possible and map out a timeline of what you want to accomplish by when.

Spacing out and breaking up the process will make things less rushed and easier to mentally digest.

Additionally, your first instinct may be to put everything into storage to deal with at a later date.

However, this can be a waste of money and only put off the inevitable.

Save money and reduce stress–go through the process sooner rather than later.

Be Realistic.

cluttered house(Source)

Paring down belongings can be difficult, especially when certain items are sentimental.

Of course, your loved one should bring along certain family heirlooms and other special and treasured items.

However, the more things your parent tries to fit into a smaller living space, the more cluttered and potentially dangerous it can be.

It’s time for you and your parent to get really honest about what will be necessary while living in an assisted living community.

As a suggestion, try to sort belongings based on whether they will be…

  • Needed on a daily basis in your parent’s new home.
  • Donated to a local thrift store or shelter.
  • Passed on to family members and younger generations.
  • If needed, placed into storage.

By paring down belongings, your parent will be able to…

  • Fully enjoy the items that he or she keeps.
  • Locate possessions more safely and easily.
  • Let go of additional items that could be both mental and physical clutter.

Offer Emotional Support.


Downsizing a home isn’t only physically exhausting–it has the potential to be emotionally taxing as well.

As your parent makes the transition to assisted living, he or she will need you to be as supportive and sensitive as possible.

Though your patience may be tested, remember that if you remain positive, the more likely your parent will, too.

While you spend your days sorting through belongings with your mother or father, talk to them about the exciting aspects of making the move to an assisted living community.

From the range of exciting social activities to the greater ease in performing activities of daily living, keep your mother and father engaged and looking forward to their new home!

Another way to get your loved one excited about the positive aspects of making the move to assisted living is to set up a tour of the community.

Contact The Ashford on Broad, The Ashford of Mt. Washington, or The Ashford at Sturbridge (opening in fall 2018) today to set up a tour of our wonderful communities.