Moving can be difficult, no matter your age or circumstance. But, paring down a lifetime of belongings can be especially stressful — on everyone. Organization and preparation can make the process easier. Follow these tips to help you keep it all together.

Start early. You don’t have to wait until you’ve selected the senior or assisted living community.  Regardless of the floorplan of the new apartment, you know you must streamline. Give yourself, your family, and especially your loved one the most time possible to go through and sort their belongings.

Decide what they will be able to take and which items to keep in the family. Carefully decide what will need to be disposed of, whether it’s donating books to a local library or selling furniture in a consignment shop.

Think well ahead about freezer and pantry food. Start using items with shorter expiration dates first, to avoid food waste. If you have too many items, consider donating them to a local food pantry.

Set a timetable. Dedicate specific days to sorting, packing, moving and other things you need to accomplish, from repairs and estate sales to selling or renting the house.

Have a move strategy. Pick one area to start with, such as the spare bedroom or the filing cabinets, and systematically go through each room, leaving bigger spaces such as the garage for later. To avoid overwhelming your loved one, spend only a couple hours at a time on move tasks. Remember that the sorting process will bring up memories and emotions, so it’s best not to rush it. 

Figure out a sorting system that works for you, whether it’s color-coded sticky notes or separate containers for items your loved one wants to keep and things to sell, donate, recycle and trash.

Avoid duplication.  In most senior living communities, storage space will be limited, so prioritize items that will be used frequently. Don’t keep duplicates. It’s a good rule of thumb to dispose of items your loved one hasn’t used in more than a year.  

Keep what’s meaningful.  Be deliberate when downsizing but make sure to keep special mementos, family photos, art pieces and other keepsakes. They can help make the new place feel like home.

Outsource and recruit. Don’t try to do it alone. Enroll family and friends to assist with sorting and organizing. If you’re able, you may consider engaging an experienced professional senior move manager who can help not only with the physical but also emotional aspects of the relocation, including your own. Considering senior or assisted living for a loved one?  Contact us today for more information or schedule a visit.

Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services

  • On the Pauline Sterne Wolff Campus
  • 6200 North Braeswood Blvd.
    Houston, Texas 77074
  • Telephone: 713-778-5700
  • Fax: 713-995-6004