The Ultimate Downsizing Checklist for Seniors

When you’re moving into a senior living apartment, you’ll likely need to downsize so you can bring the items you need and want without having extra items taking up space. Downsizing can be a liberating and practical step when you’re looking to simplify your life – in fact, having a decluttered space is linked to boosting your mood, improving physical health, and relieving anxiety.

Our downsizing checklist for seniors can guide you through the process. Following it step by step can help you navigate each stage with as little stress as possible. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to move into your new senior living apartment.

1. Start Early

Begin well in advance to allow for a gradual transition, reducing stress and rushed decisions.

2. Develop a Plan and Timeline

Set realistic goals throughout your timeline to go through your belongings and organize for your move.  

older woman downsizing to move to a senior living community

3. Organize Important Information

When you’re in the downsizing process and moving items, it’s easy for important documents and belongings to be misplaced. Make your first step to collect these items first and put them in a safe area where they won’t be lost.

  • Banking information
  • Passport
  • Contact information for your doctors and what they do
  • Titles, deeds, insurance policies
  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Tax Information
  • Trusts, Wills, or other legal documents

If you’re keeping these items in your house, place them in a fireproof safe where they’ll stay secure.

4. Sort by Category

Tackle one category at a time (e.g., clothing, books, kitchenware) to maintain focus and organization.

5. Implement the “Joy” and “One-Year Use” Rules

Determine what items are essential, sentimental, or redundant. Aim to create a comfortable, clutter-free environment. If you’re unsure of what to do with some items, take a moment to think if this item brings you joy or if you’ve used it in the last year.

6. Prioritize Sentimental Items

Keep meaningful mementos, family heirlooms, and cherished memories that bring you joy and comfort.

7. Consider Functionality

Opt for multi-purpose furniture and practical items that maximize how you use the space.

8. Plan New Layout

You can assess your new space and create a layout in your house. If you map out the floor plan with tape, you can experiment with possible layouts and the best configuration to fit your belongings.

9. Digitize Photos and Documents

Preserve memories by scanning old photos and important documents, reducing physical clutter.

10. Donate or Gift Unwanted Items

Share possessions with family, friends, or charitable organizations to give them a new purpose.

11. Sell Valuable Items

Hold a garage sale, consider consignment, or use online platforms to sell valuable pieces.

12. Dispose Responsibly

Recycle, donate, or properly dispose of items that can’t be repurposed.

moving company packing up a home

13. Arrange for Professional Help

Consider hiring a downsizing expert, organizer, or estate sales professional for guidance and support.

14. Plan for the Move

Schedule movers, notify relevant parties, and ensure utilities are set up in your new home.

15. Seek Emotional Support

Downsizing can be emotional. Lean on family, friends, or support groups for understanding and encouragement.

By following this comprehensive checklist, you can navigate the downsizing process smoothly, creating a personalized, clutter-free environment that enhances your overall well-being and quality of life.

The Benefits of Rightsizing

You may stop thinking of your process as downsizing and instead start thinking of it as “rightsizing.” This is the process of finding a living space that aligns perfectly with your current needs and lifestyle.

The benefits of rightsizing include having a sense of liberation from excess belongings and unused space. By streamlining your living environment, you can focus on what truly matters, leading to reduced stress and improved mental well-being.

Rightsizing also facilitates easier mobility, as well as increased accessibility and safety.

On The Move Program at The Merion

At The Merion, we provide moving services for new residents to ensure their transition to living in our community is as smooth as possible.

Our On The Move consultant will take care of the details and provide you with 10-hour moving services for free.

Here’s how the On the Move Program works:

Personalized Planning

Our expert consultant will visit your current home, take measurements, and create a tailored plan just for you.

Stress-Free Moving

We’ll finalize your floor plan and guide you through each step, providing the support you need for a worry-free move.

Customized Furniture Placement

Your consultant will assist in arranging your furniture in your new space, ensuring a comfortable and functional layout.

Efficient Downsizing

Together, we’ll decide what to keep, sell, or donate, making the rightsizing process simple and stress-free.

Preserving Sentimental Items

We’ll help identify and safeguard your most cherished belongings, ensuring they find their special place in your new home.

Trusted Service Providers

Need reliable movers or other services? We’ve got you covered with our network of trusted providers.

Smooth Transition

On moving day, our team will be there to direct your movers and ensure everything is placed exactly where it belongs.

Change of Address Assistance

We’ll even take care of your change-of-address forms, making sure you don’t miss a beat.

With our On The Move program, you can look forward to a stress-free and enjoyable transition to The Merion. Leave the details to us, and start your next chapter with confidence.

Amenities and Features at The Merion

With the help of the On The Move program, you’ll be moved into The Merion in no time. You can take advantage of all the great amenities and beautiful features of our community in Evanston, IL.

You can enjoy the following:

  • Second Floor Rooftop Terrace: A serene outdoor space for relaxation and socializing, providing a picturesque view of the surroundings.
  • Balconies and Hardwood Floors: Many apartments boast private balconies, while all feature elegant hardwood floors, adding a touch of luxury to each living space.
  • Proximity to the Lakefront: Enjoy the scenic beauty and recreational opportunities offered by the nearby lakefront area, providing a serene escape for residents.
  • Storage: The option to rent storage space for items like holiday decorations ensures a clutter-free living space throughout the year.
  • Game Room: A dedicated area for entertainment and recreation, allowing residents to enjoy various indoor games and activities.
  • Indoor Pool and Workout Room: You can focus on fitness in our indoor pool and workout room.
  • Furnished Apartment Option: For added convenience, residents have the choice to opt for a fully furnished apartment, making the moving process hassle-free and ensuring immediate comfort and style.

These features at The Merion contribute to a comfortable, upscale, and enjoyable living experience, enhancing your overall quality of life.

Rightsized Retirement at The Merion

Find your perfect residence at The Merion. Call us at ​847-250-0667 for a tour of our beautiful community and see one of our various floor plans for yourself.