Tips for Rightsizing your Space

Apr 16, 2024

Moving to a new place can be very exciting. With a wide array of community-guided activities to choose from and many more nearby, The Admiral at the Lake residents spend their days doing things they enjoy. Admiral residents find that although getting settled does require some time and patience, their new homes turn out to be just the right size for their safety and comfort.


Are you ready to simplify your life? Find out how!     tips to decide which items you can keep, and which you should throw away when downsizing


Rightsizing to a Continuing Care Community

One of the challenges of transitioning from a family home to a continuing care community is deciding which items will help the transitioning family member live comfortably and feel at home. Today we will review some tips that have been proven to help this process go smoothly.

  • Talk It Out – Each of us deserves to be respected and understood. What is most important to your transitioning family member? Devise a strategy that will honor his or her wishes throughout the process.
  • Start Early – It’s never too early to start preparing. Even if a potential move is months or years away, taking proactive steps to eliminate non-essential items is be extremely helpful.
  • Get Help – Asking friends and family members for assistance may be helpful, but sorting through a lifetime of possessions can get quite emotional. Hiring an experienced professional who specializes in assisting continuing care community members is a wise investment.
  • Heirlooms – If Great Grandfather’s pocket watch will eventually be handed down to your grandson, giving it to him as a gift today will allow you to see his surprise and delight, and you will be available to immediately answer any questions he may have.
  • Storage – Is your family home being used as a family storage facility? Asking other family members to collect their things will help you prepare for your move.
  • Measure the Space – Use a floor plan of your new accommodations that is drawn to scale to estimate furniture placement and storage space before sorting through your belongings. Marking closets and cabinets in your family home to reflect the space in your new home will give you a better sense of your available space.
  • Smile – No matter how well adjusted a person is, sorting through a lifetime of possessions will be difficult. Try to keep the mood upbeat, take frequent breaks, and bring lots of snacks and plenty of patience.
  • Small Steps – Tackling one room at a time and spending no more than two hours per session will allow time for transitioning family members to understand and accept some of the tough decisions they will need to make.
  • Yes or No – Whenever possible, ask a question that can be answered with “yes” or “no” to make decision-making easier. For example, “If you take your toaster oven, you won’t need your toaster, right?”
  • Capture the Memories – When a collection of items serves only to remind us of a significant moment in our past, could a photograph or video possibly be used to document the memory instead of these items?
  • Papers – Keep important papers separate from the rest of your belongings. You may need to consult an accountant or lawyer to decide what can be discarded and for how long other papers should be saved.
  • Photographs – Reminiscing over photographs can be very emotional. Involving family members in this process may make it easier because it will be easier to give them to another family member than to choose which ones to keep or discard.
  • Giveaways – Your family, friends, and neighbors can help lighten your load by taking home useful items that you no longer need. Why not host an informal gathering and let them choose from your unwanted items?
  • Donate or Pitch? – While giving things to charity may be rewarding, a resale store needs to be able to sell every item they accept as a donation. Throw away anything that is torn, chipped, cracked, or broken.

The Admiral at the Lake is a continuing care retirement community dedicated to supporting and promoting the personal independence, health and wellness of community members. We avoid using the terms retirement community or senior living, because The Admiral at the Lake encourages a lifestyle that rejects stereotypes of aging. Call 773.433.1801 or click today to get your free information kit.