For many people, the hardest part about moving to assisted living is figuring out what to take with them and what to leave behind. If you’ve been living in one home for many years, you know how easy it is for things — from music boxes, to Little League jerseys, to Christmas decorations — to accumulate.
Determining How Much Space You'll Have in a Retirement Community
Making the big move to a retirement village can be tough, especially if you're moving to a smaller space than you're used to, which is often the case. Leaving home is one of the most common fears for the elderly. But once you've determined if you're living in independent living or assisted living and picked out which apartment is right for you, you can better plan for your move and understand how much stuff you can reasonably bring with you.
Get a Copy of the Retirement Community Floor Plan
One of the biggest issues with moving to assisted living is downsizing all the stuff which has been accumulated through the years. Before you start stressing about what you can’t take with you, figure out what you can bring along. The first step should be to get a copy of the floor plan for your apartment or space, complete with measurements.
Once you have the floor plan, you can decide what will fit. You might be surprised to discover you can take more furniture and personal items than you realized.
At Village Green Retirement Campus there are two types of independent living options to choose from: apartments and cottages. Apartments consist of studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartment homes that range from 450 square feet to 800 square feet.
Cottages are free standing houses with attached garages and are two or three bedroom homes that range from 1,500 square feet to 2,500 square feet. The more space you have in your new place, the more belongings you'll be able to move with you to your new home.
Assisted living at Village Green is strictly apartments and includes a variety of floor plans such as studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. Apartments have a deck or patio to enjoy the outdoors and plenty of closet space to store items. The assisted living apartments range in size from 450 to 800 square feet.
How to Prioritize and Sort Your Items
It's likely that you won't be able to keep everything if you're downsizing to a retirement community. So how do you choose what to take with you and what to leave behind? There are several methods to prioritizing the items in your life and helping you determine what to bring and what to leave.
This method is ideal if you are moving into a retirement community, because you essentially pack all of your items, move them to your new place and then only unpack the items you intend on using. You'll have boxes stacked for about three months, but once you hit the three-month mark, you will have unpacked all of the things you actually use, and can simply get rid of the leftover items in the boxes.
The title speaks for itself in this prioritizing method. Gather four boxes in a room and label them with "put away", "give away", "throw away", and "undecided". Then go through the room and place any clutter in the box it belongs in. This method is useful if you are an indecisive person, giving you more time to think about the items in the undecided box.
In this decluttering method, you collect all of your belongings of a certain category and dump them in a common place. Then you hold each item individually and decide what to keep based on what brings you joy. Everything that does not spark joy for you is then left behind.
What to Do with Your Belongings When Moving to A Senior Community
Many things can be donated to charity, which will give you a good feeling about your belongings being enjoyed by someone new. Clothing that you no longer wear but is in good shape is always in demand. Furniture and kitchen items are also needed. You will find various local organizations that accept donations. If you don’t know where to donate your gently used items and those in good condition, you can check with local senior organizations.
You can host a garage sale. You’d be surprised at the stuff people will buy for a bargain. Not only can you make a little money, but you can use this opportunity to say goodbye to your neighbors. A sale is a lot of work, so you might want to enlist help.
If a garage sale is more than you can handle, you still have other options for selling your stuff. Contact an auction house or resale shop. Some of these places will pay you outright for your items while others will accept them on consignment. They receive a percentage of the selling price as their fee.
Sometimes the issue isn’t with lack of space but lack of purpose. Where you’re moving, you may not need certain items. Think outside the box on a new way to use your belongings. If you’re crafty, old clothing you no longer wear or items you kept from your children could be made into quilts or pillows. You can go online and find all kinds of ideas on Pinterest about how to re-purpose items to make them useful again.
One of the first things you may want to consider is to ask family and close friends if there are items they want to take. There may be a painting or piece of furniture that has special meaning for them. They will want to keep it as a reminder of the good times they had with you in your home in the past. You’ll be glad to know the item found a home where it will continue to be appreciated.
Senior Moving Companies in Federal Way, WA
Sometimes, when it comes down to it, extra help is needed. Here is a short list of Federal Way moving companies that could make the transition to retirement community living that much easier.
Two Men and a Moving Van
"Two Men And A Moving Van LLC is a family-owned company, established in 2008. We started our business with two men and a van providing small moving services in the Greater Federal Way and Tacoma areas. Today the company provides high-quality moving and packing services at affordable prices using trucks of various sizes. We proudly operate in the Greater Seattle area as well." - Two Men and a Moving Van
Olympic Moving & Storage
"Olympic Moving & Storage offers a wide range of packing and crating services, from crating a single item, to packing a complete house, to an entire warehouse or manufacturing plant pack out. It all depends on the specific needs of our customers." - Olympic Moving & Storage
Seattle's Best Moving & Delivery LLC
"We're a Seattle-based, moving company. Whether you’re moving your household or your office, moving your stuff across town or across the state—we can help! No job is too big or small for our friendly crew. We provide quick moving quotes, pro moving advice, labor service, furniture delivery, removal of furniture, and even Storage in Transit." - Seattle's Best Moving & Delivery LLC