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What to Do with Your Belongings When Moving to a Senior Community

Posted by Kim Salas on Feb 4, 2019 9:04:00 AM

When you move from your home to a senior community, often a lot of downsizing must take place. You may have accumulated years’ worth of stuff if you have owned your home for a long time. One of the biggest challenges for seniors is to know what to do with those items they can’t take with them.



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 and 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 repurpose items to make them useful again.

Give Away

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.

What Not to Do

While these are several ideas of what you can do with your belongings when you move into a senior community, it’s even more important to talk about what you shouldn’t do. Don’t leave everything in your home or put it in storage if you’re selling your house. All this does is leave the job of sorting to someone later on. As you make this transition to a new stage of life, now is the time to deal with your belongings that can’t move with you. It’s a wonderful time to make a new start and dealing with the tangible memories of your old life.

Download the complete guide to moving a loved one into a retirement community

Tags: Federal Way Independent Living, Retirement Living in Federal Way, Senor Living Amenities, Assisted Living Federal Way, Senior Lifestyle, Active Aging Adults

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