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Downsizing for a Move To Senior Living [5 Tips]

Apr 21, 2022

If you’ve been hesitant to start the retirement you’ve always dreamed of because you’re nervous about the stresses of downsizing, you’re in luck. Experts say that downsizing into a Continuing Care Retirement Community is easier than you think–and the rewards are absolutely worth the effort! 

Peter Becker Community has invited Specialty Moves by Design CEO, Jill Kearney, to share her expertise on downsizing. As an industry leader and 2-term Board member of the NASMM, Jill has the downsizing process down to a science. 

Still, when she was given 60 days to complete her personal downsizing journey, questions were buzzing through her mind just like they probably are yours. Luckily, she had a team and a plan ready for action! 

Jill’s downsizing tips for your transition into a Continuing Care Retirement Community could jumpstart a vibrant, maintenance-free life full of social engagements, personal growth opportunities, and recreational activities. 

Here are five strategies to get you started:

1. Choose a New Residence that Excites You!

Jill’s first piece of advice is to have a “clear motivation to move.” She says the best way to do that is to “find your new dream home.” The excitement and motivation that stems from this choice will push you through the more tedious or difficult steps in your downsizing process. 

When you know your goal and you have something to look forward to, you can focus on your life ahead instead of the task at hand. 

To foster this excitement, you can glimpse at photos of your future residence online. You can print out your floor plan and imagine how you’ll arrange your furniture. Or you can plan a perfect day at your new senior living community, where you take advantage of all the activities and events they offer!

When you make Peter Becker Community your future residence, there is much to look forward to! Residents pay a monthly fee for services and amenities that ensure convenience, community and growth opportunities that serve a diverse set of interests. 

2. Discover the Joy of Living With Less.

With Jill’s short timeline to move, she purged every night and weekend for 8 weeks. 

After digging in with gusto…I found the more I said no to ‘stuff’ the happier I was,” she said.

There really is something calming about purging your things. According to Apartment Therapy, decluttering your physical space can reduce stress, provide catharsis, and strengthen your decision-making skills.

The more time you spend cleaning out your family home, the clearer your choice to downsize will become for you. In the short term, it may be overwhelming and trigger some emotions, but as you see spaces clear out, the accompanying joy will affirm the direction you are headed.      

3. Streamline Your Paring Down Process.

Jill says, “There is a proven process for choosing your favorites, finding homes for the balance, packing and unpacking that makes this process a dream!”

Whether you follow Jill’s protocol to a T or customize it to your situational needs, the important part of this is to have a plan for purging, consolidating and moving your possessions into senior living. 

Approaching this task haphazardly could create more stress than is necessary and cause you to lose sight of the excitement of living independently at a Continuing Care Retirement Community like Peter Becker Community.

4. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!

Downsizing is not a process best accomplished by yourself. For both emotional support and logistical planning, you will benefit greatly from having a network of people there to support you. 

Family members and friends can be phenomenal help, but you may also want to consider hiring a senior move manager like Jill. These professionals specialize in the practical aspects involved in a senior’s moving process and can help walk you through this transition. They are also familiar with the emotional hurdles that are commonly experienced during this time. They can help walk you through this transition.

Jill said it best: “Having a team made it faster, easier and more joyful!” 

5. Equip Yourself with Coping Strategies. 

Yes, the joy of decluttering is real and the excitement of moving into a vibrant, active senior living community can be exhilarating. But there can also be incredibly difficult moments throughout the downsizing process. 

Sorting through your cherished items can bring back memories–good, bad, and bittersweet. Deciding what to pass down, what to sell and what to simply toss in the trash can be stressful. Similarly, watching your home go from personalized to staged can feel like closing the door on an era. 

Some coping strategies you might consider are:

  • Take “before” photos of areas of your home to remember it as it was. 
  • Find a way to honor the memories from your home with the people who experienced them with you.
  • Have one last gathering in this space to celebrate your new adventure. 
  • Schedule time with a friend, a family member or a therapist to process this transition.

Maybe this encouragement from Jill could help too: “Too many folks postpone a really happy life, staying in a home that is no longer working for them. I encourage everyone to start “living the dream!”  

Offering Compassionate Care and Extraordinary Caring

Peter Becker Community is a Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC, specializing in Residential Living, Personal Care, Skilled Nursing, Rehabilitation, Memory Care and Hospice Care. Come meet our team and see why the Peter Becker Community is right for you.