Downsizing into a Retirement Community

Over time, we tend to accumulate things – lots of things. Our drawers are full of stuff, exercise equipment is collecting dust and some pieces of furniture are just sitting in a corner looking pretty instead of being used. If you are reading this, chances are you or someone you know is considering moving into a senior living community.

For some, the mere thought of leaving behind a home and all that is familiar is so paralyzing it becomes the reason why someone will choose to stay at home. We aren’t going to sugarcoat it – moves are always hard, it is just part of the territory, but if broken down into manageable tasks and taken one room at a time, it becomes less daunting and opens the door to a safer, happier life.

If you are on one of Hearthstone’s wait lists, you’ve got time to make the decision on what goes and what stays.  If you are not on a wait list, be aware that it is wise to get on one because it is always best to not have to make a decision during a crisis.  That is the best gift you can give your adult child – peace of mind that you are where you have chosen to be with the belongings you cherish the most.

Here are our helpful tips on downsizing:

  • Go to the store and pick up a couple packets of colored adhesive dots, magic markers and a few boxes.
  • Mark each box with either Keep, Donate, Family, Recycle or Trash. Have a corresponding colored dot for each box. As you go through each room, one at a time, put a corresponding colored dot on the item or put them directly in the box they belong in.
  • Ask yourself the following questions as you go through your belongings:
  • Did I even know I had this item?
  • Will taking a photo do just as well as keeping it?
  • Do I know someone who could use this more?
  • Is it irreplaceable?
  • If I am moving across country, will it cost more to ship rather than replace?
  • What will happen if I let this go?

It is ok to ask for help. Life can be pretty hectic and sometimes we just need a little help and guidance from an expert. Contact Jo Anne Baumann at Hearthstone of Beaverton or Bev McElheran at Hearthstone at Murrayhill for local contacts to help with your moving needs. We can provide names and phone numbers for experts in Estate Sales, Real Estate, Move Management, Downsizing and Recycling.