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Authored by: Karen Weeks of elderwellness.net

Moving into an assisted living facility is a big step, and perhaps the most challenging part is the downsizing involved. Most seniors will be moving from a large family home into a smaller space designed for their needs alone. On both a logistical and emotional level, this can be complicated. In this guide, we will cover the key steps involved in this downsizing process and how to make them as smooth as possible.

Finding The Right Living Facility

You’ve decided that your health and housing needs would be best suited by an assisted living facility – this is a great choice! But how do you go about choosing the perfect one for you?

Start by doing some online research on the communities available in your area, and making a list of criteria that matter to you. Do you want an active social scene? An extra room for guests? High-quality food? Then, you can start arranging tours. Keep your criteria in mind as you visit, and make sure to ask them any questions you have about assisted living. Cost will always be at the forefront of your search, so keep in mind that the average cost for assisted living in Colorado Springs is $4,538 a month.

This detailed guide by Senior Living has some great advice and resources on every step of the process.

Reducing Your Possessions

 The sudden change in space means that, for most seniors, moving into an assisted living facility means getting rid of a lot of stuff. Apartment Guide recommends going room by room, sorting everything into gift, sell, donate or trash. Learn to identify the items that you truly treasure, and to separate them from sentimental clutter.

Downsizing your possessions is emotionally difficult, but you’ll be amazed at the positive effect it can have on your mental well-being. If you have downsized all you can but it’s still not quite enough, consider looking into self-storage in the area. This avoids clutter in your new living space while still being able to keep beloved possessions, and it can be surprisingly affordable: the average price of a self-storage unit in Colorado Springs is just $97.32 a month.

Packing Up The House

As you downsize, start packing things that you know you want to keep but you are unlikely to use before the move. This will make it easier to pack up the rest of the house before the big day.

Make sure you check what household items will be available in your assisted living community, so you know what to bring with you. Remember to pack a suitcase with the basics you need for the first few days (clothes, toiletries, entertainment) to make the transition easier until everything is unpacked and put away.

Use book boxes whenever possible, as their small size keeps them from getting too heavy. This reduces the risk of injury and makes the move easier for whomever is going to be carrying the boxes. Sorting things into smaller boxes is also a useful way to stay organized throughout the process.

Moving Day

Make sure to recruit the help of family or moving professionals for the big day – you are going to need it. Other than that, the smoothness and success of your moving day will depend on how well you prepared in the weeks leading up to it.

Moving.com provides a helpful senior moving checklist that can prove quite useful. It starts three months before the move and extends to the last-minute details of moving day, so you can make sure you have covered every single step. It also helps to create a moving inventory, so you can keep track of the belongings you are bringing with you and make sure everything has arrived in great condition.

As long as you do your research, stay organized, and fully commit to downsizing, moving into an assisted living community can be an exciting and relatively painless transition. Of course, it can be scary – big life changes always are – but assisted living is a pleasant, fun, and happy solution for the vast majority of seniors who make the leap. You’ll be glad you did it, and you’ll be glad you managed your move in the most efficient way possible.