If you or a loved one are planning a move to a senior living community like a Thrive community, there are many benefits in store! Yes, you’ll have great amenities, a wonderful new place to call home, and a slew of new friends to meet… but beyond these benefits, you’ll also likely be downsizing from your existing home and simplifying your belongings that have accumulated through the years.
When downsizing to senior living (At Thrive, we call this “right-sizing”), there will still be plenty of items worth saving, things that are both essential and sentimental, and you’ll need to find a special place in your new home. To make sure everything’s a good fit, literally and figuratively, follow these guidelines on creative ways to maximize your space… you’ll feel great and refreshed in your new clutter-free home:
After you’ve sifted through your stuff, donated items, and packed what’s left, it’s time to unpack and move into your new place. So, where will everything go…? Let’s start with the kitchen:
Independent Living means having access to a full kitchen in many places, so make the most out of your space for cooking by using tiered or collapsible shelves to create more storage space. Rolling carts can also double as portable islands and added surface space. Hanging pot racks are also great for freeing up cabinet space. Just don’t hang them too high – you want to make sure to keep pots and pans accessible!
Placing hooks and pegs around the kitchen can provide a convenient place to hang a kitchen towel or apron, and an over-the-door cabinet rack is perfect for storing spices and other small items. Even though your Independent Living community will offer delicious meals, sometimes you’ll just want to make your own dinner… so don’t let a lack of storage space stop you from having everything you need on hand.
Bedroom and bathroom storage
Even when downsizing before moving into senior living, don’t think that you’ll have to ditch your wardrobe. You might not have the same amount of closet space and storage capacity, though Independent Living still provides you with plenty of opportunities for looking your best and enjoying a night out on the town!
In making the most of your space, you’ll want to maximize your square footage. Beneath your bed, low-profile storage bins and vacuum-sealable bags can keep that bulky out-of-season clothing and those extra linens protected and efficiently stored. Additional shelving can be added to your closet via hanging shelves or over-the-door storage pockets. Floating shelves and even a nightstand with extra drawers and storage space can be used to your advantage.
For many people, their bathroom is their in-home spa, so consider ways to make the most of it while keeping it clean and serene! Adding a couple of stand-alone shelving units can double your storage space and there is often space beneath your sink as well. The key to making the most of this area is using storage bins, a small shelf, or a rack to separate items and double the available storage. A hook or two placed on the bathroom door lets you hang towels, bathrobes, and other items as well.
Before moving into Independent Living, you might have stayed at your former home for years or decades. Stuff has a habit of piling up over all that time. Since Independent Living provides a fresh start in terms of your home’s layout and items, if you’re mindful of storage space from the get-go, you’ll be more likely to keep your new home neat and tidy!
When thinking about storage, also consider functionality. For example, a hallway shoe bench provides a place to sit when putting on shoes – consider buying one that has a liftable lid with storage space inside. Ottomans, end tables, and other pieces of furniture might also have drawers and sometimes hidden storage spaces built in for convenience. Once you have added storage space, try to keep the same items there consistently – that way you’ll remember where everything is and you’ll get familiar with the layout of your new home that much more easily.
Moving into senior living should be exciting — it’s a chance to join a bustling community of active older adults, an opportunity to be free from the burdens of home maintenance and housekeeping, and a time to ease into your later years while focusing on what you love and enjoy! But the move itself might not be the most enjoyable, especially if you have a lot of stuff and clutter to straighten out. Even though we’ve highlighted some ways to make the most of your storage space and to hold onto many of your possessions, paring down on possessions over time before the transition can make the process easier.
It’s wise to set goals and timelines for managing your possessions. Several months before you move, come up with a plan to decide what you’ll keep, what you won’t, and how you’ll get rid of unwanted items. Some items might be donated or just thrown away, but you might want to sell certain items or find a good home for items of value or sentiment.
At Thrive, we help you live on the right-size of life, and we embrace the Right-Sizing ethos. That means we help you free yourself from the items you no longer treasure. If something doesn’t bring you happiness, just move on – for example, your senior prom dress… it’s probably time to let it go! Inspired by an ancient Japanese approach designed to simplify your life, the principles of Right-Sizing include:
Touch & Go Approach: Allow yourself time to consider each item, but don’t overthink them.
Save What You Love: Useful or frivolous, keep the possessions that bring you joy and set aside the ones that don’t.
Show Gratitude: Thank the items that no longer bring you joy and help them find a new home where they will be loved.
Ask For Help: A loved one or friend helping you through the process can relieve stress and streamline decision-making. The Thrive team is also available to help you find a way to keep your joyful items as part of your right-sizing plan.
Be sure to speak with the team at your new Thrive community before making the move so that they can let you know exactly how much room you’ll have. This will help you decide what stays and what goes. Even if you know the square footage and layout of your new home, think about the tips and ideas above for adding more space to your space!
At Thrive Senior Living, making sure that every resident is abundantly healthy, happy, and safe is our priority every single day. We’re excited to welcome you or your loved one to our communities. If you’re planning your move and are figuring out how to handle all of your possessions, we’re glad to answer any questions and be of assistance. We know that making a big move is more than just transporting belongings to a new space. We create homes for our residents, not just rooms to occupy. If you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to contact us online or reach us by phone at (404) 890-7988.