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downsizing tips for assisted living

Downsizing Tips as You Prepare for Assisted Living

Not only is it an emotional time as your loved one prepares to move to assisted living, the logistics of it can be overwhelming as well. From preparing the home for sale to deciding what items to keep or let go of, these downsizing tips can make the process easier.

Getting the Home Ready to Sell

This is a tough one, we know. The family home has so many memories for you all. But it’s important when preparing the home for sale to try to be as objective as possible in what may need to be updated. While you may love the old wallpaper, the carpet in your childhood bedroom or remember every nick in the furniture, try to look at the home through a buyer’s eyes as you consider these tips:

  • Be proactive – Before listing the house you’ll do yourself a huge favor by having your own inspection done to uncover hidden issues before a potential buyer comes across them. This allows you to go ahead and take care of them, adjust the price accordingly, or perhaps even offer a one-year home warranty to give buyers peace of mind.
  • Tackle inexpensive updates – You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference a fresh coat of paint and updated lighting can make, but also consider colors and styles that will appeal to a wide group of buyers.
  • Spend wisely – Don’t feel you need to completely overhaul the home, even if it needs extensive updates. Instead, focus on where your loved one stands to get the most return like the kitchen, the bathrooms and/or even exterior updates that enhance curb appeal.
  • Declutter the entire space – This is one of the most important, but often avoided to-dos on the home prep list. Of course, all the keepsakes and photos are treasures to your family, but they may be distracting to buyers who should be imagining themselves in the space. They may also make the space seem smaller than it actually is. 
  • Set the Stage – By this we mean make the home as welcoming as possible for showings. In addition to cleaning and picking everything up, it’s also helpful to turn on the lights, open the drapes and even fluff the pillows for a more finished look.

Going Through Your Loved One’s Belongings

One of the reasons so many people don’t declutter before listing the home is that it’s painstaking. Not only is it tedious to go through everything, the personal nature of the task brings about so many emotions and memories that are difficult to manage. These tips can help:

  • Take it slow – While it’s important to identify a date when downsizing should be complete, you don’t have to do everything at once. Get your supplies ready and then perhaps just focus on one room at a time or even one category of items at a time like bedding or dishes. 
  • Start sorting – First, designate a place where you have room to spread out like the garage or even the dining room table. Then place items into categories such as: keep, donate or gift, as well as sell and throw away/recycle. The ‘rule’ is that you don’t really need things that haven’t been used in six months, however we all know that idea goes out the window when it comes to sentimental items. To hold on to these items when your loved one doesn’t have the space, consider gifting them to friends and family or taking a photo to preserve the memories.
  • Downsize with friends – As well as family because, not only will you likely need the help, giving your loved one the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family while reminiscing can boost their spirits and even help ease the transition. Just don’t get too distracted from the work at hand!

Lastly, check in with your assisted living community to see what items they may provide as well as recommended items to bring (or not). It’s also helpful to check out the floorplan for your loved one’s personal space to better understand what will fit and/or what else you may need. In our boutique senior living homes that are specially crafted for assisted living, we encourage our residents to personalize their space as much as possible so they truly feel at home here.

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For more information on assisted living at Shepherd Premier, download our Family Decision Toolkit or call (224) 333-6247 to speak to a team member.