If living in a maintenance-free apartment in a senior living community in Michigan that may offer meals, activities, access to medical assistance and the opportunity to make new friends, sounds great, you may need to consider downsizing.

Downsizing is not easy. Downsizing means you are looking at getting rid of items that may not have a practical use any longer, but that have sentimental value (and you cannot discount sentimental value) and it’s sometimes a heart-wrenching experience.

Whether you and your spouse or significant other are downsizing from a large family home into a senior community in Michigan or if you’re moving from an apartment or condo into an American House MI senior community, it will take time and planning.

Prepare To Move Into A Senior Living Community

The transition from your home to a senior community may mean you have to get rid of a lot of your belongings. Give yourself time to go through your belongings, even your furniture, and see decide what you cannot possibly live without. Once you have sorted items into that “pile” then you can go through your other possessions and decide whether you want to:

  1. Donate
  2. Sell (yard sales are a great way to bring in additional cash)
  3. Gift to your children

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your move:

  1. Try on all your clothing. If it doesn’t fit, don’t bring it with you. If you haven’t worn it in months or years, then get rid of it. If you have six winter jackets, decide which one or two you wear the most and donate or sell the others. How many pairs of shoes or boots do you need? We understand – it’s easy to buy so many clothes that you don’t wear half of what you have. In fact, it’s been said that people “wear 20% of what they own 80% of the time.”
  2. If you touch an item, you need to decide on it. Don’t just set it aside “for later.” Have your piles set up: keep, donate, sell or give as a gift and make the decision immediately.
  3. Ask for help. If you have children or grandchildren or siblings or friends ask for their help in sorting your items. It may make it easier to have someone to bounce ideas off of when you’re making a decision on which items to take and which to leave behind.
  4. Don’t tell yourself, “I am going to go through all of my stuff today!” Give yourself time to go through it. Give yourself a week or a month or longer. 
  5. What items do you own that could be digitized? For example, if you have boxes and albums of photos, you certainly don’t want to get rid of them. You can send them off to a company who will take all your precious photographic memories and digitize them. You can have all the photos put into a “cloud” also known as an online system, or you can get the photos back on a disc. This way, you still have all of your memories, but you don’t have all of the physical photos.
  6. Know how much space the maintenance-free apartment or studio you will be renting in one of the six American House MI senior living communities. Once you know the square footage and the physical layout, you can decide which pieces of your furniture will fit and which pieces will even be needed.

Consider addressing these items and having a place for them during your move. Set up a space for items such as:

  • Your important paperwork.
  • Your prescription medications
  • Who will care for your pet during the move? Many of the American House MI communities allow you to bring a small pet with you!
  • Keep non-perishable food in an easy-to-get to place during your move so you don’t have to worry about cooking during the move
  • Know where your toiletries are so you can easily bathe and brush your teeth when you’ve moved in.

It’s important that you prepare yourself for a gamut of emotions to wash over you when you’re going through the downsizing process. This is natural and therefore you need to give yourself ample time for this process. Moving from a family home into a Michigan senior living community is a major life transition and that’s natural because you’re entering a new phase in your life.

 American House was founded in 1979 to enrich the lives of seniors and their loved ones in an environment that fosters independence, compassion, quality services and meaningful relationships. We provide a wide range of senior living options, including independent living, independent living with assistance, memory care services provided by a third party, respite stays and hospice in Dearborn Heights, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights and Westland.