Aging adults holding boxes, downsizing to senior living community Charleston, WV

Downsizing to a Retirement Community

After decades of pursuing hobbies; taking trips; and celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, it’s possible to end up with a lot of stuff. That’s why, when you decide to move to an independent living community like Edgewood Summit, one of the biggest remaining questions seniors have is: “What do I do with everything?” 

If a move to a smaller space is in your future, this blog post will offer you suggestions on the best way to go through the downsizing process in a way that celebrates all you’ve accomplished while preparing you for the next exciting chapter of your life. 

Questions to Consider about Moving Belongings

After you’ve picked a floor plan at your independent living community in Kanawha Valley, WV, it’s time to decide what you want to move to the retirement community. You usually have what you have for a reason: You need it around the house. It represents a fond memory. It was a special gift. Or maybe it’s a family heirloom. If you get stuck trying to figure out what to do with something, these key questions will help you decide:

  • Do I use it regularly? Have I used it in the past year?
  • Does it truly enhance my quality of life?
  • Will it fit in my new living space and future lifestyle?
  • Does it have a significant dollar value?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Does it have sentimental value? 
  • Would a family member or friend appreciate the item or use it?

Getting Started Downsizing

As you’re downsizing for retirement, these suggestions will help you stay focused:

Know your space: Request a senior apartment floor plan with measurements. This will show you how much living space you have for furniture and household items. At Edgewood Summit, our iFloorPlan is a helpful, easy-to-use interactive tool that shows you how your furniture will fit into your new senior home.
Go backward to move forward: Start with the items you know you’ll want, like a bed, dresser, small kitchen table with a couple of chairs, couch, and an end table. If there’s still room, you can add extra pieces.
Make a plan: Get out the calendar and set dates with defined goals for each day. Write down who’ll need to be involved to reach your goals. Also have important phone numbers and notes about miscellaneous items in a notebook so everyone can refer to them as needed.
Get organized: Make a list for every room in your house, and sort each possession into one of four categories: Keep, Give Away, Sell, and Decide Later. As you make your lists, consider the questions above. (Note: Everything on the Decide Later list eventually must move to either the Keep, Sell, or Give Away list.)
Go room to room: Starting with the easiest room will give you a small taste of success and encourage you to keep going. Attics, garages and basements may need a lot of downsizing, but you’ll tend to have fewer emotional attachments to items stored there. Save the bedroom and living room for last, as they are most likely to hold sentimental items.
Memory Lane: Remember, looking at keepsakes and mementos can bring up memories of significant life events, and it isn’t something you can get done in a weekend or even a week. Start small, and take the time to reminisce over special moments and tell stories. After you finish with that box, start on another.
Pass it on: Do your friends or family members have their eye on one of your possessions? Why not share now? One of the best things about a lifetime of possessions is the opportunity to pass them down.
Follow your style: Keep only the possessions that make your house distinctively your home, like framed family photos, artwork, and other cherished items. 
Purge the paperwork: Stack important papers in a separate pile and go through it later when you will be able to shred documents that must be shredded. Keep the momentum and don’t be distracted by tedious sorting now.
Clean the kitchen: At a community like Edgewood Summit, you’ll be cooking less and taking advantage of our dining venues more. Consider keeping only the pots, pans and utensils you’ll need and giving the rest away.
Clear the shed: When you choose a maintenance-free independent living community like Edgewood Summit, we’ll take care of all the inside and outside maintenance, so you won’t need most of your tools.
Let go of your library: Keep your favorite books, and then consider donating or selling the rest.
Freshen your linens: Go through your sheets, blankets and bath towels, and throw away any threadbare, stained or unmatched items. In fact, once you’ve moved, you might want all-new items to match your new space. 
Fashion sensible: Maybe one of the hardest things to go through are your coats and clothes. If you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably don’t need it anymore.
Storage space: See whether the independent living community has available on-site storage space for seasonal decorations and furniture.

Downsize to Charleston WV’s Unique Senior Living Community and Save

Edgewood Summit is the only continuing care retirement community in Charleston, WV. We combine an engaging and social lifestyle with the peace of mind of access to a full continuum of on-site care

And right now, you can get a discount of up to 25% on your entrance fee on select senior apartment floor plans. Schedule a tour to come see our community for yourself. If you want to learn more about downsizing, attend our upcoming downsizing event.