Downsizing Boot Camp — Everything You Need to Know to Move into a One-Bedroom Apartment in Less Than a Month

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There’s a saying that circulates on the internet: “Live small so you can live big.” It’s the perfect motto for seniors who are wanting the carefree lifestyle that comes with decluttering and downsizing to a home that fits their needs and preferences. Just imagine it: How would it feel to unload decades-worth of “stuff” you no longer use? Picture the freedom you’d enjoy when you have less square footage to maintain.

Many seniors are making this transition to simplified ease by moving to a senior living community like those offered by The Ridge. In our three communities, residents can choose from a range of comfortable floor plans and enjoy all the freedom that comes from less clutter, and a maintenance-free, amenity-rich lifestyle. But the first step is downsizing. Our downsizing tips guide you through a 4-week process that can help you say goodbye to excess stuff and rooms — and say hello to the perfect-sized senior living apartment.

Try the 4-Week Downsizing Challenge

Downsizing and moving to your new senior apartment can seem overwhelming, but this systematic, 4-week approach helps streamline the process.

Week One:

Go room by room. Thinking about downsizing your entire house can be intimidating, but if you break down the process so you’re only thinking about one room at a time, you’ll find the task more doable — and be less inclined to procrastinate. Start with rooms that don’t hold emotional attachment, like the laundry room or even the linen closet. You’ll build momentum if you start with something easy. And remember to be realistic as you go through your belongings — will you really need more than two sets of sheets and towels?

Be selective. You’ve had decades to amass collections of things you love, but large collections will feel like clutter in your new, smaller space. This is the perfect opportunity to pass along some of these items to others who will appreciate them. Consider taking photos of your collectibles before you part with them. You can then create a photo album to display along with a few favorite items.

Week Two:

Sell, donate, gift and toss. By now, you probably have a pile of belongings that you know you aren’t bringing with you to your new home. This can be a good time to recruit family members to help you sort these items into four separate piles — sell, donate, gift, toss. As you sort, you’ll benefit from your family’s objectivity and have fun sharing stories inspired by some of the belongings.

Give heirlooms away now. It’s common practice to bequeath cherished belongings to family members in your will. But why wait? If your grandchild has always admired your mother’s purple glassware or your autographed John Elway football, you can gift those items now. You’ll enjoy seeing the recipients’ joy in their new treasure, and you’ll clear out more space.

Week Three:

Familiarize yourself with your new space. Look over the floor plan for your new living space and take measurements of your current furniture. You may find that your new space won’t comfortably fit your large bedroom set or full-sized couch. There are retailers that specialize in apartment-sized furniture that can give your new home a lighter feel. Also consider the storage possibilities in your new apartment to see if there’s room for holiday décor or other items that you won’t use year-round.

Week Four:

Plan your move. Make a to-do list and coordinate the help you’ll need, whether you’re hiring professional moving and cleaning services or using volunteers from your family. Be sure to pack and label a special box with items you’ll need on your first day in your new home, such as medicines, pajamas, a change of clothes, toiletries, charging cords, bedding, a coffee maker and coffee cups.

Take the stress out of moving day. Label boxes with the appropriate room name, so they’ll be placed where you need them when it’s time to unpack. Have a schematic that shows where large furniture goes to avoid having to move heavy items more than once. Pack a supply box with snacks, bottled drinks, masking tape, tape measure, hammer, nails, and a flathead and Phillips screwdriver. And on moving day, start the day strong with a healthy, sustaining breakfast.

The Perfect-Sized Life at The Ridge

When you consider the beautifully appointed apartments, luxury amenities, and maintenance-free lifestyle at The Ridge, you’ll find that downsizing to our community isn’t a compromise — it’s the start of a new life of contentment and ease. What’s more, we help make the moving process easier. All of our communities — The Ridge Cottonwood, The Ridge Pinehurst and The Ridge Foothill — offer move-in coordination, guiding the downsizing process and recommending moving companies who can even help coordinate donations of unwanted items.

What if you want the benefits of rightsized space and maintenance-free living on a temporary basis? We can help with that, too. At each of our communities, you can have a respite stay — a temporary stay after hospitalization — and enjoy all the advantages of our services, amenities, and support while you recover. To make the process even simpler, you can move into one of our furnished apartments or connect with a recommended furniture rental provider. Who knows? You might find the lifestyle here so appealing that you decide to move in permanently.

Contact us to find out more about the lifestyle here at The Ridge communities, or about respite care.