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Set Yourself Up for Downsizing Success; Tips from Moving Experts

Downsizing for a move can be draining physically, mentally and emotionally, especially for seniors moving to a retirement or assisted living apartment. Cherished items take us down Memory Lane, and can be hard to give up. With proper planning and support, move day can end with mom or dad comfortably settled in their new apartment home, making new memories with new friends over dinner or an evening card game.

The experts at Davis Moving in Phoenix, AZ have a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Plan. Know how much space you’ll have at your new home. Decide what items are a “must keep,” and how much room you’ll have for other items you’d like to keep.
  • Consider a two-part move. Do you want to move just the items for your new home, settle in and move the rest at a later date? Or does everything have to be moved on move day?
  • Give items to family and friends. They may appreciate your keepsakes and be able to make new memories with them!
  • Take pictures of special items. Build a photo album of memories, and relive the experiences you cherish through pictures.
  • Don’t overcrowd your new home. Leave room to move around safely.
  • Make a list of move-related tasks. Getting it on paper will help keep you on task, organized and frees your mind for the task at hand. Remember your utilities!
  • Don’t get overwhelmed. Sort one room at a time.
  • Color code. Put a piece of blue painter’s tape on furniture going to your new home. Use a different color for furniture going to each friend, family member or charitable group. Now that you’ve marked the furniture you want, do you want the items on or in it? Sort what you use, hardly use and donate what you never use.
  • Sort as you go. Set up boxes or areas in the house for give away, sell, donate and throw away.
  • Be choosy. Select a small number of your best family & decorative pictures. Wall space can be at a premium in retirement communities.
  • Out with the old. Bathrooms and pantry; discard near-empty and expired items.
  • Kitchen: You may only need bare essentials; it’s time to relax and have most or all of your cooking done for you! No need for china, stemware, many pieces of dinnerware, pots or pans.
  • Packing: When you wrap glassware, cushion the bottom of the box. Mark boxes by room.
  • Pack separately for your first night. Pack a bag with toiletries, medications, sheets and towels and a change of clothes, just in case they are needed before you are unpacked in your new home.
  • Ask for help. Select a professional mover who has assisted older adults with downsizing before.

Davis Movers is a Phoenix-based moving company who has helped many Bethesda Gardens Phoenix residents downsize and settle into their new homes. Learn more about them at www.DavisMovers.com.


We are confident once settled in, mom or dad will want to invite friends to join them. When the time comes, be sure to make use of our Resident Referral Program. Talk to your community’s Executive Director for details.