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Decluttering Tips for Seniors

Moving into an assisted living community for the first time can be exciting, but figuring out how to move all your stuff from point A to point B can be intimidating. Don’t let your moving day turn into a disaster! Make it easier on yourself with these decluttering tips for seniors.

Decluttering Tips for Seniors

The good news: after a lot of careful consideration, you’ve found the senior living community of your dreams. You’re ready and excited to make the leap!

The bad news: you have a house full of stuff that has to go somewhere, and not all of it can come with you. Getting ready for this kind of move can be an unexpectedly stressful process, especially if you don’t make a plan to take it on. Follow these decluttering tips for seniors, and you’ll be ready for your big move in no time.

Make a Plan

Downsizing can be tricky, especially if you’ve lived somewhere for a long time. Don’t head into it without some planning first. Make a list of your possessions. Make sure to list what you want to be sure to bring with you, as well as things you wouldn’t mind letting go of. Then look at your calendar and set deadlines between now and when you plan to move. List goals for those deadlines, such as “Clean Garage,” and be sure to reach out to friends and family for help with tasks you can’t do on your own.

Start with the Easy Stuff

Sometimes the hardest part of decluttering is the sentimental objects that are hard to get rid of. Gifts from friends, old furniture with happy memories attached, and other items can be difficult to give up. Start with unsentimental objects, like extra dishes or lawn care equipment you know you won’t need in assisted living. Purging those items first can give you a sense of progress, and also create extra space to bring the things you do care about.

Visit Your New Home to Daydream

If you’re able, spending time in your new place can help you make decisions about what to bring with you. Bring friends and family, and have them help you decide what you’ll bring and what you’ll replace, or what you might not need. If you can’t go in person, request a virtual apartment tour, or ask if the staff can send photos and an apartment layout map for you to work with as you sort.

Share the Wealth

If there are items that are in good shape, don’t just chuck them in the trash. Instead, think about how people in your community could benefit from them. Use this guide to zero waste decluttering and make a plan to sell, donate, or pass your items on to friends and family who will appreciate them. It makes decluttering easier when you know your items are going to people who will love them as much as you did.

Celebrate the Transition

Moving into assisted living is a significant life transition, and decluttering is a part of that transition. It’s natural to have a lot of feelings around this process, so don’t ignore them. Say a fond farewell to the things you used and loved. Invite friends and family over. Reminisce about the good times you had in your old space, and be grateful for the chance to do something new. Acknowledging the transition and framing it positively will start your new life chapter off the right way.


We hope these decluttering tips for seniors will make your transition to assisted living the happy occasion it should be. If you have questions about what you should plan to bring with you, give us a call.

Are you planning to retire in Greenville, South Carolina? Be sure to check out The Gables on Pelham, a continuing care retirement community that welcomes seniors from all walks of life. We offer flexible and personalized care, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation. You’ll love our cozy accommodations, fun-filled events calendar, and welcoming community atmosphere. To learn more, please schedule a tour or give us a call at 864-713-1377.