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Moving Tips When Downsizing to a Lifeplan Community


Moving to a Lifeplan community is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones as you get older. There are numerous benefits of a Lifeplan community, including an up-to-date and manageable living space combined with lots of services and tons of amenities that will make life more convenient and exciting.

However, the one thing people struggle with is trying to figure out what to keep and what to throw away when moving to a smaller living space. This may seem daunting at first, but once you start letting unnecessary things go, you’ll find that you’re able to appreciate the things you really love even more. You’ll also be thankful for having less clutter and things to clean once you’re settled into your new home.

To make sure you can start enjoying your new home faster, here are our top tips for downsizing:

  1. Start with a Realistic Idea of Size: If you have a 3,000-square foot home now and you’re moving to a home that is 2,000 square feet, keep in mind the idea that you will have to reduce things by roughly a third.
  2. Take it One Room at a Time: You didn’t fill your house in one day, why should you be expected to clear it out that way? Ideally, you’ll tackle one room per day, spending no more than two hours at a stretch so you don’t get overwhelmed.
  3. Preserving Photos While Downsizing: Photos are likely one area where you won’t want to compromise on what is kept and what is left behind. Fortunately, with modern technology, you can save all your photos and reclaim your space! Try some of these methods for archiving printed photos.
  4. Take Photos of Collections: While reducing the size of your photo collection may be a concern, taking more photos may also help you to downsize even more. If you’re an avid collector, consider keeping one favorite piece then taking photos of the rest of the collection before selling or giving away the rest.
  5. Avoid the “Maybe” Pile: All too often, having a maybe pile of what to keep and what to throw out can seriously slow down your efforts to downsize.  The more time you spend handling and considering an item, moving it to and from the maybe pile, the more likely you are to start getting needlessly sentimental about it. Instead, have clear “yes” and “no” piles only.
  6. Keep Most Used Items First: Focus on separating out the things you use most often and make room for those first. Not only will this reduce clutter, you’ll find getting settled into your new home easier if you have your most used items readily on hand.
  7. Consider Gifting: If you planned to leave an item to a loved one later, consider doing so now. Not only will you get much needed space, you’ll get to enjoy the gift-giving experience. Similarly, if there are things you’re unsure of and don’t want to sell or throw away, ask others what they would like to take now.
  8. Consider Auctioning: If you have several high-value items, consider having them appraised together and auctioned.
  9. Let Someone Else Sell Your Items: Selling items on your own can be extremely time-consuming and less expensive items won’t be worth the effort. Fortunately, there are services now that will list and sell your items, including eBay Valet.
  10. Donate Stuffed Toys to Shelters: Due to certain factors, including allergens, stuffed animals aren’t accepted by many charities. However, a notable exception is animal shelters. Give a cuddly animal another cuddly animal to play with,
  11. What Has to Go: Certain things simply won’t have any value to anyone, even as a donation, and these include:
  • Old magazines and mail
  • Any serving ware with significant chips, cracks, stains etc.
  • Plastic containers
  • Old food items including spices
  • Candles
  • Anything that can be easily replaced (the time and expense of hauling certain items like toiletries and old food container lids might be costlier than just buying new).


Think a Lifeplan community doesn’t have enough space for all you want to bring with you? If the idea of downsizing your belongings is what’s keeping you from a better, more exciting life, consider Cedars of Chapel Hill homes. We have dozens of floor plans with options up to 2,783 square feet. Bring everything you love with you and get the convenience of a community built around your needs.

Photo Attribute: Lotus Head,