Spring cleaning is a ritual many adult children and seniors tackle together every year. If you are a Michigan caregiver trying to encourage an older loved one to move to a senior living community this year, spring cleaning might also include downsizing.

The logistics of helping a parent or other senior loved one prepare for a move may be overwhelming. Helping them decide what to take with them to their new home and what to do with everything that is left can be a challenge. This is especially true of this generation of seniors because typically didn’t move a lot. Many have been in their same home for decades. Spending that much time in the same home often means they have accumulated a lot of possessions. Parting with them can be difficult.

Downsizing Tips for Michigan Seniors

Here are a few suggestions that can help you and the older adult you love downsize their home in preparation for a move to a senior living community:

  1. Plot the Layout: If you already know what senior living community your loved one will be moving to, ask the staff for a copy of the apartment’s floor plan. Make sure you have the dimensions for each room. It will help you figure out what furniture will fit and what will need to find a new home or be donated.
  2. Set Realistic Goals: Unless your aging parent or senior loved one is in the midst of a crisis and needs to move quickly, try to work on downsizing over a period of weeks or months. It will be less stressful for you and your senior loved one.
  3. Organizing and Sorting: When downsizing means sorting through a lot of old treasures and belongings, it can be tough to stay organized and on track. It is usually best to begin in the rooms where your senior loved one spends the least amount of time. Label boxes or bins with “Keep,” “To Determine,” “Donate,” “Family” and “Trash.” As you work your way through a room, place items in one of these five boxes.
  4. Document the Memories: If your older family member will be parting with some of their favorite belongings, create scrapbook or video as a keepsake. Include photos or video of how their home looked before you started downsizing, pictures of their favorite roses and any other special places around their home. It might also help to include photos or video of how the belongings they gave to family or friends look in their new home.

Our final piece of advice is to spend extra time preparing for the actual day of the move. Create a “Moving Day Survival Kit” full of the items you will need right away. Include valuables, important papers, and medications in the box or suitcase. It should also include toiletries, a coffee pot and supplies to make it, and personal care items. This should stay with you at all times on moving day and not given to the movers to transport.


Heritage Senior Communities is pleased to announce that our newest independent living community is open in Holland, Michigan. The Village at Appledorn West offers adults over the age of 55 one- and two-bedroom apartments. An assisted living community will also be opening on the campus later this spring.

Photo courtesy: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/3d-cardboard-boxes-photo-p258549