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Your Guide to Rightsizing to a Senior Apartment

A senior woman sits smiling at a table with various watercolor paintings hanging on the wall behind her.

Rightsizing is a great mindset for older adults who are ready to move from a large house to a smaller home that better suits their retirement. It gives you the opportunity to enter your new chapter intending to create a lifestyle filled with meaning instead of physical objects.

Learn what it means to rightsize your retirement and read tips on how to use this positive state of mind to get through the downsizing process.

Is Rightsizing the Same as Downsizing?

Rightsizing is how you approach the physical process of downsizing. You’re not just getting rid of household items to simplify your life, you’re reducing your household items to only those that provide value and meaning to a new lifestyle in a smaller home.

To rightsize your retirement means to find value from how and where you live, rather than the size of your home and number of items in it.

Think About How You Spend Time in Your Home

Understanding how you spend time in your home will help you choose a space that matches your lifestyle and preferences. For instance, if you plan on keeping a large portion of your wardrobe, you’ll want a floor plan with plenty of closet space. If you like cooking meals for your family, consider a one-bedroom apartment with an open floor plan.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your current space:

  • Do you like the location of your home?
  • How do you enjoy a day at home?
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your home?
  • Are there rooms or items that never get touched?
  • What are your most valuable items and how do they contribute to your retirement?
  • What are the costs included? These could include mortgage payment, property taxes and home repairs.

Ask yourself how your current space helps you pursue your passions and hobbies. At our senior living community in Austin, TX, we have special spaces like a community garden with raised beds, creative arts studio, expanded library and cardio gym. We also feature computer classes, lecture series, book clubs and poetry groups.

Tips on How to Downsize While Keeping a “Rightsize” Mindset

After you’ve found a floor plan, it’s time to start the actual downsizing process. Rightsizing focuses on maintaining a positive frame of mind, so don’t think of downsizing as getting rid of all your things. Think of this process as a path to a retirement completely customized around your lifestyle.

Look at these tips to stay positive as you downsize:

1. Make a plan. While it would be nice to whirl through the downsizing process in one day, it’s best to start early, take your time and complete the process over several months. Decide which rooms will take the most amount of time, where you want to donate unwanted items, and if you need help with areas like tall shelves in closets, moving heavy furniture, or decluttering areas like basements at attics.

2. Work with your floor plan. You’ll still need furniture in your new home, but how large and how much depends on your floor plan. Looking at the measurements of your new floor plan and taping off floor space in your current home can help you visualize where each item will fit.

3. Create a sorting system. Use boxes to separate items into those to keep, give to friends or family, donate, or throw away. Avoid keeping boxes of items you don’t want in your home. Not only will you be tempted to go back through them and take something out, but it’s also hard to monitor your progress.

4. Keep your community in mind. Most senior living communities include amenities that make life simple and convenient. Features like creative arts studios, fitness centers, libraries, and multiple dining venues mean you can donate items like dumbbells and exercise machines, and downsize items like books, craft materials and cookware.

5. Focus on what you actually use. Don’t keep items because they’re new. Instead, focus on the essentials you use regularly. If you’re unsure how much you need certain items, set them out of sight in a box and see how you get along without them. Items that you don’t need will already be packed and ready to donate.

6. Get creative. You can find creative ways to remember sentimental items you don’t plan to keep. Scrapbooks are a great way to record how special something was to you. Along with a photo, you can write stories about the item and who you donated it to. A video tour of your home in its current state is also a wonderful way to walk down memory lane.

7. Give yourself grace. Some rooms will be more difficult to sort through than others, because of the sentimental items they hold. It’s ok to take time to work through your emotions. When downsizing becomes overwhelming, take a break, and lean on friends and family for support.

8. Reach out to your new neighbors. It’s important to keep the process going, but it’s equally important to get excited about your new home. If you’re moving to a senior living community, get to know your new neighbors before you move in. They can give you tips on how to decorate your residence and give you firsthand advice on how to get through the downsizing process.

Find the Perfect Floor Plan and Infinite Possibilities at Westminster

All our senior apartment homes at Westminster are maintenance-free and include housekeeping, so you can cultivate a lifestyle you love. To learn more about our available floor plans or schedule an in-person tour of our vibrant senior independent living community, contact our residency counselor online, and we’ll get in touch shortly.