Moving into an assisted living community is an exciting adventure. However, you may feel overwhelmed as you attempt to pack what you need for your new apartment. When it comes to smaller items, you always have the opportunity to re-evaluate your list as the move begins. With larger items, such as furniture, a more methodical approach is best. This attention to detail before the move ensures you aren’t stuck in a new apartment cluttered with too-big furniture pieces.
What to Bring
Assisted living apartments may feature less floor space than you are accustomed to. Don’t let this throw your plans for a loop. Moving into the new apartment provides the perfect time to pick favorite furniture to bring along or invest in new items that are more apartment-friendly.
Most assisted living communities offer apartments unfurnished, but make sure to talk to the staff so you are aware of what, if anything, will be in your space. If you have a blank slate, start with the essentials: a comfortable bed and living room furniture. Now is the time to invest in new pieces, so if the bed has seen better days—or if a medical condition makes a new bed necessary—make the purchase now.
Finally, try finding items that pull double duty. A bed frame with storage drawers offers a lovely organizational component, as does a coffee table with extra storage underneath. These additional, hidden drawers can make a huge difference when it comes to organization.
What to Skip
Do not take every piece of furniture you own to your new assisted living apartment; not only will most not fit, but some may also contribute to a cluttered floor plan that could cause a fall or other safety concerns. Consider leaving large or clunky pieces at home, such as oversized china cabinets, entertainment centers, and sideboards; sell or donate them instead.
Making the Best Decisions
Pay close attention to details before the moving trucks arrive. Ensure you have the floor plan, along with measurements, of the new apartment. Then, measure furniture to determine if it would be a good fit in the new space. Err on the side of less clutter than squeezing in too many pieces. In some cases, you may be able to arrange early access to the apartment to mark furniture measurements with painter's tape on the floor to determine the best fit.
Beyond measuring and using the floor plan, also consider what the senior living community already offers before making decisions. For example, you will be having meals in a lovely dining room; this may lead you to leave a dining room table at home or investing in a smaller table for the apartment instead. If you love to entertain, find out whether you can use community spaces for your events. This could help in your decision on whether or not to bring additional seating pieces.
Are you wondering what else you should bring—or not bring—during your assisted living transition? Check out our moving checklist for more guidance as you embark on this new adventure.