On the Navesink Blog

Downsizing Boot Camp–Everything You Need to Know to Move into a One Bedroom In Less Than a Month

Independent Living | 08/16/21

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One of the most popular trends today for creating a carefree lifestyle is downsizing. Gone is the social stigma that “to downsize” signaled you weren’t doing well financially or that it was somehow a forced action.

Today, downsizing is seen as a freeing experience, whatever your age—but especially in your senior years. There’s a great quote circulating that declares proudly, “Live small so you can live big.” It’s the perfect motto for a downsizing generation who loves the idea of decluttering,  yet still surrounding yourself with your favorite things.


Can You Handle the 4-Week Downsizing Challenge?

Imagine how it would feel to unload decades of “stuff” you no longer need or use. Picture yourself enjoying so much more freedom simply by living in less square footage. Many seniors are making this vision a reality by moving to a senior living community like The  Atrium at Navesink Harbor. Residents can choose from a range of comfortable floor plan options and enjoy a carefree “lock and leave” lifestyle. And they wouldn’t dream of going big ever again.

Whether or not you’ve committed to a move, it’s essential to declutter before you move. Get started by following the Downsizing Drill described below. You’ll find the tips you need to help you say goodbye to excess stuff and space—and prepare to say hello to the perfect senior living community apartment.


Attention Downsizing Rookies, Here’s the Drill

A 4-week plan to downsize like a pro!


Week One

Tackle One Room at a Time–The bigger your current home, the more overwhelming it can feel to go into battle mode. Experts advise starting with one room at a time and make that a room without a  lot of emotional attachment, like the laundry room or even a linen closet. Be logical – do you really need more than two sets of sheets and towels?


Be Selective with Stuff You Love It’s easy to amass a collection of dolls or decorative cups and saucers when you live in a larger space. In a smaller space, big collections become dust collectors and add clutter. Now it’s time to think about passing some of these items on to others or selling them. Experts suggest taking photos of collectibles you part with, then creating a photo album to display with the few you do keep.


Week Two

Donate, Sell, Gift, or Toss–If you’re wary of facing this task alone, bring in family members to maintain objectivity! It can be a fun time to reminisce about the vacation when you bought everyone those straw hats or whose idea it was to buy that weird sculpture. Make four piles for donate, sell, gift, or toss – and above all, avoid creating a “maybe” pile!


Gift Those Heirlooms Now–You’ve got a grandchild who’s always admired your great-grandma’s china, and a godson who loves your dad’s pocket watch collection.  The old school of thought is that these gifts should be given in your will. But now that you’re downsizing, why not gift those special items to family members now. You’ll get to clear out more space and enjoy seeing their faces light up. It’s a win-win.


Week Three

Know Your New Space–Review your new floor plan and take measurements. If your new residence  doesn’t include an office or a garage for example, you’ll need to consider whether to sell items in these rooms, relocate them to another room in your new apartment, or donate/toss them. Go easy on what you keep for your holiday decor – be sure cherished “keepers” will fit into your resident storage unit (you can also rent a small unit off-site if needed). Pass on the rest to your children or to a needy family so they can start new traditions.


Get Fresh with Your Furnishings—While it’s tempting to try and retrofit your current furnishings into your new space, it can be a losing battle. Sell, gift, or donate that large bedroom set or long couch and go for lighter-feeling pieces. There are many retailers that specialize in apartment-size furnishings such as IKEA andCrate & Barrel, among several others.  


Week Four

Strategize Your Move—Make a to-do list and set up your timing for the move. Get quotes from local movers, and determine a schedule for going through your house room by room, prepping for the move and what needs to happen on moving day. Whether you pack yourself or hire a moving company, be sure to pack a box with items you won’t want to hunt for on day one: medicines, pajamas,  change of clothes, toiletries, charging cords, remote control, coffee and coffee cups, bedding, etc.


De-Stress Moving Day—Get a good night’s sleep the night before, and eat a good breakfast to begin the day on the right foot. Be sure you’ve marked boxes with room names so they can be placed in the right spots for unpacking. Same goes for pieces of furniture. Have a schematic of where large items go in each room so you don’t have to break your back rearranging. Have a few friends help you direct the movers at both ends of the move. Don’t forget to pack a supply box for the day with snacks, bottled drinks, phone charger, masking tape, tape measure, pencils, scratch pad, scissors, hammer, nails, plus flathead and Phillips screwdrivers.


Rightsize and Live Your Best Life Here.

The Atrium at Navesink Harbor could be just the retirement community you’re looking for. When you consider the beautiful surroundings, proximity to NYC and culture, and the maintenance-free lifestyle, downsizing in our community isn’t a compromise, it’s the start of a carefree, full life! Download our free Guide to Downsizing, and let’s get moving together.