Preparing a move into an assisted living facility can be exciting and frightening at the same time. Downsizing for the move often times isn’t as easy. It can be somewhat of a challenge for some families especially when it comes to deciding what to keep and what to let go.

DOWNSIZING – What goes to the new location and what goes anywhere but the new location.

Almost all families that have helped their loved ones to move to an assisted living were confronted with the issue of downsizing. We know that assisted living has many benefits, and exciting opportunities that surround you, but there is limited space. In our effort to make this transition simple we put together a checklist to follow in hopes of making your move simple and enjoyable.

Cleaning Supplies

Although it’s common for most assisted living to offer to housekeeping for residents, we recommend you bring a few cleaning supplies to keep your room the way you like it. Items like surface wipes, 409 and a glass cleaner plus soap, and other personal necessities. No matter where we are it is, we will need them to care for unexpected messes.

Personal Items

This is where making decisions may take a little more of your time. That great dress you bought twenty years ago for that special event you are still keeping just in case another special event comes around probably needs to find a new home. Lots of clothes you never really wear or wear once a year simply because it is in your closet and “Well since it is there you probably should wear it, when in fact if you never saw it again you would not really miss it”, needs a new home also. Items such as friendly daily wear clothes go with you, medications, glasses, and toiletries are the first set of items you should pack. All other items depend on the availability of space.


Your new home! When seniors are moving to an assisted living one of the few things, they appreciate are items that would make them feel at home. Be sure to Include some personal decor items such as photographs, paintings or plants. The facility will let you know what you can bring but still since this is the time to downsize it may be the best opportunity. Talk to your loved one about what is most important to them to take before the move.  it is a lot easier to do that then instead of once they are in.  Many facilities can recommend a professional company who will measure out the room and make a plan to use the space to the fullest.


Many assisted living facilities to allow pieces of furniture aside from the usual bed, sofa, or chair. If the furniture from home won’t work, you can look online, and you will be amazed what you can find at very reasonable prices. For example, a dining table with drop-down sides, a thin shelf to put possibly some pictures on. Include some chairs, there are so many items reasonably priced that are so innovative, your loved one will be excited with new furniture that is unique and yet very functional. 

Household items

You won’t need much of these since meals are generally provided. However, it may be a good idea if permitted to include a set of dishes, pots, a small microwave, and refrigerator.


Limited space means some items need to go. Painful as it may be, if you do this all at once it is a little less painful with all the excitement and changes happening at the same time. We understand there isn’t a lot of additional space in assisted living like your home, there are many items that you aren’t supposed to pack for you to bring. Such items include:

  • Large furniture sets
  • Kitchen items
  • Collectibles
  • Rugs

If you or your loved one are having difficulty downsizing for assisted living or choosing a facility,  please call us, our experienced Referral Agents at Elderlink Referral Service (1-800-613-5772) or visit us online (FREE OF CHARGE) we have been helping seniors find the appropriate living facilities since 1995. If you have questions, we have the answers. Let us and our Licensed Administrator help you to make the right decisions based our knowledge and experience. Licensed by the California Department of Health #960000942. Some facilities have kitchenettes in the room with a dorm size refrigerator, a sink and a microwave. This is all based on the facility guidelines and you will know what is acceptable and not acceptable before you move in.