The Big Move: How to Create A Smooth Transition To Assisted Living

In one's life, we make many big moves. There is the first home, the one we spend so much time decorating and making perfect. Then as we get older, there maybe a transition to a senior home or assisted living. This transition is the hardest one we will have to make.

So how do you help a loved one or friend transition their life from a home into a small one or two bedroom unit? My advice to you-start early and take your time. It won't be easy.

The first step is to realistically decide what they can take with them. Many of the homes that I have dealt with, make a floor plan for their future residents. They even tag the furniture.

Take each room one at a time. It's what I call the "shut down" process. Go through each item and make decisions on it. You should have:

* PACK- Items to go to the new home

* SELL- Items you want to sell

* DONATE- Items to get donated

* GIVE AWAY- Things to be given to family and friends. Before putting items in this category, make sure they are wanted by that person and able to be picked up.

* TRASH OR RECYCLE-These items should be removed each time.

Also create a staging area for packed items. Packing each room, as you go, is the best way to handle the home "shut down". Make sure that clearly label each box for what room it goes to in the new place. I personally like to use the post it labels and label each room in a different color. This makes it easier for the movers and unpacking the new home.

Don't forget to start early! This process will take time. Plan on doing a little each week. Most people don't like change and this is no exception.

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