5 Tips for a Smooth Senior Transition

Whether moving to a retirement community, assisted living community or downsizing to a new home there can be a myriad of decisions. These decisions are often accompanied by worry and stress. Indeed, one of the most highly stressful times is when people move. A senior transitional move is unique because in most cases, the living size is being reduced dramatically by 60-75%. Downsizing this much means many possessions in the home must be eliminated. This emotional process can be traumatic. These are normal feelings and having highly effective ways to cope with these new encounters will ease the transition. The following 5 tips will help the process be more pleasant and enjoyable.


You must make a plan, the earlier in the planning process the better. If you are afforded the ability, then six months to a year is not too early to begin. Start with a notebook dedicated to the move. The notebook doesn’t have to be perfectly organized, just a central place to keep all things move related. This notebook should store information such as:

  • To-do-lists

  • Floorplans

  • Timelines

  • Calendars

  • Important numbers

  • Items to keep

  • Items to dispose of

  • Things you may forget to do

  • A section for questions that arise


Moving is never easy. Now is an important time for family members, loved ones and helpful neighbors to be asked. We may think we are bothering someone if we ask for help. That is often not the case. This is when those close to us want to help and be there for support. In addition to our family and friends, a wonderful resource of help is a Senior Move Manager. Interiors for Seniors owner, Missy Donaghy, is highly trained in the senior transition process. Her years of expertise and helpful ideas can make an enormous impact on having an easy move. A reputable moving company, such as Interiors for Seniors, will take care of all of the heavy lifting, sorting and packing. Always ask for state licensing and insurance when hiring a moving company.


The sorting and packing phase can be daunting. What do you keep? What do you give away? By creating a true to size floorplan, you can be realistic about what will fit in your new home. Interiors for Seniors has a new floorplan design process. Missy Donaghy begins every move with a detailed assessment of your space drawn out on a state of the art computer program. By planning the floorplan in such a visual and accurate way, it simplifies the sorting/packing process. This takes all of the guesswork out of it. The floorplan will have details including placement of furniture, artwork, lamps etc.

bedroom in moving process


Having a sorting system is of utmost importance. Don’t just charge ahead willy-nilly in a random fashion. Take an overall look at your possessions. This is not the packing phase, sorting takes longer than packing if you have the luxury of time. This is the emotionally heavy time of the transition and if taken slowly in a more partitioned way it is easier to absorb and process.

  • Divide this process into rooms or specific areas in rooms.

  • Keep each sorting session to around 1.5-2 hours.

  • Take a break and stretch your legs or go outside if a section of the sort gets overwhelming.

  • Be patient and allow time for memories and emotions.

  • Avoid becoming overly involved in each item.

  • If there are many kitchen items for example, pick out only the very best, most used ones.

  • Divide items into 4 categories:definitely, maybe, give away, discard.

  • Make a list of items to be given away with the person/place it is to be given

  • Don’t become overwhelmed sorting paperwork/photos/books

  • Shred unnecessary/unused documents

  • If an item needs repair, is torn, chipped, dirty, unless it is invaluable, then toss it

Moving boxes galore
Moving boxes galore


The most efficient tip for the packing process is to hire a reputable moving company that has a packing service included. Interiors for Seniors arrives at the time of the pack with all boxes, tape, paper and other packing essentials. The professional packer knows how to safely and securely pack even your most treasured items. Interiors for Seniors packers are licensed and insured so that if any item is damaged you are covered. Make sure to have a special box(es) with items you will need immediately on the day of your move. Items will include toiletries, change of clothes, flashlight, scissors, etc. Interiors for Seniors will provide a complete list for this first day box and help pack and unpack it.

Remember to pace yourself during the downsize process. Once the move is over it will take several weeks maybe months to get fully accustomed to your new home. By using a Senior Move Manager, when the move is complete you will walk into your home completely furnished and arranged. Clothes will be hung, beds made, kitchen organized and bathrooms nicely appointed. Interiors for Seniors designers work to ensure that the move from one location to the the next is as seamless as possible. Plan, get help, prepare for emotions and above all breathe. This is the next exciting part of your life!!

Interiors for Seniors lovely completed apartment
Interiors for Seniors lovely completed apartment


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