Downsizing for Seniors: 7 Tips for Relocating

senior downsizing services and 7 tips for relocating

Downsizing for Seniors: 7 Tips for Relocating

Senior Downsizing Service Tips

Relocating from your Family home? The thought of moving is overwhelming enough. When you combine moving with downsizing, it can feel like a mountain of work and complex. Where do you start? What if you forget something? Are you emotionally tied?

Above all, to help you work through some of the challenges, it’s important to hire a skilled real estate team experienced in managing, organizing and clarifying the process to give you confidence and peace of mind going forward.

We have compiled a list of tips and recommendations for downsizing services for the homeowner who’s ready to downsize and embrace a simpler lifestyle in a cozier home or a retirement community. Senior Downsizing services can help facilitate in a full complete process or in a partial capacity involvement depending on your needs, time constraints, commitment availability and comfort level.


1. The Pre-Move

Starting early is key. Once you have made the decision to move, you can begin by tossing at least 5-10 items each day that you know will definitely not make the move with you — and can’t be sold or donated. These could be old magazines, broken/stained items, old medications, torn clothing etc.  Start shredding unnecessary documents. Also, invite your children to claim their keepsakes – trophies, childhood toys etc.


2. Prepare a Move Notebook

Keeping to-do lists, inventories as you box items, contact information – anything that is related to your moving process in a “Move Notebook”. Take pictures of expensive items for insurance claims, in the unlikely event something is damaged. Maintaining a notebook with everything important to your move will help reduce stress and make the process much easier.


3. Set Your Move Date

Ask family or friends for suggestions on downsizing services and moving companies. Get estimates, read reviews and BBB for complaints. Check for non-peak times, such as weekdays or mid-month, when fees may be negotiable. Get a written contract and be sure to check coverage for lost or damaged possessions. Find out if they provide wardrobe boxes, so you can leave your clothing on the hangers.


4. Arrange Your Move with Utility Providers

Arrange to turn off your electricity, water, gas, phone, cable, and internet the day after you leave your old home and the day before you move into your new one. Begin address changes for: government, (post office, health card, SIN card, driver’s license, voting) financial, (credit cards, bank accounts, new cheques) health, (doctors, pharmacists) legal, (lawyers, accountants, insurance), social (family, friends, clubs) and newspaper/magazine subscriptions.


5. Downsizing, Sorting, and Packing

Here are some guidelines to facilitate dealing with your belongings and downsizing.

  • Safeguard important documents: deeds, wills, medical records, passports, birth certificates, diplomas etc.
  • Don’t overwhelm yourself: set aside two hour increments, go room by room, and reward yourself each time you finish. If you are unable to do this yourself, The Hillis Group will be happy to recommend downsizing services through our complete Seller Concierge Services.
  • Measure your new home’s closet and cabinet space, so you know exactly how much space you will have.
  • Label your items using four categories: Keep, Discard, Sell/Donate, and Maybe. Use colour-coded stickers to help organize.

A) Keep – Consider digitizing pictures and paperwork. For collections, perhaps keep your three favourite and take pictures of the rest. Don’t always take the newest, take what you love and use the most.

B) Discard – If it’s broken – toss it. If you haven’t used it in the past year, you don’t need it.

C) Sell/Donate – Contact estate sale companies and consignment shops. Hold a yard sale or put it on the curb with a “help yourself” sign.

If you can’t sell it – donate it. Find out what charities will take and if they are willing to pick up. Consider schools for books, musical instruments, costumes, tools etc.

D) Maybe – Get rid of “just in case” items (extra mattresses, suitcases, comforters etc.) and duplicates (dishware etc.), pick your favourite – and donate or sell the rest.

  • Make “Open First” boxes which have fresh bedding, soap, a shower curtain, toilet paper, toothbrush/paste, pajamas, towels, eating utensils, dish soap, a change of clothes, lamp, tape, scissors etc.
  • Be sure to label all boxes with their destination rooms and sketch a floor plan of where major furniture will go ahead of time.

6. On The Day Before

Set aside items to bring in the car: valuables, medications (refill in advance), chargers, keys, moving notebook, important documents etc. Defrost the freezer, pack up the food, put out your moving day outfit (comfortable and something you wouldn’t mind getting dirty), and prepare your coffee pot for the morning.


7. Now, It’s Moving Day

Remove bedding and pillows, curtains, and label box so you can find them right away. Take out the garbage, turn off the lights and water heater, lower the thermostat, and lock the windows. Then, do a final walk through to make sure that nothing is left behind.

In conclusion, we hope you appreciate our tips to help your moving and downsizing experience.  Consequently, keep in mind, we have helped many families and their loved ones successfully, with either partial or full downsizing services, to ensure a stress-free and smooth process from start to finish.  The Hillis Group prides ourselves on providing senior downsizing services in our complete Seller Concierge Service from your current home to your new forever home. From pre-packing, sorting, handling of donations, appraisals and labeling, to facilitating and being present on moving day …. we do it all, so you don’t have to!

Are you a senior or a family member of a loved one who is thinking of making a move? We can help you so you have peace of mind.  Contact us and let’s chat at 647-680-1699 or email

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