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Time to Pack: The Complete Senior Living Community Moving Checklist

When moving a loved one into a senior living facility it is important to provide moral support as they transition into this new way of life. 

The idea of downsizing to a smaller space can be frightening for many people, but understanding what is necessary to bring, and what is not, can be helpful during the transition into assisted living. 

Assuring your loved one that they will have everything they need, and helping them through the packing process, will mentally and physically prepare them for the changes ahead. 

Keep reading for the complete senior living community moving checklist to help you, and your loved one, prepare as best you can.  

The Complete Senior Living Community Moving Checklist

As you move your loved one into their new senior living facility, its important to remember that every place is different.

Consider if their new apartment comes furnished or unfinished, how many square feet will they have to fill, and are meals provided.

The answers to these questions will influence your packing decisions.   

1. Furniture 

Before deciding which furniture should come or go, check in with your assisted living facility to find out what type of home your loved one will be moving into. 

Is it furnished? What are the dimensions? What type of amenities does it offer? 

These are some questions you should have answered before deciding what your loved one should bring along on their move. 

If they are moving into an unfurnished place, you should pack a:

  • Bed frame and mattress 
  • Bedside table 
  • Bedding — comforter, pillows, blankets, sheets 
  • Sofa and comfortable chair 
  • An extra chair for guests 
  • Lamps 
  • Dining table and chairs (if space allows for it) 

If basic furniture is provided, such as a bed, sofa, and chairs, consider only bringing other necessary items such as lighting, bedding, and maybe a familiar recliner.  

2. Decorations  

It’s important to make your loved one’s new space feel as much like “home” as possible. This can be done by hanging up some of their favorite decorations in places that feel familiar to them.  

If they had a framed picture hanging above their bed, placing it in the same location can make your loved one feel more comfortable in their new space. 

Some examples of decorations would be: 

  • Framed artwork 
  • Mirrors
  • Keep-sakes 
  • Quilts 
  • Throw pillows  

Remember that the new space will likely be smaller than what they are accustomed to. Packing too many decorations can be overwhelming to your loved one and can cause clutter.

3. Appliances 

If appliances are not provided you will need to bring some along for your loved one. 

Necessary appliances include: 

  • Alarm clock 
  • Coffee pot 
  • Microwave 
  • Minifridge 
  • TV/Computer 
  • Chargers

Check-in with your assisted living facility before packing to determine what is already provided and what is not. 

4. Clothing 

Pack a variety of clothing to fit all of the possible events and weather changes your loved one will experience throughout the year.

One of the main priorities for senior clothing is comfort. Pack the following: 

  • Everyday comfortable clothing (ask your loved one what clothing makes them feel comfortable) 
  • PJs and robes 
  • Slippers/socks/shoes 
  • Warm clothing for winter 
  • Jackets and cozy wear 
  • Formal outfits for community events
  • Swimwear 
  • Activewear  
  • Underwear

You want your loved one to be prepared for any occasion, but be mindful that they will likely have less closet space than they are used to.  

5. Cleaning Supplies 

Your loved ones assisted living facility will likely have a cleaning service, but having some basic cleaning supplies on hand is good for unexpected accidents. 

Basic cleaning supplies include: 

  • Broom and dustpan 
  • Wipes 
  • Paper towels 
  • Cleaning Spray  
  • Soap

6. Toiletries 

Toiletries are an important part of everyone’s daily routine. Although some senior living facilities provide basic toiletries, your loved one will appreciate having the products they are used to with them. 

Toiletries can include: 

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste 
  • Medications 
  • Shaving supplies 
  • Soap 
  • Shampoo and conditioner 
  • Makeup-up
  • Face products 
  • Body lotion 
  • Hair products 
  • Blowdryer
  • Hairbrush 

Make sure to check-in with your loved one’s facility to receive a list detailing which toiletries are provided and which are not.   

7. Entertainment  

You want your loved one to feel comfortable and enjoy their time in their new senior living community. That’s why packing personal items that bring them joy is so important. 

Personal items can include materials for any hobbies, pictures of loved ones, and even jewelry.

If they love music, bring them a speaker. If they knit, pack up their yarn. If they paint, bring their supplies. 

Ensuring that your loved one has everything they need to enjoy themselves is the best way to ease them into this big transition.   

What Not to Bring to a Senior Living Facility

Now that you know what to bring to a senior living facility, here are a few things you should avoid brining. 

1. Collectibles

Avoiding clutter and unnecessary items is one of the best ways to make your loved one feel comfortable in their new home. 

If they are concerned about their collectibles, tell them that you or a trusted family member will keep them safe for them.  

2. Kitchen Supplies 

Many assisted living facilities provide meals to their residents. If they have a kitchen in their apartment, it likely stocked with all the silverware and plates they need. 

Before packing up your loved one kitchen, give their new assisted living facility a call and ask about their dining plans. 

3. Area Rugs 

It may seem oddly specific, but area rugs are one of the most unnecessary pieces of decor families pack for their loved ones. They are hard to move and take up a lot of space in your loved one’s already limited home. 

Are You Ready to Start Packing?  

Moving a loved one into a senior living community can be a difficult transition for the whole family, but surrounding them with things they love can ease the transition and make your loved one feel more comfortable in their new home. 

You can find more information on our website to help you and your family make the best decisions possible for your aged loved one. 

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