Moving Tips for Seniors Who Are Ready to Retire | Homestead Village

Downsizing in Retirement: Moving Tips for Older Adults

Tips for Moving for Retirees

Over the course of our lives, we go through many transitions. Between school, work, family, and life, we can expect to encounter small, medium, and even large transitions that ebb and flow as our lives evolve. 

Retirement is often one of the larger transitions older adults make. While many people can’t wait to reach retirement, many retirees struggle to adjust to this change as it can impact more than just employment status. There are social adjustments to make, family dynamics evolve, and oftentimes there is a desire to relocate to a more supportive and engaging environment that reduces the stressors of home maintenance and upkeep. 

Downsizing (or, “Rightsizing” as we like to think of it) is a common choice for many retirees. Whether they are looking for just the right amount space because they no longer need the extra room, are looking to minimize maintenance and spend more time traveling or participating in hobbies, or want to be closer to family or a community of friends and neighbors, moving to a more accommodating space is a valid choice. Some may also anticipate future care needs that may be better supported in a community supportive setting. 

How to Downsize Your Lifestyle

Thinking about moving to a new location that better fits your current lifestyle is an exciting process  – which many people claim that they “should have done sooner!” However, for some, it can also be an emotional time, especially for those who tie a lot of sentimental value to their home and belongings. We have a few tips for you to make the process of downsizing easier.

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Declutter As You Downsize

The first step in decluttering and downsizing your belongings is to prepare yourself for the possibility that this might be difficult emotionally. Try to focus on what you will gain with your new move and home (new friendships, new opportunities, new experiences!) as opposed to what you’re losing. You may even find that downsizing your belongings is not a loss at all – it’s a new sense of freedom.

Make a plan before you begin the work. Set goals, create a timeline, and use a checklist so you can see what you’ve accomplished day by day.  Plan to tackle your plan drawer by drawer and room by room – instead of all at once – to alleviate feelings of being overwhelmed. Prioritize areas that carry more clutter or have more sentimental value instead of putting them off. Try sorting items into keep, toss, and give away piles.  

The easiest areas to downsize are: clothes, books, décor, and furniture. 

Keep what’s important and try to limit the non-essentials. Don’t just get rid of everything; make sound decisions on which items stay and which items go. 

Stay Organized During Your Move

Decluttering your belongings is a great start to getting better organized. But it is also an easy way to lose important items and documents. So, make sure you have a plan to stay organized while you prepare to move. 

Set aside your important documents in a safe place where they won’t be forgotten or accidentally thrown out. Since you will be transitioning to a different space and there may be a need for you or your family members to easily access the documents, consider digitizing them. It will ensure there is a copy of the document should anything happen to the original and make them easier to find or access should the need arise. 

8 Tips to Avoid Injury While Moving

Now that you’ve decluttered your home and set aside important documents, it’s time to actually make the move. Moving can take its toll on the body regardless of age or physical condition. 

DIY movers often sustain injuries to their backs, hands, feet, and joints. It is possible to limit the risk of injury while moving, if you don’t have the means to or want to hire a moving company.

  1. Don’t rush. Don’t wait until the last minute to start moving. Rushing leads to shortcuts and quick decisions that will result in injury. When you make your decluttering plan, make a plan for your move as well. A solid plan can help save you headaches—and backaches. 
  2. Prepare your body. This may seem like a silly suggestion, but it can actually help. Moving boxes and other household items requires a lot of core strength. In the weeks leading up to the move, do some stretches and exercises to prepare your core for the big day. However, don’t overdo your new fitness regimen, as injury can occur by taking on too much too quickly. Slow and steady wins the race.
  3. Keep boxes light. Lifting boxes with too much weight will lead to injury. Don’t overpack boxes and don’t attempt to move large objects, like furniture, on your own. 
  4. Keep pathways clear. Boxes tend to take up every free space on moving day. Be sure that your pathways are clear of any obstructions. Before anyone begins moving boxes, walk the path you’ll be taking and ensure it is safe. Check it routinely throughout the day as well. 
  5. Dress appropriately. You want to wear comfortable clothes on moving day, of course. Take it a step further and consider pants and long sleeves to cut down on the cuts and scratches you may receive. Gloves can protect your hands and work boots can protect your toes. If you have known issues, like a bad back or tricky knee, consider wearing a brace for extra support. 
  6. Lift properly. There is a proper technique to use when lifting. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, bend at your knees and not your waist, and avoid hunching. Keep the weight close to your body to distribute the weight more evenly. 
  7. Know your limits. Moving is stressful and you’re often on a timeline to get things out. But, don’t push yourself too hard. Know your physical limits and don’t try to push through strain or pain. Take breaks when necessary and stay hydrated. 
  8. Consider enlisting help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it’s needed. Friends and family may be able to lend a hand and take some of the strain off your shoulders. Sometimes, professional help is best, and there are a number of local services available that help with packing, organizing, and moving solutions. 

Homestead is one of the best-rated CCRCs in Lancaster County.

Downsize Your Lifestyle, Not Your Independence

Many choose to transition to senior communities so they can maintain and even enhance their active lifestyle. Senior independent living is more than possible with the right Life Plan Community. 

Located on 90 lovely acres in the heart of Lancaster, voted one of “The Best Places to Retire” in the United States, Homestead Village offers a broad selection of “Right-Sizing” options. From cozy cottages, charming villas and spacious carriage homes, to a variety of apartment styles, including new luxury apartments at the Townstead, we have something for everyone

Each of our homes and apartments includes amenities that are designed to enhance your lifestyle, support social engagement, cultivate wellness, and bring peace of mind. We operate with a THRIVE WHERE YOU ARE® mindset, meaning we bring the services to you rather than relocating you to a different part of campus. 

Homestead Village is more than just a Continuing Care Retirement Community. See the difference for yourself with a campus tour.  

To arrange a campus visit or learn more about our Priority List, contact the Marketing Office or call 717-923-5842.




How can I downsize my lifestyle before I move?

The best way to downsize without adding additional stress or emotional strain is to create a plan. Declutter room by room; create separate piles for keep, donate, and throw away; start with the easiest areas like clothes, books, décor, and furniture.

You should also work to organize important documents before you begin. Consider digitizing documents so they are easier to access and keep track of. 

How can I avoid injury while moving?

We recommend these 8 tips to avoid injuries on moving day:

  1. Don’t rush. 
  2. Prepare your body. 
  3. Keep boxes light. 
  4. Keep pathways clear. 
  5. Dress appropriately. 
  6. Lift properly. 
  7. Know your limits. 
  8. Consider enlisting help. 

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