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Tips for Downsizing: Tips for Seniors Preparing for a Move

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Navigating the Emotional Journey of Moving as an Older Adult

Moving from a long-time home can evoke a myriad of emotions, particularly for older adults. However, with thoughtful planning and a positive mindset, the transition can be smoother and more manageable. Here are some insights and tips to help ease the process:

Embracing Positivity

  • Focus on the Good: Counteract the "Negativity Bias" by consciously emphasizing the positive aspects of the move. Reflect on how the change will enhance your quality of life and open new opportunities.
  • Shift in Perspective: Rather than dwelling on what you're leaving behind, redirect your energy towards envisioning the benefits and adventures awaiting you in your new home.

Practical Strategies

  • Step-by-Step Approach: Break down the moving process into manageable tasks, tackling one room at a time. This gradual approach can alleviate overwhelm and promote steady progress.
  • Sentimental Items: Approach sentimental belongings with care, involving family members in discussions about cherished items. Sharing memories can help ease the emotional attachment to possessions.
  • Move First, Sell Later: Consider moving into your new home before decluttering and listing your current property for sale. This allows you to fully embrace your new environment and reduces the stress of managing a sale while still residing in the home. More on that below!

Move first, sell later?

This may seem contrary to popular belief. Typically, people focus on decluttering and downsizing in preparation for selling their home but don’t yet know where they will be moving to! If you don’t know where you’re going it’s difficult to get excited about it. 

“We advise you to focus first on visualizing your ideal future,” says Erin. “Which aspects of your life would be different? Where would you like to live? What would your ideal home look and feel like? Are you close to family or are you living in a different region? Once you can craft the future you desire, you can put together the pieces of your life transition plan. Once you find your new living arrangement you ‘ll be able to get excited about this next chapter.”

It’s always ideal if you can move to your new home before cleaning out and listing your home for sale. Living through a listing and selling your home is extremely stressful for numerous reasons. Financially it may not be possible for everyone, but if you can move first, you can focus on the positive aspects of your new home and lifestyle while dealing with the logistics of selling your previous home. 

Dovetail Companies says homes sell much faster and for more money when they are vacant and prepared for sale. Emotionally and logistically, older adults fare much better when they are not living in the home through the sale process. 

Seeking Support and Resources

  • Professional Assistance: Companies like Dovetail Companies specialize in supporting older adults and their families through major life transitions, offering comprehensive resources and guidance.
  • Senior Living Communities: Explore options like Hebrew SeniorLife's retirement communities, which provide tailored programs and services to ease the moving process and offer a supportive environment.


While moving can be challenging, particularly for older adults, approaching the process with a positive mindset and practical strategies can make a significant difference. By focusing on the opportunities and seeking support from professionals and community resources, individuals can navigate this transition with greater ease and peace of mind.

If you're considering a move to a senior living community or need assistance with a major life transition, explore available resources and reach out for support. Your new chapter awaits!


Are you ready to find the right senior living community for you? Explore Hebrew SeniorLife’s options or contact us for more information


Written by: Jeff Cramer, Hebrew Senior Life
Featuring Dovetail Companies

Feel like you need additional guidance or individualized support?

Our team of Certified Senior Advisors® and Certified Dementia Practitioners® has successfully assisted hundreds of families. We offer a single point of contact for all services you or your loved one might need when transitioning from longtime homes. We ensure a stress-free move that allows you to focus on the transition rather than the logistics.

Click here to start the conversation!

You can also call us directly at 617.227.1600 or email: [email protected]

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