You’ve got a long to-do list when moving to a senior living community, and you may not be sure where to begin. At Cedarhurst, we find that setting a moving timeline and breaking it down into smaller steps creates a smoother transition. It helps the move feel more manageable, and you’ll also find that the moving and decorating process is much more enjoyable.
Keep reading to find out how to make your new senior apartment feel comfortable and welcoming, and most importantly, how to create a home you love.
Tips for Turning Your Senior Apartment into a Home You Love
Downsizing from your current residence into a senior apartment may feel overwhelming, especially when you want to quickly get through the process so you can start enjoying those community amenities!
It’s helpful to reframe your thinking about the moving process and begin to consider it a liberating experience. You’re rightsizing your possessions to focus on what you really need and want, on top of living a maintenance-free lifestyle full of freedom.
All of this starts with how you decorate your apartment. To make your space as welcoming as possible, here are some of our top senior apartment moving and decorating tips.
1. Rightsize your possessions.
It’s natural to periodically reevaluate your living space and needs, especially as you consider moving to a senior living community. It all starts with rightsizing, the process of understanding what you truly want and need in your residence based on your personal lifestyle. Once you reach that understanding, you can narrow down your possessions to what is “right” for your space.
It can be easy to lose track of possessions and clutter, especially in “out of sight, out of mind” areas such as closets, the basement, and the attic. Rightsizing clears out these areas so you’re only packing and moving what you want to bring with you.
Follow this general process when it’s time to rightsize for your move to a senior living community:
- Create a rightsizing plan: Think about your goals for the process. Once you’ve narrowed down what you want to accomplish and your main mission, you can rightsize effectively.
- Maintain a timeline that works for you: Remember that you don’t have to accomplish this in a day, a week, or even a month. Creating a timeline with plenty of wiggle room will ensure you still have time to do things you enjoy and prevent you from burning out during the rightsizing process.
- Keep the right focus: Focus on one room at a time rather than individual items within the space. For example, tackle the entire office rather than just the books in your office.
Is it the right time to downsize? Learn about your options and get personalized results in about 4 minutes.Take the Assessment
2. Know your new living space.
Depending on the senior living community you’ve chosen, there may be several different floor plans available, each with different features. It’s helpful to know the dimensions of your new living space, what items are already provided there, and what items you’ll need to bring with you.
The floor plan of your new living space will help you start to visualize where you want to place items. This is especially important when it comes to furniture. Knowing how large your space is and the size of each area of your senior apartment will help you determine which large furniture to bring, and whether you might need to purchase new furnishings for certain spaces. Be careful not to bring too many large items—they can make a space feel cramped and create difficulty when you need to navigate through each room.
3. Define the areas of your new apartment.
Giving each area of your new apartment a distinct theme can help it feel larger. Have fun with the decor in your senior apartment and use color as a starting point to create a comfortable, vibrant atmosphere. For example, you may opt for light, neutral colors such as eggshell or a light gray in the living room and bold colors in the bathroom. Alternatively, you can opt for an overall neutral color scheme and add vivid splashes of color.
If a wall isn’t where you need it to be, room dividers are a great option for breaking up the space. For example, a simple divider between a dining area and living room can visually define the area, enabling you to create different themes in each space.
Area rugs can also be a great way to define spaces, but make sure they’re secured in order to prevent tripping hazards.
4. Use mirrors and paintings to open up your apartment.
Want a secret to making a space feel larger? Use mirrors and paintings!
Hanging these items on the walls can create a focal point that makes the space feel larger and brings together the other items in the space. Because this is an item that will grab visitors’ attention, make sure the pieces reflect your style!
By strategically choosing where you place mirrors, you can also add more light to your senior apartment. Placing a mirror on a wall facing a window will reflect the light, making your space feel larger and brighter.
5. Include sentimental items.
Don’t underestimate the value and comfort that photo albums, digital frames, and other sentimental items can add to your apartment. This is a lovely way to create a welcoming atmosphere that feels like home.
Incorporate an heirloom quilt into your living room by draping it over the back of the sofa, add pictures your grandkids painted to your refrigerator, and more! Be creative with how you personalize your space and make it comfortable and welcoming.
6. Bring fresh air into your space with greenery.
Add some green into your space with plants or small pots of succulents along your windowsill. They’ll liven up your space with bright colors and make it feel more inviting.
Plus, there’s a special thrill in nurturing them and watching them grow. Caring for plants is a soothing hobby. Research has shown that caring for plants reduces blood pressure, stress, and anxiety while increasing feelings of comfort.
Don’t have a green thumb? Not to worry! Hardy plants such as succulents don’t require much attention while still providing health and decor benefits.
7. Maximize your lighting.
Decorations can fall flat without plenty of lighting. Take advantage of natural lighting by choosing sheer curtains for your space rather than dark, heavy drapes.
Don’t underestimate artificial lighting, too! Well-placed lamps can illuminate your space, and with plenty of different lighting options available, your lamp can become a decor element itself. Just make sure to secure cords so they don’t become a tripping hazard.
8. Avoid overcrowding.
Incorporate strategically placed empty areas in your apartment design to make it feel more spacious. Overcrowding surfaces such as tables and the floor can not only make the apartment feel smaller but also create tripping hazards by obstructing walkways.
This is especially important when it comes to furniture. Too many large items in a space, no matter the size, often make the room feel crowded and uncomfortable. This is why understanding your floor plan and the dimensions of each area is vital.
9. Ask for help.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help with moving or decorating ideas! Turn it into an activity you can share with family and friends, or ask staff members in your community for input. The staff members are always happy to help, plus they have plenty of experience with the process of moving into senior living, so they have plenty of great tips to share.
Start a New Chapter at Cedarhurst
At Cedarhurst Senior Living, we’re changing the senior living game by making our residents the main focus. Our approach and communities are innovative and stand apart from the rest. Get our guide to learn exactly What Makes Cedarhurst Different.