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The Trick to Making a One-Bedroom Apartment Work for You

Happy senior woman stretching after waking up in the morning

As a retiree, you may find downsizing into a senior apartment makes a lot of sense. A move often means less responsibility and a chance to enjoy the retirement lifestyle you’ve always imagined, whether that’s traveling without the worry of a home left empty for extended periods or spending leisurely afternoons doing anything other than housework.

 Despite the advantages, downsizing to a one-bedroom apartment when you’re accustomed to a much larger home is no small task. Fortunately, these downsizing tips for seniors planning a move will help make the job more approachable so you can focus on getting settled in your cozy new home.


Give yourself plenty of time. Rushing a move can be a recipe for disaster, especially when you’re condensing a multibedroom family home into a senior apartment. There are numerous steps in the process of downsizing for seniors, from the initial decluttering and sorting to putting your house on the market and selling it. Realistically, you need several months to pace yourself and avoid unnecessary stress.


Consider how your lifestyle will change. Thinking about how you’ll use your home in retirement will help you decide what you need to keep so you can make plans for getting rid of the rest. After all, once you retire, you probably won’t have as much need for a fully equipped home office. Also consider the amenities you can take advantage of in your new community. For example, you may have access to a private dining room where you can host family gatherings, so you can forgo a large dining set in your new senior apartment.


Be realistic about what you keep. As you consider which items you’ll take with you, consider where each one will fit into your one-bedroom senior apartment floor plan. If you can’t think of a spot or a way to make it fit, you’ll know you need an alternate plan. That may mean finding solutions like additional storage shelves or furniture for your new place, or it may require you to decide whether to gift, sell, or donate the belongings that won’t fit. There will undoubtedly be things you keep purely for their sentimental value, but generally, give yourself permission to discard anything collecting dust from disuse.


Allow yourself to process the emotions. Any move is likely to stir up some big feelings, and a move to a senior apartment comes with the added emotions of a major life transition. It’s very normal to feel sad about leaving your familiar home where your family has created countless memories. You may be anxious about the unknowns of a new community and frustrated by the mountains of stuff left to sort. When you feel the negativity creeping up, allow yourself to acknowledge and process those feelings, but also take time to remind yourself of all the ways your new home will make retirement easier and more enjoyable.


Design to maximize your space. Know that square footage is only a number; decorating to make your space open and inviting will make your senior apartment feel bigger than it is. Take advantage of windows to let in plenty of natural light to make each room airy and bright. Avoid excessively bulky furniture that overpowers a space, and try to limit to strictly necessary furnishings so your rooms don’t feel cramped and cluttered. Get creative to incorporate additional seating, such as seating that nests under a coffee table, and remember to use your walls to maximize storage space with racks, shelves, and hooks.


Consider Downsizing with Us!

A move to a senior apartment in an independent living community can be a rewarding and exciting transition. Making your home at The Oaks at Denville means living near a lively downtown area with many nature areas to explore nearby as well. You’ll also find plenty to enjoy within this Life Plan Community, like engaging activities that make it easy to make friends with your new neighbors and wellness programming to help you live your best, healthiest life. Schedule a visit to explore our floor plans and start envisioning how you’ll make yourself right at home.

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