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Rule of Thumb for Getting Rid of Things #2 - Image Moving to a Tiny Assisted Living Apartment

By: Kelly Vandever


One huge challenge in making a move, especially for those of us who’ve been alive more than 50 years, is what to do with all your stuff.   


Over several posts, I’ll be sharing some rules of thumb that I’ve learned. 


Rule of Thumb #2 for Getting Rid of Things  


Rule of Thumb #2 for getting rid of things is to decide what you would want to move if you had to move into a small, assisted living apartment. 




Maybe you won’t ever need assisted living.  We all hope and pray not.   


But if you do or if you’re like me and you have a parent with cognitive or physical issues, asking the question, “What would I want if I had to move into a tiny, assisted living apartment?” will help you get down to the nitty gritty, bare bones of the matter, and forces us to get very focused and very specific. 


Kelly’s List of What to Pack for Her Dad 


In case you’re curious, below is the list that I created when preparing to move my dad to assisted living.   


  • Towels 
  • Bed Linens 
  • Clothes  
  • Shirts 
  • Pants 
  • Shorts 
  • Underwear  
  • Socks 
  • Coat 
  • Jackets 
  • Sweaters 
  • Bathing suit 
  • Living Room recliners  
  • Photo albums 
  • TV  
  • Cubby shelves to set TV on 
  • Dresser(s) 
  • Side table – living room 
  • Lamps – living room 
  • Lamp – bedroom 
  • Side table – bedroom 
  • Plates 
  • Bowls 
  • Silverware 
  • Drinking glasses 
  • Snacks 
  • Paper towels 
  • Medicines 
  • Pill containers 
  • Deodorant 
  • Umbrella 
  • Band-Aids 
  • Shampoos 
  • Soaps 
  • Razors 
  • Toothbrush 
  • Toothpaste 
  • Hairbrush 
  • C-Pap machine 
  • Alarm clock 
  • Computer & cords 
  • Phone 
  • Charger 
  • Shoes 
  • Kleenex 
  • Toilet paper 
  • Garbage can - kitchen 
  • Garbage can - bathroom 
  • Pictures in frames 
  • Framed artwork 
  • Knick Knacks 
  • Items hanging in house 
  • Mirror 
  • Clock 
  • Folding chairs  
  • Clothes hangers 
  • Eyeglasses 
  • Cleaning wipes 
  • Bathrobe 
  • Pajamas 
  • Paperwork? 
  • Safe 
  • Pillows 
  • Clothes hamper 
  • Clothes basket 


A couple things you might not have expected...   


Folding Chairs 


I saw folding chairs on a list when I was googling what to bring to an assisted living facility.  We brought 2 folding chairs and they have worked out great.  Dad’s living room area comfortably fits are his 2 recliners.  But when two or three come by, we just grab the folding chairs out of the closet, and it works well.   


Cubby Style Bookshelves 


We had purchased 3 cubby style shelves when dad and his late wife were dislocated from their home after Hurricane Michael.  We brought those with us to the apartment lined the shelves along the one wall.  The shelves made a perfect stand for his TV, dozens of framed pictures and tons of photo albums.  Dad loves to comment on the photos and leaf through the photo albums. 



Making the Choices in Preparation for Getting Rid of Things 


Of course, your list will vary.  Dad’s apartment couldn’t fit a kitchen table and chairs.  His California king bed wouldn’t fit comfortably, so we bought him a queen bed.  I took over paying my dad’s bills so he didn’t need a desk. 


Decide what you or your parents need.  Decide what you’ll still enjoy having or ask your parent what personal items still bring them joy.  Make that list, because that will help with the next rule for getting rid of things... which we’ll cover in a future post. 



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