After deciding that Assisted Living is right for your loved one, you must plan for the big move to the new, often smaller apartment. As you help sort through items, do so with a focus on consolidation and which items will take up too much space or prevent your loved one from moving around easily. Use these eight tips to maximize space and efficiency in an Assisted Living apartment.
1. Pack appropriately sized furniture – If the community allows you to furnish the apartment, carefully consider each piece of furniture. Downgrade oversized, bulky furniture to smaller, simpler pieces. For example, you can trade a king- or queen-size bed for a full or twin. However, avoid downgrading furniture that makes more sense as a larger piece. For instance, don’t trade in a large couch for a smaller loveseat and armchairs. Multiple small pieces can take up just as much space (if not more) than one centerpiece.
2. Use multi-purpose furniture – One of the best ways to maximize space in a small apartment is to use multi-purpose furniture. Common examples of multi-purpose furniture include barrel end tables, storage ottomans, decorative trunk tables, and shelved headboards. These options serve as decorative items while also providing hidden storage space for everything from important paperwork to board games.
3. Avoid single-use gadgets – Single-use gadgets can quickly clutter a space. Kitchen items, such as a mini cupcake pan or a hamburger press, may be convenient when you have an entire pantry, but they hog space in a smaller apartment. You should also opt for electronic gadgets that serve multiple purposes, such as a smart TV with built-in apps or a TV with a built-in DVD player.
4. Hack your storage space – Another great way to maximize space in the apartment is to double your storage space with decorative baskets, hooks, and shelves. You can find an assortment of storage ideas on Pinterest and other do-it-yourself websites. For example, you can place baskets on the inside of cabinet doors to save space for larger items. Don’t be afraid to use vertical storage space as well, but keep items within your loved one’s reach to reduce the risk of injuries.
5. Avoid buying in bulk – While buying in bulk can save money, it can clutter the apartment. Try to resist bulk items from superstores, such as Sam’s Club and Costco. Many communities schedule transportation for shopping, so any extra trips shouldn’t be an inconvenience.
6. Organize items regularly – Help your loved one keep an organized system for everything in the apartment. Regularly cleaning out closets, desks, and drawers minimizes clutter around the home. Get rid of any old or duplicate items and clothing. You can even donate items if they are still in good condition. You should reorganize the apartment at least twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Use the opportunity to swap out summer and winter apparel if the apartment doesn’t have enough space for both wardrobes.
7. Keep it simple – The daily support your loved one will receive with Assisted Living cuts down on some previous necessities. For example, your loved one may not need many kitchen supplies if the community provides residents with three meals a day.
8. Find a furniture arrangement that works – Moving in might take several rearrangements. Find a system that works best for your loved one. They should be able to maneuver throughout the apartment with ease. If your loved one uses a walker or cane, remember to leave plenty of space between furniture. Keep doorways and hallways clear of clutter so that your loved one can easily move from one room to another.
Follow these eight simple tips to maximize space in your loved one’s new Assisted Living apartment. You can speak to a community team member to learn more about recommended furniture layouts based on their floor plans. These professionals may have additional tips on using the space efficiently. By keeping your packing list simple and efficient, you can make preparing for the big move a smooth and stress-free experience.