Skip to main content Facebook Twitter
Find an aged care home for you!  
On 1300 606 781

Downsizing and moving into a retirement village

When the decision to move to a retirement village or independent living unit has been made, the reality of ‘the move’ can be overwhelming. There is so much to do!

Last updated: January 12th 2023
Moving house can be overwhelming so simply take one step at a time. [Source: Shutterstock]

Moving house can be overwhelming so simply take one step at a time. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • A retirement village can be a great way to downsize, meet new people and feel more supported
  • When downsizing, you get the last decision on whether you keep or get rid of your possessions
  • There are professionals available that can assist you in moving into a retirement village and with decluttering

The situation can be even more daunting for people living on their own, for those who are physically challenged or those whose families are too far away to help.

So, where do you start? If you’re on the downsizing journey, always take one step at a time.

What to take with you

First and foremost, know how much space you will have in your new home. Once you know this, you will have some idea about how many personal possessions you can bring with you.

Most people will have gathered a lifetime’s worth of well-loved belongings, so it can be difficult to decide what to keep and what to let go of. And it can be a very emotional process.

Taking an inventory of all your belongings, then asking yourself what you would take with you in the event of an emergency can help you in the decision making process. It will help you take stock of what is important to you, what you can live without and the things you can replace.

If you are moving into a house or unit, bring furniture that is necessary and doesn’t clutter your space. You want your new home to be comfortable and homey, but not packed with your life possessions.

What else should I consider?

Taking the time to properly plan your move will help you achieve everything in the ideal timeframe; this will minimise costs and stress, and maximise profit/income.

Other points you need to consider include:

  • Paperwork such as redirecting mail, disconnecting utilities, change of address notifications
  • The steps needed to be taken, such as cleaning and gardening, to prepare your property for sale or lease
  • The physical aspects of packing and transporting your belongings in your new home
  • Assistance in moving into your new home such as unpacking, ensuring furniture is in position, installing electronic devices and hanging pictures, etc
  • Selling off extra furniture or personal possessions you no longer need

Try not to rush yourself when organising for the move. For many older people, they struggle moving from their home where they have lived for 20-30 years into a new place. So give yourself time to adjust and mentally prepare for that transition into your new life.

Where to find help

Moving house is a big job that requires help and don’t be afraid to ask for it early on.

If family or friends are unable to help out or if you prefer a professional to do the job for you, there are specialists that can help in many areas of a move such as:

  • Assisting with sorting through household contents and possessions and decluttering
  • Disposing of excess items through sales or charities
  • Organising, coordinating or assisting with the physical move such as packing, arranging transportation and unpacking in your new home
  • Cleaning, repairing and presenting your home and garden for sale/lease
  • Assisting with paperwork such as organising mail redirection and disconnecting utilities

These specialists should represent your best interests at all times.

They will not only help coordinate and manage your move, but they will also help relieve you, or your loved one, of the stress and hassle that comes with moving.

Why did you decide to move into a retirement village? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content

Finding the right retirement village for you
How much can a retirement village cost?
Should I rent or own a place in a retirement village?

  1. Your Journey:
  2. Downsizing and moving into a retirement village


Aged Care Guide is endorsed by
COTA logo
ACIA logo
ACCPA logo