Packing for your move to a retirement community

You’ve packed up everything else and now it’s time for your clothes, shoes and accessories. Cleaning out your closet can be a big job so take your time and enlist the help —and advice—of family and friends. Plan to take regular breaks too. Depending on how much clothing you have—and how much you’ve stuffed into the back of the closet—this could take a while!

Opportunity to declutter

If it has been a while since you cleaned out your wardrobe the process may take a while. We all keep more clothing than we need so use this move as a motivator for getting rid of all those things you never wear. You’ll be happy you did; you don’t want to bring clothes or accessories that may be out of style, may not fit or may even be lacking buttons…to your new home.

Separate into categories

Start in a clean room with plenty of space for three piles—keep, give away and discard. If you aren’t sure about a piece of clothing or an accessory, try it on and ask a friend or family member for a second opinion. If you don’t love it and it doesn’t make you feel good right away, get rid of it!

Old favourites

You want to be comfortable so definitely bring your favourite pieces that you wear all the time—pjs, robe, dresses and pants—and don’t forget accessories like ties, belts and scarves. They are generally small and take up less room but take only those you really love and wear most often. Remember that your new residence may have less wardrobe space than your current home so be disciplined with these choices.

Check with the retirement community beforehand to see if there are any requirements that need to be taken into account, like material restrictions and laundering services.


One of the great benefits about moving to a retirement community is that you don’t have to wash the clothes anymore! But that also means that you may want to sew a nametag into your clothes just to be sure they don’t get lost in the laundry. This could be a good project for a grandchild or other family member.

Donate excess clothing

The clothes you don’t bring can easily be donated to a worthy cause or to other residents at your new community. If you don’t have time or energy to take care of this, ask a friend or family member to help out.

Treat yourself

Now that you’ve gotten rid of all those things you never wear, consider buying a new outfit to celebrate this new chapter of your life.

And be sure to bring a friend—it’s always good to get a second opinion!

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