Spring in Maple Ridge is a delightful time of year, marked by blissfully bright days and warmer temperatures. The community comes alive with vibrant flowers and cherry blossom trees in full bloom, making the season all the more inspiring. With all of the fresh energy and renewal that surrounds us, some seniors might feel ready to embrace change by moving to a townhouse, a condominium, or an independent living community in Maple Ridge. While this new chapter of life is exciting, it can also feel overwhelming, especially when it comes to parting with personal belongings. As Maple Ridge’s top-voted retirement home, Greystone Manor Retirement Residence is here to make the transition as smooth as possible, with tips to make downsizing feel less daunting for seniors and their families.

The Benefits of Downsizing to a Retirement Community for Seniors

Downsizing offers seniors who are ready to embrace living in a Maple Ridge retirement community the opportunity to simplify their lives and explore rewarding social connections. Beyond this, downsizing provides seniors with:

  • Safety & Accessibility: Seniors who have transitioned to life in a retirement home no longer need to worry about navigating stairs as potential falling hazards, and can enjoy added in-suite safety features including shower grab bars and emergency alert systems. 
  • Cleaning & Maintenance: With weekly housekeeping service, seniors are able to maintain a tidy, well-functioning space, without burdensome repairs or cleaning duties.
  • Balanced meals: Nutrition is a built-in part of the independent living experience at Greystone Manor Retirement Residence, with two quality meals prepared daily by Red Seal chefs.   
  • Community atmosphere: A robust events calendar encourages seniors to stay active and social, with enriching activities like knitting, tai chi, pool, and bingo to participate in with fellow residents and family members.

Ready to downsize? Here are some recommendations to make the journey more manageable.

Give Yourself Ample Time by Planning in Advance

For many, downsizing from a home to a smaller space means sorting through years (and even a lifetime) of accumulated items. Naturally, this can feel overwhelming and emotional on its own, let alone being in a rush to get it done. Chipping away at sorting possessions several months before the move will alleviate pressure and make it easier to make rational decisions on what will best serve the new space. During this time, be sure to take measurements of the new space and take a close look at the floorplan to determine which items will fit in each room.

Separate Belongings by Category

Being intentional and selective throughout the downsizing process is key. Our suggestion? Separate items in boxes according to four categories: keep, sell, donate, and discard. Some may even want to consider adding a fifth category, “gift,” for those heirlooms that can be passed down to other family members.  

There are several donation centres in Maple Ridge that will accept used household items, furniture, and clothing. A couple of options include:

Community Donation Centre: All pre-loved items dropped off here will be donated to Diabetes Canada. 

Ridge Meadows Hospice Society Thrift Store: This location accepts donations on Tuesdays and Fridays, 9AM – 12PM.

Ridge Meadows Ministries (Salvation Army): Note that there are specific physical goods that this location does and does not accept. Find the full list of items HERE. 

For those looking to discard old electronics, appliances, furniture, plastics, or metals, the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot is an environmentally responsible, affordable solution.

Ask Family Members for Help

When it comes to downsizing, don’t be shy to lean on family members for help! Not only can asking for assistance from loved ones lighten the load, but it can also foster a sense of togetherness during this time of transition. This can be particularly helpful when it comes to lifting heavy items and coordinating the logistics, like hiring a moving company, dropping off donations, and getting other family members involved.

Embrace Simplicity By Letting Go

Downsizing can be an emotional process while letting go of items that bring back fond memories. However, it’s important to remember that when transitioning to a smaller space, small items can add up quickly, making it important to be discerning about the items you’ll be keeping. When sorting through possessions, try to ask yourself important questions, like “when was the last time I used this?” and, “will this item serve a purpose in my new home?” Plus, having a fresh start in a clutter-free space will promote a clearer, calmer mind, allowing you to fully appreciate the keepsakes you held onto. Avoiding clutter will also make it easier to locate everyday essentials, like medication, eye glasses, and house keys. By donating or passing down your items to family, you can feel proud knowing you’ve brought joy to someone who can benefit from their use.

Get Creative With Storage Solutions

Unsure of how to keep treasured items that are not necessarily for display? Consider various storage solutions that can serve as decorative and functional in the new space. Some ideas include:

  • Ottomans with storage to keep items like lotion, reading socks, heating pad, and extra blankets handy, but hidden.
  • An accent shelf to display pictures and store books and photo albums.
  • A shoe cabinet to keep spare shoes out of the way when not in use.


While making the choice to downsize can feel heavy at first for seniors, moving to a Maple Ridge independent living community comes with the added perks of safety, enriching activities, and fewer responsibilities, to make the golden years feel liberating and rewarding. By taking it slow and methodically, and asking for help from family members along the way, the process of downsizing can feel less overwhelming. Living in a smaller space, it’s important to minimize clutter by embracing simplicity, and maximizing your storage.

Ready to make the move to a Maple Ridge retirement community? Take a tour of Greystone Manor Retirement Residence, Maple Ridge’s top-voted retirement home. This independent living community allows seniors to enjoy a host of recreational activities, and services to enhance their lifestyle, including restaurant-quality meals daily, weekly housekeeping, and regular professional maintenance.