Brenda Lyle – Special to FLORIDA TODAY

Reader question:   I am moving to a senior living community. How do I deal with all my stuff?

Answer:  According to senior living experts, the prospect of downsizing is the biggest obstacle for older adults considering a move to a senior living community.

Just the thought of cleaning out a home you have lived in for 30 years and moving into a small apartment is too daunting for most seniors to tackle.

Luckily, help is out there!

There is an entire category of professionals devoted to helping seniors downsize and move.

Let’s start with selling your beloved home.

Some Realtors have earned a special designation for working with seniors.

These “Senior Real Estate specialists” are trained to understand the unique situations older clients face when buying and selling homes.

David Miller, with the Miller Group of Keller Williams Heritage Realty, has helped many seniors solve downsizing dilemmas.

“Seniors typically know when they need to make a move,” he said. “However, most don’t know where to start, who to call, or who to trust. It can be overwhelming when people realize everything that needs to get done. As a result, many seniors will choose to delay or do nothing. And that’s usually not the best thing to do.”

Some Realtors like Miller provide a concierge-style menu of services that connect seniors to a network of trusted vendors.

By working with specialists who focus on one element at a time, it takes the stress out of the move.

Who are these trusted vendors?

The National Association of Senior Move Managers began in 2002 as a network of businesses that help clients sort, organize, donate, move and reestablish their new home.

Currently there are more than 900 companies across the U.S. that are members of the organization.

Senior move managers will develop a relocation plan of action in association with family members and service providers, addressing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how it needs to be done.

They will reduce the anxiety associated with moving and reduce or eliminate the potential for financial exploitation.

These businesses will come into your home and help you decide what to take and what to sell or give away.

Some of these businesses also conduct estate sales so that you can make a little extra cash from your treasures.

On moving day, they will pack and move you and then get you unpacked and organized in your new, smaller home, whether it’s into a senior living community or down the block.

Ready to start the conversation about downsizing?

Call One Senior Place at 321-751-6771 to find the help you need.


One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. To submit a question, send an email to or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at

Brenda Lyle is a Certified Care Manager for One Senior Place, Greater Orlando.