October 8, 2019

Are you getting ready to help your parent move into an assisted living community?

If so, you may be wondering what to pack. Because assisted living apartments are limited on space, your parent will need to streamline their belongings down to just the essentials. Chances are, your parent has lived in the same home for many years, which can make downsizing a challenge.

To help you decide what to bring and what to leave behind, we’ve assembled this helpful assisted living packing checklist:


Some families prefer to buy all-new furniture, while others want to bring familiar pieces to assisted living. Here are a few basic furniture pieces to consider bringing:

  • Small table and chairs
  • Nightstand(s)
  • Loveseat or small couch
  • Coffee table
  • Bed with sheets, pillow, and bedding
  • Desk and office chair

Remember to measure all furniture to make sure it will fit within your parent’s apartment layout.


Recreating the look and feel of your parent’s previous home can help ease their transition to a new space. While you can’t bring everything, be sure to incorporate at least a few of your parent’s favorite keepsakes.

Some décor ideas include:

  • Potted plants (live or artificial)
  • Throw pillows and blankets
  • Mirror
  • Framed photographs and artwork
  • Mementos and keepsakes
  • Clock
  • Reading lamp(s)
  • Night lights for the bedroom and hallways


Streamlining your parent’s wardrobe can be one of the biggest challenges of downsizing. Here are some essential clothing items to bring:

  • Casual clothing
  • Jackets and coats
  • Exercise clothing
  • Formal wear
  • Pajamas and robe
  • Shoes, socks, and slippers
  • Hangars and storage containers for out-of-season clothes

Entertainment and technology

Assisted living communities keep residents busy with fun daily social events and activities. But at the end of the day, your parent may want to enjoy watching a favorite TV show or curling up with a good book in the comfort of their private apartment. Don’t forget to take along these belongings:

  • Telephone
  • Television with DVDs or a streaming device
  • Radio
  • Alarm clock
  • Tablet or laptop computer
  • Books and reading material
  • Playing cards
  • Office supplies, stationery, and stamps

Toiletries and personal items

These are the items that your parent uses every day, so they should be the last ones to pack before moving. If your parent has a favorite brand of shampoo, soap, or lotion, it’s a good idea to stock up so you can replenish their supply as needed. Some assisted living communities even offer on-site salons, so residents don’t have to travel far for hair or nail care services.

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Bath towels, washcloths, and hand towels
  • Assisted devices such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, canes or walkers

Remember, space in your loved one’s new assisted living apartment will be limited.

Here’s a brief list of what not to bring:

  • Large furniture and artwork
  • Multiples of the same item
  • Tripping hazards such as loose area rugs
  • Kitchen and cooking supplies
  • Prescription medicines and over-the-counter medications/vitamins (Assisted living communities will assist residents with medication management to ensure safety.)

At Bethany Village, we know that moving a parent to assisted living is no small task. That’s why our Transition Coordinators are here to ease the transition and make sure your parent feels right at home in their new assisted living apartment.

If you’re just beginning to search for an assisted living community for your parent, we invite you to contact us to learn more and schedule a tour of Bethany Village.