living room and bedroom view of the model home

Arcadia Packing Guide | A Room-by-Room List for Assisted Living

By Arcadia Senior Living

The Arcadia Packing Guide is our team’s free resource available to you. We know that some seniors see downsizing as lightening their load, but others find the process excruciating. They may be emotionally attached to some (or all) of their possessions and they might feel overwhelmed by having to decide what they should bring to assisted living and what should they sell or give away. We’ve learned, the key to making downsizing as stress-free as possible is to start the process early—at least a couple of weeks, if not months, before the move—to allow for enough time to sort through every item. Remember that the sorting process will bring up memories and emotions in your parents, so it’s best not to rush it.

>> Check out our full Transition Guide

The first things you should do is gather and safely store your loved one’s important financial, medical and legal documents and records. Once that is done, systematically go through each room, starting with a closet or a laundry room before moving on to bigger spaces like the basement or garage.


  • One or two nightstands (ideally with drawers and shelves)
  • One dresser
  • Bedding (two sheets, blankets, pillows, comforter)
  • Curtains

Living Room

  • Seating or Sofa
  • Chairs with arms, rocker
  • Small table(s) with shelves or drawers
  • Wall décor (photographs, paintings)
  • Curtains if needed
  • Lamps & Clock
  • Throw blanket


  • Small kitchen or drop-leaf table (standard table is usually too big)
  • Dishes, glasses & Silverware to use every day Settings for four
  • Wooden spoons, spatulas, etc.
  • Nice serving dishes
  • Trash can
  • Paper towel rack

Personal items

  • Clothing like pajamas, robe, sweaters, pants, dresses, nice outfits and two weeks’ worth of underwear and socks
  • Hangers
  • Shoes and non-skid slippers
  • Medications

Cleaning Supplies

  • Dish soap
  • Dish washing cloths and drying towels
  • Laundry basket
  • Dusting cloths


  • Television Make sure your loved one knows how to operate it
  • Music system and CDs
  • Desktop, laptop, or tablet computer if needed
  • Hobby supplies
  • Needlework, paints, craft materials within reason, cards, books
  • Note: If space allows, take a small filing cabinet or safe for important papers.

Do NOT to Pack

  • Lots of knickknacks or collectibles Surface space will be limited
  • Throw rugs or area rugs (they are a tripping hazards)
  • Chairs on wheels
  • Seldom-worn jewelry
  • Multiples of most things
  • Large furniture
  • Items that are stored away because they are rarely used

Arcadia Senior Living Logo

13031 SE Foster Road Portland, OR 97236
(503) 206-8930 (office)
Email resident relations at

Established in 2017, Arcadia Senior Living is a locally owned and operated Assisting Senior Living community focused on quality care, happy residents and purposeful living. Our team of healthcare professionals determines a care plan for each resident which is personalized to meet each resident’s unique needs. We understand how complicated and difficult a large transition can be and our staff is trained to inform and support a new resident’s entire family during this process. We believe in transparency and openly post services which have additional costs, update families on continuing evaluations of residents, and provide activities and programming designed to keep residents active and healthy.

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