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Making Your Move: A Checklist of What to Bring to Assisted Living in Dallas, TX

a packed suitcase and packing list for moving to senior living

Now that your loved one is making the move to assisted living, you’re probably starting to think about the details of the move itself. Any time you move, it comes with both excitement and stress. From figuring out what to bring to assisted living to creating a moving schedule, you can help your loved one have a smooth transition by taking care of the details for them.

Before you start packing, make sure you have a moving plan in place. Some preparation ahead of time goes a long way in helping ease both of your concerns. Then, you’ll be ready to get your loved one settled in faster when moving day arrives.

Getting ready before packing

Ideally, you’ll want to start planning for your loved one’s move and what to bring to assisted living several weeks in advance. Before you start organizing and packing, involve your loved one in creating a moving plan. This not only helps your loved one feel in control of the process. It also helps you as a caregiver to break the move down into more manageable pieces.

For instance, consider these items when creating your packing plan:

  • Review a copy of your loved one’s floor plan at their new assisted living community. This will let you specifically see what big items you need to keep and what items might not fit.
  • Make a list of each room or area in your loved one’s current home. Then, assign which week you’ll pack each room. Most families find it helpful to start with rooms that are rarely used first.
  • If you’re using a moving company, call them soon. Many companies get scheduled out on weekends. You may have more options if you choose a weekday for your move.
  • Many seniors do a large amount of downsizing when they move to assisted living. In that case, schedule days for bulk trash services, garage sales, or donation drop-offs.
  • Talk through to-dos if you are selling your loved one’s current home. Some families want to put the home on the market soon, while others wait until their loved one has time to settle at their new home.
  • If you have family or friends coming to pick up heirlooms that your loved one is passing down, get those on your calendar.
  • Schedule a time right before moving day for your loved one to say goodbye to their old home. This can provide a sense of peace as they move to their next home.

Packing and sorting

As you start to pack, you’ll want to have a checklist of essentials to bring to assisted living on hand. This list will make it much easier to say what moves and what you may need to let go of. Many people create distinct piles or labels as they pack. For instance, you might use labels like move, donate, sell, pass along, toss, and up for grabs, says the AARP.

Use this assisted living checklist to get started:


  • Side table
  • Comfortable recliner or chair
  • Television
  • Chair or bench for shower
  • Bed
  • Small table for beside bed
  • Chest of drawers or dresser

Household items and linens

  • Mattress cover that’s waterproof and zips around the whole mattress and a mattress pad
  • Sets of sheets
  • Bedspread, comforter, or blanket
  • Pillows
  • Laundry basket or hamper and spot remover
  • Sets of towels and washcloths
  • Trash can
  • Shower curtain with rings
  • Mat for bathroom
  • A few kitchen items (if your apartment has a kitchenette), such as plates, cups, and utensils
  • Paper products, such as toilet paper, facial tissue, and paper towels
  • Hand soap


  • About a week’s worth of comfortable clothes for warm and cold temperatures, such as short-sleeve tops, long-sleeve tops, pants, sweatsuits, and sweaters
  • Skirts, dresses, dress pants, or other dressy outfits only if desired for special occasions
  • Socks, underwear, and bras for women
  • Comfortable shoes and slippers
  • A few sets of pajamas
  • Housecoat
  • Robe
  • Jacket
  • Accessories for winter, such as gloves or a hat

Personal care

  • Standard toiletries, such as toothbrush, toothpaste, denture care, body wash or soap, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, deodorant, perfume, or cologne
  • Hair care items, such as brush/comb/pick or hair dryer
  • Daily vitamins or over-the-counter medications
  • Items for shaving
  • Items for incontinence, such as briefs, wipes, bed pads, and cream as needed

Keepsakes or sentimental items

While you don’t want to include expensive or irreplaceable items in what you bring to assisted living, a few sentimental items are good. Carefully choose items that have special meaning to your loved one. These might include family pictures, books, a few favorite decorations, quilts, or items for hobbies. Many families like to unpack these on the first day so that their loved one immediately has something familiar in their new home.

We help your loved one have a successful move to assisted living in Dallas, TX

You’re not alone as you start planning and packing for your loved one’s move. Monticello West is here to help you with questions, provide guidance, and give you more details on amenities and services. We’ve helped hundreds of families have a smooth transition as their loved one settles into their new assisted living home. To ask a question or learn more, contact us today.