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How to Decide What to Bring to Assisted Living in Dallas, TX

Close up of a suitcase packed with clothes.

Once you’ve made the choice to move your loved one to assisted living, then it’s time to think about packing. But it can be hard to know exactly what to bring to assisted living. It’s normal for you both to feel a little overwhelmed at first, especially if your loved one is downsizing their possessions.

One of the best ways you can support your loved one is to take on most of the planning and packing for them. So, talk through concerns. Review your packing list. Create a schedule. With some preparation, you’ll both feel less stressed when moving day comes.

Planning before packing

Before you dive into packing, create a schedule first. By splitting the move into smaller tasks, the packing process will also feel less overwhelming. While it’s good to take the lead, you’ll want to talk through the plan with your loved one too. In the end, this will help them feel more involved and invested in the moving process.

Specifically, think through the following before you pack:

  • Decide when you need a moving company and get them on the calendar. Then, work backward from there. Often, it’s easier to get movers during the middle of the week, instead of weekends.
  • Review each room or area in your loved one’s current home and assign specific days to pack them. You may want to start with rooms that don’t get much use first. Leave the most-used areas for last.
  • Ask the assisted living community for a copy of your loved one’s floor plan. Then, review how furniture or other items will fit.
  • If you’re downsizing, put things such as donation drop-offs, garage sales, bulk trash days on the calendar.
  • Coordinate with other loved ones to schedule the pickup of any heirlooms, furniture, or keepsakes that will be passed on.
  • Make plans for your loved one’s current home. If you will be putting it on the market, talk through needed repairs and the best timing for the sale.
  • See if your loved one wants to have a special time to say goodbye to their old home. If so, add this to your schedule and make it a priority.

Assisted living packing checklist

A packing checklist is a great way to keep your loved one’s move on track. Once you have your list, you can start sorting out items that are no longer needed. It’s likely you’ll need to sort things into several categories. For example, the AARP says to place each item into one of six groups: move, donate, up for grabs, sell, pass along, and toss.

Example checklist of what to bring to assisted living:

Living room

  • Comfortable seating, such as a recliner
  • Table to go beside chair
  • Television


  • Bedroom furniture, such as bed, nightstand, and dresser
  • Mattress pad and waterproof cover that zips around the whole mattress
  • Bedding, such as pillows, sheets, comforter, blanket, and bedspread
  • Laundry basket or hamper for dirty clothes


  • Washcloths and towels
  • Bath rug
  • Shower chair
  • Shower curtain with rings
  • Trash can
  • Paper products, such as Kleenex and toilet paper
  • Soap for handwashing

Personal care

  • Everyday toiletry items, including soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, etc.
  • Any routinely used over-the-counter medications or vitamins
  • Items for hair, such as a brush, comb, pick, hair dryer, or other accessories
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste or denture care items
  • Supplies for shaving
  • Supplies for Incontinence if needed, such as briefs, wipes, bed pads, and cream


  • Underwear and socks
  • Bras for women
  • 5-7 sets of comfortable, casual clothes for both cold and warm weather, such as short-sleeve shirts, long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, sweatsuits, and pants
  • Dress pants, skirts, or dresses if desired for special occasions, but keep most clothes casual
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Clothes for around the house, like slippers, housecoat, or robe
  • Pajamas
  • Accessories for cold months, such as gloves, jackets, or hats

Meaningful items

Special heirlooms or very expensive items should be stored safely with loved ones. Typically, you shouldn’t include them on your list of things to bring to assisted living. However, it’s important to bring a few meaningful items to your loved one’s new home. This can put them at ease by having familiar items nearby. Consider items such as:

  • Special quilt or blanket
  • Photos or a special memory book
  • A few favorite decorative items
  • Items for their favorite hobby, like reading or knitting

Ready to help you have a smooth move to assisted living in Dallas, TX

As you start packing, you may have more questions about what to bring to assisted living. The Signature Pointe team can answer your questions. We’re experts in making the transition to assisted living a little easier for the whole family. To learn more about our floor plans, amenities, and services, contact us today.