If you’re a senior who’s thinking about making a move, there are several things to take into consideration. Finding the right mover, packing up, paring down your belongings if you’re downsizing, and making the new place feel like home are just a few of the most important things to think about. Without a good plan, moving can be an overwhelming task, so it’s important to sit down and prepare for every contingency you can think of.
Here are a few of the best tips on how to do just that.
Find the right movers
You may think you can handle the move with just a few friends or family members, but if you have large pieces of furniture or heavy boxes full of dishes, it’s best to let the professionals take care of things. Do some research to find the best movers for your needs–for instance, do they have a truck big enough to haul your belongings? Are they experienced in moving large, delicate items such as pianos?–and make sure they’ll be willing to work with your schedule.
Have the right tools handy
Before you start packing, make sure you have a variety of different-sized boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap or newspaper, scissors, trash bags, and cleaning supplies. This way you can clean as you go and keep the floor from becoming cluttered with trash and debris, which can be trip hazards. Create a packing list for each box and tape it to the outside so you’ll be able to easily find items in the new house. Move the boxes up against a wall when they’re finished to keep walkways clear.
The same goes for when you’re unpacking at the new place. If you have friends or family who are helping you with the move, designate jobs to keep everyone from being in each other’s way. Have one person clean and put away dishes while you direct the movers on where everything goes. Try to stay organized and efficient, which will keep the day from being too stressful.
If you’re moving because you need to downsize, there can be a lot of emotions involved. It’s hard to think about getting rid of our possessions, especially if they have a special memory attached to them. Invite some family members over before you begin packing things up and ask if they’d like to take any of those items home with them. Jewelry, antiques, and photos are great pieces to keep within a family and will help you pare down your things for the move.
Moving into a new home can be stressful, even if the move goes well, so think of ways you can make it a little easier on yourself. If you’ve had the same furniture for a long time, consider buying one new piece for the new place, or splurge on some new artwork to hang on the walls. Many seniors find themselves in sad circumstances when they make a move during their golden years, so if there’s a way to make this change a happy occasion, do it.
Make it home
One of the easiest ways to make a new house feel like a home is to stamp your personality on it right away. If possible, take pictures of the new place before you move in so you can make plans for where the furniture will go. Unpack things like art, photographs, and personal belongings like clothing first, but wait until your furniture is in place before you hang anything up.
Moving can be a challenge at any age, so be sure to stay hydrated, take plenty of breaks, and ask for help when you need it. After that, you’ll be free to enjoy your new home.
Article by: Jim Vogel. If you are interested in more articles similar to this, they can be found at ElderAction.org