Tips for Seniors Making a Move

by Aimee Lyons

Whether you are moving into an assisted living facility or simply downsizing a bit, making a move can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if you have lived in the same home for many years. A lifetime of memories and collections reside in that house as well, and it can be troubling to think of having to get rid of them. With careful planning, you can make sure the move is as smooth as possible and that you can take nearly all of your favorite possessions with you.

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The first thing to do is get organized, and ask for help if you need to. A trusted friend, family member, or caregiver can help you sit down and make a list to get prepared. Here are some of the best ways to start.

Think ahead

It can be helpful to think about everything that needs to happen all the way from putting your house on the market to what you’ll need to handle come moving day. Then, write them down in checklist form in the order they’ll need to be tackled. Do you want to use an agent to sell your home or sell it on your own? And what are the costs associated with either option? Which assisted- living facilities or neighborhoods do you prefer for your new home? Will you need to make arrangements for a storage unit or movers? The list goes on and on. Moving, regardless of age, is a huge task so don’t be shy about asking for help when you’re trying to figure out how to manage the process.

As soon as you make the decision to move, it’s a good idea to start planning. Take your time and focus on accomplishing one or two things a day. If you have a large house or a lot of belongings, begin with one room and take inventory of everything in it. Think about whether you want to take certain things or purchase replacements.

Once you have a good idea of all the items in the room, take different colored Post-It notes and mark them with notes like “Take”, “Donate”, “Trash” and “Sell.” This will make it easier not only for you to see what you have, but for anyone helping you pack. Write down the “Take” items on a list. Having a detailed inventory of everything you’re taking will help you stay organized before, during and after the move.

Plan your packing

It’s never easy to think about parting with cherished belongings, but if you know you won’t have the same amount of room in your new home, sometimes donating items or giving them to family members is the best way to go. Hold on to things that are special to you and think about whether they can be changed in a way that is more accommodating for a smaller space.

For example, large photo albums take up a lot of room and can create heavy boxes for a move, but if you have a computer you may be able to scan them and upload them digitally so you can still look at them. Items that hold a lot of sentimental value, such as a wedding gown, might be given to a grandchild for their future big day. Think about some of your less personal belongings objectively; if you have a piece of furniture that has a lot of life left in it but doesn’t get used often, it’s probably perfect for a garage sale or donation.

If possible, obtain a floor plan of your new home and compare it to your current one. Planning for furniture placement can be a huge help when you’re ready to make the move.

Prepare for moving day

Preparing for the move can be exhausting, so making sure you know what to expect on moving day is imperative. Keep up communication with any movers or family members who will be helping out and make sure to plan for time to clean after all the boxes and furniture have been moved out.

Once you’re in your new place, make sure to tell the movers or helpers where you want furniture to go as they bring it in. It might slow things down a bit, but a smaller space means you need to plan a little first before you bring in boxes and small items. Otherwise, you’ll be tripping over things and more work will be created for later.

Moving can be a daunting task for anyone, but as long as you remember to take it slowly and stay organized, you can make a smooth transition to your new home.

Aimee Lyons is a twenty-something free spirit who loves crafting, painting, building, and anything else that lets her exercise her creative muscles. A born do-it-yourself kind of girl, she started DIYDarlin.com to inspire others to embrace their inner creators and tackle projects with confidence. When she isn’t crafting, you might find her vintage shopping or taking her Corgi Champ out exploring in her hometown of Austin, Texas.