Have you decided to move from your large 4 bedroom, 2 story home and move to a smaller home? Or are you an adult child who needs to help your parents downsize and move from their home?
Downsizing and moving to a new home, whether across town or across the country or to a retirement community can be very stressful. If you have been in your home for several decades making this transition can be very difficult for many seniors and their families. Change can be very overwhelming, stressful, and chaotic. Moving ranks as one of the top stressors of life. Downsizing and relocating is difficult, but with a plan it can be achieved and be a little less stressful with some planning and organization.
Tips for an Organized Move:
Downsize—It can take some time to sort through and make decisions on what makes the move to the your new home. This is definitely the time to let go of items no longer used Not only will you feel better by lighting your load, you will also save time and money on moving costs.
Remember the space you are moving into—Think about what you will really need. If you are moving to a retirement community, you probably will not need a lawnmower because most retirement communities have maintenance free living. Really look at the things in your life and ask yourself if you really need them for your new surroundings.
Utilize a Floor Plan—Will your furniture fit into the rooms of your new home or should you consider replacing furniture? Sometimes it pays to replace furniture and appliances, rather than moving them. It depends on their age, how far away you are moving, and the cost to move it. It may be worth replacing the old couch instead of moving it. Use your tape measure to find out what items will really fit in your new surroundings. Remember: measure twice, move it once!
Work with the moving company—Ask plenty of questions about their policies regarding moving and packing. Remember they have moved people before, so utilize their knowledge by finding out the information you need. Perhaps you may think that packing yourself will save you money, but remember you will then be personally responsible for purchasing both boxes and packing materials, not to mention your time. If professional movers pack, yes it costs more money, but remember they have years of experience in the moving and packing world.
Forward your mail—Remember to get change of address cards from your post office or change your address online. Places that need notified of your relocation include utility companies, newspapers, magazines, banks, investment companies, doctors, and any place else from which you receive mail from. Of course, don’t forget to tell friends and relatives!
The Day of the Move—Let the movers do the job you hired them to do. Sure you want to be there to watch and help, but they do know what they are doing. Make sure you have a box labeled “open me first.” This box contains things you will need right away at your new home. These can include coffee pot, coffee, cups, toilet paper (do you really want to have to search for this?).
Moving In—Remember to share the floor plan with the movers, so they know what furniture goes in which room and specifically where. The boxes will already be labeled by the movers so you will need to direct them into the right room. After the movers leave, start unloading large boxes and get them out to the curb or garage. Before you know it, boxes will be unpacked and things put away. It may take a few days to fully unpack and organize your belongings in your new home, depending upon the amount of hands you have, but it will happen with patience and hard work.
Downsizing and relocating can be a difficult experience for many seniors, but with a good plan and a little organization it can become a little less stressful and achieved.
This article, written by Vickie Dellaquila, was featured in The Senior Citizen’s Guide to Pittsburgh. Learn more at www.seniorcitizensguide.com .