Thanks to Guest Author, Jim Vogel of ElderAction.org, for today’s post
Buying a new home is a huge process, and for seniors who have lived in their current home for years or even decades, it can be overwhelming. There are so many things to think about, including financing, finding the right movers for the job, packing up the home and deciding which belongings to get rid of or give away when downsizing, and the actual move, which can be physically and emotionally draining. It’s important to have adequate help when going through this process and to prepare in every way possible before making any plans.
One of the first steps before a move is to set some goals. Sit down and write out a to-do list that will take you through the entire moving process so that everything will go as smoothly as possible. After that, it’s all about organization and asking for assistance from friends and family.
Here are some of the best tips on how to get through the move.
Make a plan
Any move needs to start with a good plan, and it’s important to include your loved ones in the process as much as possible. Some seniors find it necessary to move into an assisted living community, while others simply need to downsize to a smaller home or apartment. One of the most important parts of a move is having the right people helping you get your belongings to the new place in one piece. Local professional moving companies offer great time saving options for seniors. They can handle large pieces of furniture or will be accommodating to seniors who have medical equipment to move, so make sure you speak to someone in charge before making a decision.
Don’t get stuck on decluttering
Downsizing can be difficult because it means you have to give up some of your prized possessions. Overthinking which items to keep and which to get rid of can slow down your process and make you feel overwhelmed and stuck. To avoid trouble, ask yourself a few key questions about the items in your home, such as “Do I need it or want it?” and “Do I use it often?” These questions will keep your process flowing so that you can separate the keepers from the items you’ll be donating or selling as efficiently as possible.
Making a move of any kind is often expensive, so it’s imperative to sit down with your spouse or partner and go over your finances. Talk about how you’ll pay for the move itself and what your financial situation will look like after the move, and check out USA.gov to see what resources might be available to you.
Ask for help
It might be helpful to have friends or family over to assist with going through items and packing, especially if you want to give some things to grandchildren or other relatives. Invite a few close loved ones over to help figure out what to throw away, what to keep, and what to donate and delegate packing responsibilities to each of them to keep the scene from becoming chaotic.
Gather all the supplies you’ll need for the move, including cleaning supplies, packing materials, and boxes. Start packing up a week or so in advance by packing one box a night to avoid getting too overwhelmed and tired. Stay organized and clean as you pack so there will be less to do when everything is boxed up. Keep filled boxes pushed up against the walls with lighter ones on top so the walkways will be clear, as they can be trip hazards. If you have a pet, make arrangements for someone to take care of it during the move so there’s no chance the animal will escape or get hurt.
Help moving day be stress-free
Moving is a hard job, even if you have help, so remember to take a break from packing when you get tired. Don’t forget to make or order lunch and stay hydrated, stay on top of any medications that need to be taken, keep medical equipment safe and handy, and keep the packing area free of clutter to prevent falls or other injuries.
Going through decades of belongings and memories is an emotional thing, and you may feel sad about the change. Talk about your feelings and reminisce with your family members, too. In fact, you can make the moving process a happier one by inviting friends and family over to help pack and making a night of it, complete with dinner, drinks, and music.
Guest Author: Jim Vogel (ElderAction.org)