Moving senior citizens, retirees, and the elderly is emerging as a specialty service as baby-boomers are faced with downsizing themselves while simultaneously transitioning their parents to one of the many types of senior housing.
Below you will find Gentle Giant Moving Company‘s helpful 10 Tips for Moving Seniors:
- Start with a floor plan of your new space.
A floor plan may be the single most important thing you can have. It will tell you how much furniture you can fit, and help you decide where everything will go before you step foot into your new home.
- Reduce the amount you have to move.
Downsizing can be physically exhausting and emotionally draining, but many items that have been accumulated in a home over many years can’t or shouldn’t be squeezed into a new home. So take your time and ask for help. If you have children who no longer live there, ask them to retrieve their possessions. Give things to friends and family. Have a yard sale and/or donate some items to charity. If you can’t bring certain items that you’re not ready to part with, consider using a storage facility.
- Begin in areas of the house no longer in use.
This strategy will be least disruptive to normal life and will help develop some momentum to carry you through other areas of the home later on.
- Have a sorting system.
Use colored stickers to identify items that are going with you, elsewhere, or to-be-determined. Make a list of potential recipients, such as loved ones or charity or auction, and match up items to them instead of coming up with different recipients as you sort through items one by one.
- Start with large items and work toward smaller ones.
Sorting through large furniture pieces first will create a sense of progress for the person who is moving. This will make it easier to sort smaller items later on, because it will be clearer what storage will be available in the new home.
- Block off a certain amount of time for working each day and stick to it.
Start and stop at a certain time. Don’t get sidetracked. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish.
- Focus on one area at a time.
Dealing with a whole house can be overwhelming. Break it up into smaller chunks by focusing on one part of a room at a time. Then move on to the next.
- Packing – Let the movers take care of it.
A professional move coordinator like the ones at Gentle Giant can recommend a professional packing crew to help prepare your dishes, linens, furniture, you name it. Hiring such a team will make packing go by much faster, and your items will be safer as they are moved.
- Create a Move-Day suitcase with the essentials for the first 24 hours in your new home.
Set aside a couple of outfits, a set of dishes, towels and sheets. Include a first aid kit and a flashlight, or even a night light. You’ll have what you need at your finger tips instead of having to dive into many different boxes to find what you need.
- Be patient – with yourself and others.
Moving is hard, especially for seniors who may be leaving a home where they’ve spent decades with their family. Remember it’s okay to be sad about parting with things, however the goal is not to get rid of everything – just to simplify. Set aside down time, and reward yourself or the person you are helping at various stages in the process. Accept that there will be a range of emotions.