Moving senior citizens, retirees and the elderly has become one of our specialty services. Baby-boomers are faced with downsizing themselves, while simultaneously transitioning their parents to one of the many types of senior housing.
Here are Gentle Giant’s 10 Helpful Moving Tips for Seniors:
1. 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.
2. Reduce the amount of belongings you have to move
Downsizing can be physically exhausting and emotionally draining. Take some time to sort through your belongings and give special items to friends and family. You can also have a yard sale or donate some items to charity. For certain items you’re not ready to part with but cannot bring to your new place, consider using a storage facility.
3. 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.
4. Have a sorting system
Use colored stickers to identify which items you want to donate, which you want to give to family and which ones you need to keep. Make a list of potential recipients and match up the items, instead of coming up with different recipients as you sort through items one by one.
5. Start with large items and work toward smaller ones
Sorting through large furniture first will create a sense of progress for senior citizens. This will make it easier to sort smaller items later on, as it will be clear what storage will be available in the new home.
6. Block off a certain amount of time for working each day and stick to it
Start and stop your preparations at a certain time. Don’t get sidetracked and you’ll be surprised by how much you can accomplish.
7. Focus on one area of the house at a time
Dealing with an entire 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.
8. Packing – let the movers take care of it
A professional moving company, like Gentle Giant, can set you up with a professional packing crew to help prepare your dishes, linens and furniture. Hiring such a team will make packing go by faster and your items will be safer as they are moved.
9. Create a move-day suitcase with essentials for the first 24 hours in your new home
Set aside a few outfits, a set of dishes, towels and sheets for your first few days. Include a first aid kit and a flashlight or night light as well. This way, you’ll have what you need at your finger tips instead of having to dive into many different boxes to find what you need.
10. Be patient – with yourself and others
Moving is hard, especially for senior citizens leaving a home they’ve spent decades in with their family. Remember, it’s okay to be sad about parting with things. However, the goal is not to get rid of everything, but rather to simplify your life. Set aside downtime and reward yourself at various stages in the process.