Lives change, even for those who have been living in the same house for decades. We’ve seen a lot of special issues arise when seniors make moves. Often the move is all about downsizing. The kids are gone, so it’s time to move to a smaller house that doesn’t require as much time and energy to manage. Your health is failing, so you decide to move into an independent living facility.
These changes come with a host of emotions, from excitement to fear. In addition, many seniors have accumulated a lot of special items over the years. Heirlooms and antiques require special care, and may provide a special source of anxiety, too.
That’s why we wanted to take a moment to provide a list of tips which speak to your unique needs.
Make a floor plan
This is vital if you are downsizing. Make sure your floor plan is accurate by bringing a tape measure to the new space, preferably before you commit to living there. Measure everything. Then, come home and measure your furniture.
You probably are going to have a lot more furniture in your old place then you will want or need in your new place. And if your new place isn’t going to accommodate the dining table or sectional sofa that you just can’t live without then you’re going to want to rethink your ultimate destination.
The floor plan makes it easy on the movers, too, since you’ll be able to tell them exactly where each and every item goes when you get to your new home. Besides, it can be fun envisioning how your old items are going to fit into your new life—and it’s comforting to know beyond a shadow of a doubt what will and won’t be making the transition with you.
Keep an eye on your changing needs as you choose your new space
If you’re not moving into an independent living facility then it’s up to you to make sure your home is up to the challenge of aging with you.
Think about accessibility issues. Does the new home have a lot of steps and stairs, or is it a nice ranch space? Does it offer accessible showers and bath features, or will you have to rip everything out and install new if you run into health problems later? Is there access to public transportation or a safe, reliable taxi service close enough to take you to your appointments, the grocery store, and any recreational activities you want to enjoy if your eyesight grows poor enough to make it unsafe for you to drive?
Nobody really enjoys thinking about these issues, but we all get older, and age brings challenges. You don’t want to do this all over again in a few years. You need more than a pretty home or a great yard to make your move successful.
Think about professional packing services
It may have made sense to pack up your house 20 or 30 years ago, but it might not make as much sense today. First, you probably have a lot more stuff. Thirty years of Christmas presents makes for a pretty full house!
Second, you’ve got to think about your health and stamina. Some seniors are still right in their prime—in perfect shape and ready to take on the world. Most find that everything takes longer than it used to. If you’re moving slower, get tired more easily or deal with back pain or arthritis it may be best to give the job off to professionals.
If you do decide to pack up everything yourself make sure you give yourself plenty of time. That way you can pack a box a night without overtaxing yourself.
The same, of course, goes for hauling. You definitely don’t want to try to lug furniture around by yourself, and while there are members of your peer group who will think they feel 100% up to the challenge you won’t want to be the one responsible for a back or knee injury when it’s all said and done.
Don’t be afraid to communicate
Want to make sure the movers treat your 150 year old heirloom table with extra care? Say so when you make the call! This will let your movers know to bring extra wrap, blankets, and other protective items.
We’re committed to 100% damage-free moving, but that doesn’t mean we’re omnipotent when it comes to knowing just how delicate and precious some of your items are. What works for a newer piece of furniture might not work for an antique. We want to offer you the level of care you need, so please tell us about any concerns you may have.
Take the time to purge
Again, you probably have a lot more stuff than you used to. This can become a problem if you’re downsizing. Develop a plan for selling items, giving them away, or throwing them away. Keep only what you really need or really love—the things that will make you happy in your new home.
Of course, this is standard advice for anyone who is making a move! You’ll be surprised at just how many unnecessary objects have found their way into closets, drawers, and cabinets over the years.
Take the time to relax
This is a draining time, both emotionally and physically. Make sure you take a bit of time to yourself. Give yourself a reward at the end of each successfully completed phase of the move. Take a hot bath, read a book, or play Mahjongg for a few hours. Do whatever you need to do in order to stay sane.
You can have a safe, stress-free, and smart move as a senior citizen. It all starts with calling Eager Beaver movers for a free quote. We treat you exactly like we’d treat our own family members, and offer all of the respect, communication, and care that you deserve. Call 780-434-1100 today to talk to us about your impending move. We’ll tell you exactly what we can do to make it easy on you.