One thing that is constant, is change. Whether you’re downsizing, seeking a sea change, or looking to be closer to relatives, moving home is something that happens to all of us, no matter our age.
However, in stark contrast to the young adult flying the nest with just a bag of belongings, when we get to our senior years, we tend to have a lot more to consider. Throughout our many years of providing home removals for people from all walks and stages of life, we’ve picked up a thing or two that makes a move easier. Particularly for elderly movers, but also for those who may just need a little more help.
To help ensure your move goes smoothly and stress-free, we’ve listed our essential moving tips for seniors.
Evaluate your new home or living arrangements
Chances are you’ve accumulated a lot of possessions over the years, from family keep-sakes, through to furniture. Depending on the size of your new home, it’s likely that there may not be as much space or storage available, especially if you’re downsizing.
Before you begin organising removals or storage, visit the new home and evaluate how much you can realistically bring with you. Having this in mind will help you prioritise any sorting that may need to be done prior to the move.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve already seen the property, or care home, numerous times, it pays to visit again with this purpose in mind. And, if you are unable to, perhaps a family member or friend can make the trip for you.
Sort and catalogue your belongings
Whether you’re a hoarder or a minimalist, it’s useful to do a stock take. Even if it’s just to confirm that all your possessions you own are there… You’ll be amazed how many items get loaned out to friends or neighbours that are forgotten or left behind.
However, on the other end of the scale, it may be time to think carefully about decluttering or downsizing. There may be items you’d love to pass on to a family member or friend. There could be items that you can donate. Or, for those possessions you really want to keep but have no space for, there’s always storage.
It can be quite a daunting task, so give yourself plenty of time and break it down room by room. To make it easier to identify what you’re moving, gifting, donating or storing, a labelling system can help you document your decisions along the way.
Get moving quotes
Hiring professional movers will help save you emotional and physical stress. Removalists are invaluable particularly when you’re moving to a new state, town, or even around the corner, having some hired muscle on hand will significantly reduce the hassle of trying to do it yourself.
If you need an extra set of hands to help you pack and unpack, they can also take care of that for you too.
When it comes to requesting quotes, we’ve written extensively about how to ensure you find a great removalist you can rely on. Read more about what to for when hiring a removalist here.
Notifying service providers and medical institutions
In the run up to your move, it’s important to make arrangements to close accounts and update your address details. Ensure utility companies, gardeners, cleaners, home care providers are notified of the upcoming move, so you know the procedures for cancelling or switching the service.
Equally, this is a good time to speak to any medical practitioners you see. They will ensure your prescriptions are up to date, alongside providing advice or caution for the moving day itself. They may be able to recommend practitioners in your new location.
Packing up your old home
Whether you’re a fan of packing boxes or you’ve outsourced it to a family member or a removalist company, emotions are going to be running high. This is where some of your previous planning will help reduce any stress. You won’t be caught off guard having to decide what to keep or what to throw out. You will be confident that you’ve got everything you need for your new home.
A few additional steps will help alleviate stress further and ensure you remain calm during each stage of the upcoming move.
- Prepare a ‘priority box’ or a ‘care box’
This will contain the priority items you will need as soon as you arrive at your new home such as your favourite tea and kettle, or the medication you need Most removalists will ensure this is the first thing that gets unpacked at your new property, so you won’t have to wait for the whole truck to be emptied before you can access the things you need most.
- File documents and medical records
Prepare a wallet or folder containing all your important identity documents and medical records. Keep hold of your utility bills for your old property so you have your customer reference numbers on hand should you need to speak to them after the move.
- Handling antique and vintage items
Your removal company will have the professional packing materials required to keep your most precious belongings safe in transit. However, you should also organise insurance for those special antique or vintage items… because it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.
Allow yourself plenty of time
Feeling time pressured can lead to taking on too much in one day. Organising slowly reduces the chances of straining yourself mentally or physically.
However, if time isn’t on your side, then we strongly recommend utilising a professional removals company to help you move safely.