The motivations for making a move are almost never the same. For some seniors, it’s to move cross country to reach better weather. Others make much shorter moves to gain assistance or simply to downsize in order to travel more often. Whatever the reason for the move, a number of aspects will always be present. We’ve selected eleven tips for you—whether you’re the one who’s moving or the family or friend helping out—that will make for a safer, more efficient, and less worrisome experience for everyone involved.

1. Point of Contact

Confusion shouldn’t be part of your senior relocation experience. Make sure to keep the number of people you’re coordinating the move with to a minimum. This cuts down on stress and the possibility of misunderstandings regarding what goes where.

2. Stress Relief

Senior relocations often come with mixed emotions. Moving in general is already considered to be potentially stressful (especially if done wrong!). Moving seniors sometimes involves hesitancy about the change as well. The more you’re able to plan or help with the planning, the better. If possible, schedule some special events, such as visits to restaurants, shortly after the move, to help re-focus on the post-move time in a positive way.

3. Sorting Counts

Before you start filling boxes, take some time to picture yourself and your belongings in your new place. If you’re downsizing, you will definitely want to figure out what will fit and what won’t. Even if your new home will have enough space, you may want to organize differently, send items to storage, or make donations to charity. Some people take advantage of the opportunity to place unused items for sale on consignment. The more sorting decisions you can work through early on, the smoother your move will go. A professional mover should take care of getting things to a variety of destinations for you.

4. Pack it Up

If packing for a move to college is important, doing so for a senior relocation is doubly so. It’s not easy to minimize the number of boxes while keeping the weight reasonable for each one. But that’s an important consideration when moving into an assisted living facility, for instance. Make sure to pack items securely, as they’ll likely get moved around again once they reach the new living space. By the way, you can get several additional packing tips by downloading our packing guide from our website.

5. Ship To

The last thing to occur to most people in the midst of planning a move: shipping items elsewhere. But it’s a very good way to “save” items that you’re not taking with you, not giving to charity, and not throwing away. You may choose to send items to family and friends, and shipping to multiple destinations when there’s no rush involved can be relatively inexpensive. If your local mover also does interstate shipping, ask them if they can ship for you. Of course there’s one more benefit to shipping ahead of time. Anything you ship won’t need to be part of the move, reducing time and cost.

6. Straight to Storage

In a few types of moves, storing some items may be unavoidable. Not all moves are permanent, so storage serves its purpose very well in those cases. But even when the move is permanent—into an assisted living facility, for example—those possession that won’t fit will need to stay somewhere. Some professional movers will also offer storage options (Yarnall does.), and they can move items into storage on the same day as the move.

7. Physical Effort

With age comes wisdom—and, hopefully, the right to opt out of heavy lifting! While some seniors have the strength and interest to participate in physically moving items, it’s more common to have others take care of the move. Be mindful of the size and weight of any boxes to be moved by seniors themselves. Nobody wants to arrive at their new home and without being as healthy and injury free as possible.

8. Moving Crews

The people moving items for seniors need to be especially aware of the importance placed on certain possessions. Make sure that the crew in charge of the move works as a team and, if possible, already has solid experience with senior relocations.

9. Kitchen

Whether you’re a gourmet chef or just a master microwaver, the kitchen will typically be a very important place to get right. If you want things to feel like they’re already in their rightful spot, take photos of your kitchen ahead of the move so you or your movers can place things using a similar arrangement. When moving to certain kinds of senior housing, you may not have a separate kitchen for cooking. In this case, it’s usually best to gift special kitchen items to friends or family who enjoy cooking.

10. Bathroom

Setting up the bathroom in a senior’s new home should be a top priority. Make sure to avoid packing toiletries, towels, and other bathroom necessities in boxes that won’t get unpacked until later. If desired, the new bathroom should be set up in a similar way to the former one, so that everything is easy to find. Just as with your kitchen, your professional mover should be able to help you place things as you direct.

11. Looking Good

For seniors, it’s very important to turn an unfamiliar place into a new home—an important finishing touch. This calls for carefully placing items where you’d expect to find them, perhaps adding something new that’s meaningful for the new environment or area, too. If you’re using a professional mover, ask if they can help hang your pictures for you, so all you need to do is point. Actually, some movers have solid decorating experience, so they can help select the ideal spots for pictures and photos as well.

Yarnall Senior Relocation Services is a proud member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers® (NASMM), so we are experienced at meeting the needs of individual seniors for every moving project.

If you’d like additional tips, including a checklist created for senior moves, please download the “Senior Relocations Resource Guide” from our website. As always, if you need help from a professional mover, call Yarnall for a free quote!

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