Moving is the third most traumatic event in anyone’s life, just after death and divorce. Just about everyone hates moving for the following reasons:
- You have too much stuff
- You have to go through everything, including junk drawers
- You have to change your address for bills and other correspondence
- You have to clean places that haven’t been touched since you moved in
- Moving is exhausting
- You don’t know where anything is. Is it at the new place or the old place?
Moving is traumatic
Moving the accumulation of stuff over a lifetime is even more traumatic. Should you throw out your son’s kindergarten grade card? Do you have enough room for Aunt Dina’s antique settee? Why are you still storing your children’s junk?
Moving is frustrating
Moving to a new location can be frustrating, especially if you’re relocating out of the city or state. You have to find a new doctor and, perhaps, a new bank. You need to map where local grocery and retail stores, dry cleaners, salons, and gyms are. You need to order electricity, phone, cable, Internet, and newspaper services. You need to register to vote. And you need to schedule movers or rent a moving truck.
Scheduling is a priority
If you don’t move soon enough, you have no Internet or electricity at your old place, making it downright difficult to clean. If you move too early, you may not have services at your new place, making it equally difficult to wash, relax or even stay warm.
Prepare for A Move
Moves for Seniors advises relocators to follow this moving schedule to ensure your move goes smoothly:
2 months before the move
- If your spouse has dementia, take a photo of each room in the house so you can set up the new place in a similar manner to avoid confusion.
- If you are in poor physical health, enlist friends and family to do as much as possible. If they are unable, consider a senior move manager that will work with you before, during and after the move.
- Prepare mentally for the move. If your heart isn’t in the move, it’s sure to be disastrous.
- Send in your deposit if you are renting. Ask about move-in restrictions to discover how quickly or slowly you can move in, when you can contract for utilities, and other answers.
- Set your move-in date. If you can move your items in before the actual move-in date, take advantage of it by moving as much as possible in your own vehicle.
- If you need to remodel, do it as soon as possible. If you’re not moving to a senior living community, you may want to make modifications, such as adding handrails, better lighting, and grab bars, to make the new residence safer.
- Contact at least 3 moving companies for quotes if you are going to use a moving company. If not, book a box truck.
- Sort through furniture and belongings to determine what will fit in your new home.
- Fill out your postal service change-of-address form.
- Use sticky notes or other methods to put items in the following categories: donate, trash, keep, and give away. Some people also put items in storage. You may want to note specific items you are giving away to family and friends, and contact them to pick the items up.
1 month before the move
- If you are moving out of town or state, notify your physicians and ask for referrals. If you have a pet, do the same.
- Refill your prescriptions. Update mail-order prescription services with your new address.
- Contact your insurance agent to change your policy.
- Notify Social Security and your bank of your new address, as well as any other governmental or financial institution that will not forward mail.
- Contact utilities to close your account at your old residence and open an account at your new location. Consider cable, gas, electric, phone, Internet, water, and trash pickup.
- Pack nonessential items. Label boxes by room and contents.
- Separate items you’re donating, giving away, and trashing. Many charitable organizations, such as Goodwill, will pick up items if you have a lot, so contact them as soon as possible for pickup. You can find recyclers on Craigslist who will take all your trash, recycle what they can and throw the rest away without you having to do anything. Call family and friends to pick up their items. Hold a yard or garage sale.
- Separate fragile or valuable items.
1 to 2 weeks before move
- Continue to pack everything, including clothes you won’t wear for 2 weeks, except for necessities.
- Contact movers to confirm date. Confirm your rental van if you’re moving yourself.
- If you’re using movers, take photos of furniture so if movers damage any pieces, you’ll have evidence for a claim.
- Paint the new home if you’re permitted to do so.
2-4 days before the move
- Return modems or recycle bins or anything related to utilities.
- Pack your necessities into boxes and label them. Whether or not you’re using a moving company, these and valuable/fragile items should go to the new residence in your vehicle.
- Confirm your helpers if you’re moving yourself.
- Set aside tools you may need to disassemble furniture and disconnect appliances, such as screwdrivers, wrench, pliers, and tape.
- If you are using movers, write down special requests.
On moving day
- If your spouse has dementia, he or she may become confused and angry at all the changes going on in the house. Appoint one person to spend time with or go to a nearby park with your spouse to prevent problems.
- Take the beds apart and remove the bed linens.
- If you are using a moving company, give them the list of special requests and make sure they understand them.
- Once the van is packed, check each room to ensure nothing is left behind.
- At your new home, verify your utilities are working.
- Assemble beds and unpack cooking and bathroom supplies first.
Decorating after Downsizing
If you’re planning to move to a smaller space, use these tips to decorate your new place.