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Moving Tips for Seniors

Moving can be challenging, exciting, and exhausting at any age, and, when you're an older adult there are some additional things you have to consider. Whether you're moving into a retirement community, assisted living facility, or simply downsizing, you'll want to make it as easy of a process as possible.

When is it time to downsize?

Knowing when it's time to downsize can be difficult, but there are a few tips and guidelines.

  • Budget - If you need your retirement savings to last longer, a smaller home could help to stretch your housing budget.

  • Home maintenance - If it's becoming overwhelming to clean and maintain your home, and you can't afford to hire help, it might be time to consider downsizing.

  • Layout - Getting up and down the stairs each day gets harder as we get older. You may want to downsize to a single-story home to help make sure you can get around your house safely.

Start sooner

Packing and moving can be physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. Ease the pain by starting early and giving yourself plenty of time to go through your belongings and make choices. By giving yourself extra time, you make it easier to determine which items you want to keep and what you want to do with the rest, whether it's donating, selling, or discarding.

Reduce your belongings

Moving from a large home to a smaller one calls for reducing your possessions to some degree. Reducing your belongings doesn't mean getting rid of things you love - it just means keeping the things you find useful or meaningful. Start by donating or selling clothes, furniture, and other possessions that you no longer need.

If you're having trouble getting rid of something, look for these signs:

  • It's still in the box.

  • You haven't touched/worn/looked at it in a year.

  • You won't use it again.

  • It's a "just in case" item.

  • It won't fit in your new space.

  • It doesn't fit your needs or style.

Focus on the benefits

Moving can be overwhelming, especially when you have lived in one place for many years. But, a move can be a great opportunity for positive changes, such as meeting new people and fostering new hobbies. Keep a positive attitude and your move will usually go smoother.

Packing tips

Follow a sorting system when going through your belongings. You could use different bins for donate, sell, and give away, as well as a list of who is getting which items.

Start with large items and work your way towards smaller ones. Going through larger furniture pieces first will help build momentum for smaller items such as clothes and books. It will also help you to be realistic about what you keep, as you'll know how much storage space you'll have in your new space.

Focus on one space at a time. Not only will this help when it comes to unpacking your boxes, but it will also help keep you from being overwhelmed by trying to pack your entire house at once.

Start in the parts of your home that don't see as much use, such as a guest bedroom. This will be less disruptive to your daily life.

Day 1 Box

Have a specific box or suitcase that has all of the items you'll need for your first few days. It should have a few changes of clothes, some dishes, towels, sheets, and any toiletries you'll need within the first few days. This will keep the things you need where you can find them, saving you from digging through boxes to find what you need.

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