7 Tips to Make Moving Easier for Seniors

Moving can be stressful for most people, and the same stands true when a senior chooses to relocate. Whether you’ve just retired, trading in your massive house for a smaller space in a more desirable location, or maybe you’re moving to be closer to your kids and grandchildren. Whatever the reason for moving, you’ve likely accumulated mountains of stuff throughout your time in your current home. Downsizing before your relocation will make your move considerably more manageable and less stressful.

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To help you simplify your move, Funk’s Moving has put together a list of 7 things that seniors can do to make their move easier.

1. Get started well before moving day

Most seniors looking to relocate first need to sort through decades of accumulated belongings, and the earlier this process starts before your move, the better. The process of organizing, downsizing, donating, selling, and packing always takes longer than anyone anticipates. With this in mind, it’s best to do yourself a favour and give yourself as much time as possible to keep stress to a minimum. 

We strongly recommend starting the downsizing process about three months before your intended move date. However, if you don’t have that kind of time, try to give yourself a month at the very least. Going through all those things and potentially parting with some items can be emotional, so you’ll want to allow time for breaks. As you can imagine, going through your belongings one by one is a time-intensive process that can’t be rushed.

 

2. Start With the Small Stuff

If you’re living in your home while you work through the downsizing process, make a conscious effort to start with the small stuff — the things you have little emotional attachment to. Linen closets, your laundry room, maybe even your bathrooms or spare bedroom are all excellent places to begin.

Since you probably don’t use everything within these rooms, you’ll keep your main living areas free of clutter while getting rid of a bunch of stuff you don’t need. Then, once you have some momentum going, you can start tackling your major storage areas, like the garage, attic, or basement, as you move closer to your move date.

 

3. Decide If It’s a Yes or a No — Maybe Isn’t an Option

As you sort through your belongings, don’t leave room for maybes. If you don’t use something regularly,  even when the idea of letting it go tugs at your heartstrings, get rid of it. If you don’t, you’ll likely end up with a “maybe” pile that’s bigger than your “no” pile, which only creates additional sorting work.

If you’re hiring professional movers and packers or senior moving experts, keep all of your “yes” items well organized away from the ones you plan to get rid of. If your packing team arrives before you have a chance to get rid of the stuff you don’t want, you certainly don’t want “no” items getting mixed in with the things you’re bringing to your new home. 

 

4. Consider the Layout of Your New Home

If you’re downsizing your belongings, chances are you’re decreasing your living area, too. If that’s the case, it makes no sense to hang on to items you store in rooms you’ll no longer have. Why? Because you probably won’t have a place to put them!

If you know you won’t have a garage at your new place, but you currently have one, consider what you keep in there and whether you need it. If you currently have an office but won’t have one in your new home, it may be time to consider getting rid of your desk and bookshelves.

Don’t hang onto them unless you know you’ll have space for large items, such as desks, end tables, couches, bookshelves, etc. If you do, you’ll not only create more work for your movers and packers, but you’ll also create more work for yourself when you discover you don’t have a room in your new place. 

5. Time to Get Rid of Any Duplicates

You should seriously consider eliminating duplicate items. For example, kitchens are notorious for collecting duplicate items, like spatulas, pots, pans, and small gadgets, and hanging onto all of these types of things only creates clutter.

Keep the ones you use and love most as you go through duplicates. For example, if you only use a roasting pan once a year at Christmas, do you need to move it? Or can you give it to someone who will get more use out of it?

The more stringent you are about getting rid of items you don’t use, the faster your packing process will go when your movers and packers arrive. And, of course, the unpacking process will move faster, too. 

6. Consider Passing Down Legacy Items Early

If you have highly sentimental or valuable items that you plan to hand down to your children or grandchildren eventually, why not hand them down early? Moving is a challenging process for anyone, but it can make it even more difficult when you have plenty of valuables, such as heirloom jewelry or décor.

Since these types of items are worth a great deal, most moving companies suggest you find a way to transport them yourself to minimize the risk of damage or loss. The more you lighten your load, the less you’ll have to transport, and the less time-consuming and stressful your move will be. If you’re not ready to part with some of your things yet, consider renting a secure storage unit to keep clutter in your new home to a minimum

7. Sell Unwanted Items Yourself

Once you’ve sorted through your belongings and determined what you won’t be keeping, what should you do with that stuff? While you can certainly donate it to a local charity or gift it, don’t be afraid to sell it yourself!

Selling the things you no longer want will put some extra cash in your pocket, which can help offset the cost of hiring professional movers and packers. Set up a yard sale, take your items to a consignment shop, or sell your items online if you’re comfortable using a computer.

If you’re not quite sure how to go about listing items on the internet, your children or grandchildren can probably help. Or, if you have a ton of stuff and would like to take a more hands-off approach, you can always hire a firm to set up an estate sale for you.  

Funk’s Moving & Storage: Senior Moving Professional at Your Service

If you’re getting ready to move, let our senior moving experts at Funk’s Moving & Storage help make your relocation as smooth and stress-free as possible. Our professional movers and packers can help you remove unwanted items from your home, rearrange your furniture to create your ideal floor plan, help you organize your things in your new place, and more. We serve Edmonton and the surrounding area and offer free estimates to get you started.

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