We welcome Mike Longsdom of Elder Freedom as he shares with us some tips & advice he discovered first-hand while helping his own relatives walk through the difficult transition of downsizing & moving. Thank you for sharing your insight with us, Mike!
7 Smart Tips for a Hassle-Free Move
Moving houses comes with a dizzying amount of things to do. From signing off on paperwork to packing up a lifetime of belongings, it’s a wonder we make it through alive — and that’s only half of it. Once you get to your new house, you still have to unpack, organize, and decorate before it really feels like home. When you’re moving during your senior years, it can be even more overwhelming; you don’t have the energy you once did, but there’s just as much to be done.
While there’s no magic trick to make moving effortless, there are some things you can do to make the process easier on yourself.
1. DeclutterThe less stuff you own, the less you have to move. Before packing begins, go through your house to get rid of things you don’t need. Start by eliminating duplicates. Most families have more dishes and linens than they’ll use at once, so that’s an easy place to start. Consider gifting, selling, or donating collectibles and antiques now, rather than hanging onto them and including them in your will. Digitize old photo albums and get rid of bulky furniture that’s just taking up space. For more strategies for decluttering your home, look to The Spruce’s room-by-room decluttering guide.
2. Create a Floor PlanMany seniors choose to move to a smaller house in retirement. But less square footage means that your old furniture might not fit comfortably in the new home. To decide what to take and what to get rid of, draw up a floor plan and furniture layout using HGTV’s instructions. A furniture layout makes moving in easy, because you can tell your moving crew exactly where to set heavy items.
3. Prepare the New HouseEven if your new home is sitting vacant, it’s still collecting dust. Get the place move-in ready by cleaning up before unloading. If you’re moving locally, you may be able to tackle this task yourself. However, you’ll need to hire a maid service for out-of-town moves. At an average cost of just $125 to $210 for three hours of cleaning, it’s a small price to pay for the convenience of a clean home.
4. Outsource the Heavy LiftingNothing puts a damper on your move like an aching back or pulled muscle. Spare yourself the pain and inconvenience of a moving day injury by hiring movers to load and unload your moving truck after you’ve packed up. For an even easier relocation, spring for a full-service move where all you have to do is unpack and organize.
5. Create an Organizational SystemBefore you start unpacking boxes, decide how you want your new house organized. By setting up closet systems and deciding which cabinets should hold what, you can avoid the frustration of forgetting where you put important items.
6. Keep Pets Out of the WayThe last thing you need is a mover tripping over your pet while carrying something heavy. Make sure dogs and cats don’t get in the way by scheduling a stay at the kennel while packing, loading, and unloading is underway. Not only will it prevent an accident or an untimely escape, but it will also make the move less stressful for your four-legged companions.
7. Take Care of YourselfFinally, don’t let anxiety get the best of you during the move. While making a plan and hiring movers takes a lot of the stress out of moving, you could still end up feeling overwhelmed. As long as you hired a reliable moving company, trust that your belongings are in good hands, and allow yourself a break. Talk a walk, pause for dinner, and remind yourself that this chaos is temporary.
Moving is an exciting time — a new home, a new city, a new chapter of life — but that doesn’t mean it’s without its challenges. Whether you’re moving to your vacation home or your forever home, it’s important to start with a plan. When you use these tips, you’ll stay organized, efficient, and calm from start to finish.
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