Preparing for any move takes planning, but a move to senior living takes special care because it often means downsizing and clearing out a family home that is full to the brim with possessions. Before jumping into a move to senior living take the advice of experts to make it faster, easier and far less stressful.
One of the first aspects to nail down in a move to senior living is the actual move date. Putting that date on a calendar helps organize all the steps that must be taken before it arrives. Once the date is confirmed, obtain a floor plan of the apartment to help when choosing what furniture and other belongings will be going along. Another good idea is to line up a moving company sooner than later. According to the forbes.com article, “How To Guide For Hiring Movers,” expect to do a fair amount of due diligence like getting quotes, checking credentials, insurance and online reviews, and carefully reviewing all contracts and other documents the movers provide.
Clearing out a family home holding decades of possessions is an incredibly daunting prospect for many seniors. So before it overwhelms you, contact family and friends to enlist their help. Among the many tasks at hand are sorting through boxes and bins stored in the attic, basement and garage to separate what is trash, what can be used by someone else, what can be donated, and what will be making the move to senior living. Write commitments on a calendar so you know when help is coming and can plan accordingly. Also be sure to let your adult children know that everything they’ve kept in your house is their responsibility and must be removed.
For seniors who don’t have help close by there are companies that specialize in helping seniors move —from start to finish. The livnow.com article, “What Is a Senior Move Manager & Professional Organizer” explains the range of services these companies provide.
Trying to decide what furniture will fit when you move to senior living can be tricky, but that’s where the new floor plan can help eliminate headaches. The easiest way to put it to use is by using an online room planner that lets you input the floor plan then choose same-size furniture options and try different arrangements. Some also include decorating extras like wall colors and coverings, flooring and other design options. For a look at some of the best software options and what they can do, check out thespruce.com article, “The Best Free Room Layout Planners Online.”
For those who prefer to start over with new furniture or to really downsize, a garage sale can provide funds to defray moving costs. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the garage sale should be planned so that afterward everything that is left over can then be donated and removed. A successful garage sale can bring in hundreds of dollars when done well, so if you’re a garage-sale rookie, take the time beforehand to read the moving.com article “Throwing a Garage Sale? Use this Foolproof Checklist.”
Take a tax deduction by donating everything that no one else wants to local charities. Be sure to keep donations separate from those items going to family or friends and those making the move to senior living. When donating to charities keep in mind that many will pick up items, so when sorting is complete (and after the garage sale), contact them to arrange for a pick up, then move everything to an accessible area like a garage. Although many charities will take just about anything that is clean and works, one thing they won’t take is used mattresses, no matter how nice they are. Instead try to give these to family since they are difficult to dispose of. For an excellent list of charities, the moneycrahers.com article, “28 Best Places to Donate Your Used Stuff (Charities & Thrift Stores),” is a great resource.
Last but not least, prepare for moving day by setting aside medications, valuables and important papers so they stay with you or are stored with a trusted friend and don’t end up on the moving truck. Even if the move to senior living is just across town, having these essentials close by can make settling in much less stressful.