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Moving as a Senior: One Step at a Time

by: Allison Millar
01 Dec 2010

Moving can be stressful enough for most people, but when you've accumulated memories in the same house for your entire adult life, the task is more complicated. Here's how to cope when taking this big step.

Downsize Before Moving

Many seniors have accumulated years and years of furniture and mementos, which compounds the task of planning, packing, and moving. While you want to keep sentimental favorites, you'll need to do some downsizing. Consider giving or selling items that are no longer needed. Look first to family members, as this helps keep treasured possessions in the family.

De-clutter to Reduce Moving Stress

De-cluttering also is a helpful step in reducing moving stress. You'll have fewer boxes to pack and less furniture to worry about during the move. It's also necessary to pare down possessions when moving to a smaller place.

To get a handle on what will fit in your home, take measurements before you move. Make a diagram of the rooms and draw the major pieces of furniture in each. You'll quickly get of sense for whether you have enough wall space for the eight-foot wide china cabinet or if your dining room table fits in your new dining room.

This step also can help you settle in more quickly on moving day. With furniture in its place, you can start to see how your new home will look and feel.

Find a Trusted Moving Company

A good moving company can go a long way in making you feel comfortable about transporting your possessions, particularly if you are doing a long distance move. Interview several companies, check references carefully, and get detailed estimates in writing. Also:

  • Insist that the movers visit your home so they can bid based on your possessions.
  • De-clutter before the movers come out, so they can see what will actually go on the truck.
  • Ask about licensing, bonding, and insurance, particularly with a long distance move.

Planning the New Space

Moving day can be chaotic, so have a few friends around to help when the day comes. Keep important papers with you and have a few boxes of everyday items handy. You can unpack the coffee pot easily and start making the new place feel like a home.

Moving can be stressful, but with a little planning the whole event can go more smoothly. While this is a major life transition, it also can be an exciting new adventure.

Amy Goyer • The Downsizing Marathon • Sep 14, 2009 • http://www.aarp.orghttp://www.aarp.org/family/articles/goyer_the_downsizing_marathon.html • AARP

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