House To Home Moving Blog

Downsizing Tips for Seniors

Moving or downsizing as a senior citizen isn’t like any other move. It’s a transition that requires much more planning and help than a move completed in your twenties or thirties. You often have to worry about moving not just a few years of stuff, but a whole lifetime’s worth–not to mention items that belong to your parents, children, and even siblings. A lot accumulates over a lifetime, which makes downsizing as a senior a challenge far beyond a standard relocation.

Find the right home for your current and Future lifestyle. Make sure your home–new or otherwise–is equipped not just for issues you have now, but for potential health concerns you may have in the future. You may not be up to the task of renovations in another ten years.

Get your senior downsizing strategy figured out. Downsizing can mean a lot of things, so having set goals, limits, and a determined strategy will make a big difference.

Clear out the tough-to-reach areas. Before you can dive in and get decluttering, you may want to get all your stuff together first.

Enlist your children to help with downsizing. When tackling downsizing as a senior, “don’t go it alone” is the number one tip to follow. That could mean hiring a professional organizer, working with a motivational coach, or, depending on what you’re decluttering, getting help from someone who’s a bit more personally invested in your decluttering efforts to help.

Give your items a second chance by donating them. Once you’ve sorted through what’s wanted and what’s just clutter, half the job is done. The second half is taking it where it belongs.

Bring the feel of your old home to your new one. One of the hardest challenges of moving or downsizing as a senior is letting go of the home you know and love. But the touches that make your home feel that way can be brought into your new home.

Pro Packing Tips

Save money by packing your self! Here are some great tips for helping you with that process. If time is more important to you, House to House Moving does offer packing and unpacking services.

General Tips

  1. Tape the bottom of every box; tape the top closed tightly when full. Run two strips of tape along the side and one strip down the center. (If the box is still not strong enough, apply more tape on the sides.)
  2. Use small boxes for heavier items; larger boxes for light weight, bulky items.
  3. Wrap small and/or fragile items individually.
  4. Stuff the top, bottom and sides of boxes with paper. This helps prevent shifting, rubbing and possible breakage.
  5. Stack boxes to the top to prevent them from being crushed. But don’t pack fragile items too tightly. Stuff with paper.
  6. Label the contents of every box and the room where it belongs. Group boxes together that belong in the same room. 

Don’t Pack These Items

  1. Money, securities, valuable papers or jewelry. Keep them with you.
  2. Flammable items: aerosol cans, paints, gasoline, etc.
  3. Perishable times: frozen foods, produce, plants, etc.
  4. Soaps, polishes or medicines.
  5. Kitchenware or other heavy items in boxes with dishware.

Dishware and Glasses

  1. Use double corrugated boxes.
  2. Cushion the bottom with rolled up paper.
  3. Wrap each piece individually.
  4. Bundle flatware in groups of three and wrap the bundle.
  5. Don’t place one layer of dishware directly on top of another; separate with a layer of stuffed paper.
  6. Cushion the top and sides with paper to prevent shifting. The steadier the contents, the less the chance of damages is.

Clothing

  1. Put hanging clothes in wardrobe boxes.
  2. Place shoes in medium size boxes. Use paper to protect and keep pairs separated.
  3. Place non hanging clothes in medium size/linen size boxes.

Pictures

  1. Use a picture box.
  2. Line bottom of box with paper.
  3. Place picture in box, then stuff front, back and along the top with paper.
  4. It is sometime possible to pack more than one picture in a box.
  5. Packing of pictures is always required for long distance moves or moves into storage.
  6. On a local move there is no need to pack your large pictures. The movers will deal with them on the day of the move.

Electronics

  1. If possible, pack in original cartons. If not, pack each item in ample amounts of bubble wrap and/or white paper.
  2. Color code wiring with color stickers and colored cord wraps for easy re-installation.

Pressed/Engineered Wood Furniture

  1. Furniture made of pressed/engineered wood and/or particle board is not designed to be moved once it has been assembled. It therefore may not survive transport nor be repairable (since the glue and bracing hardware become compromised).
  2. You can always disassemble such furniture yourself prior to the move; we will then safely move the parts to your destination location where you can reassemble them.

Make moving with your pets stress-free

If you are moving you probably already feel the stresses of moving, but have you thought about what your four-legged family member may be feeling? Pets do feel the stresses of a move and often even more stress than their human companions are feeling.

Before Moving Day
Become familiar with pet rules and regulations. Landlords and homeowners’ associations may have specific pet rules. Become familiar with your new area’s leash laws, pet ordinances and/or pet licensing requirements. Your pet may need additional vaccinations, medications or certain certificates depending on where you are moving. A call to the local animal control facility should answer your questions.

Talk To Your Current Vet: Your veterinarian is a great resource. If you have an animal that dislikes traveling, your vet can suggest behavior modification techniques or medication that can make traveling less stressful for your pet. When talking to your vet, also discuss getting Fluffy or Fido micro-chipped, a vital step in reuniting pets with their owners. Make sure the pet’s microchips information is tied to a cell phone number that will move with you.

Find A New Vet: Find a new vet in your new area before moving day. Your current vet may be able to make recommendations for colleagues he or she knows in your new area. When finding a new vet, it is recommended to set up an appointment as soon as you move in order to get established. It always important to make sure you are comfortable with their practice before they are needed in an emergency.

Get Medical Records: Before you leave your old home, make sure you get a copy of all of your pet’s medical records to give to your new vet and be sure to find the closest emergency animal hospital and keep that phone number handy.

Update Your Address: Don’t forget to have new identification tags with your new address and phone number made for your pet’s collar, and if your pet has an identification microchip, remember to update your contact information in the database.

Keep Things Normal: Instead of pulling an all-nighter to pack, try to pack over a long period of time so that your pet thinks everything is normal. This will keep their stress level down. If you are moving with cats, it can help to bring out their carriers out a few a weeks before the move. Put their favorite treats and toys inside their carriers so they can get used to it before the big moving day. Don’t pack the food away! Keep your pet’s food, water, bowls, medication and any other important supplies (like that favorite squeaky toy) off the moving truck and with you.

On Moving Day
During the actual moving day, where boxes and furniture are being moved, pets should be removed. Find a friend who wouldn’t mind pet sitting or find a place away from all the noise of moving such as a doggy day care or cat care center. If you can visit them during a spare moment, it can help reassure the pets that nothing is going on. Keeping pets locked away in a room during moving day can make them anxious from all the noise and new people that might be in your home. If you must keep them locked away, find a quiet room, water bowl and put a HUGE sign on the door.

Travel with Your Pet: Unless your move is long distance or international, your pet will likely be traveling by car with you nearby. By driving them yourself you can care for them and give them a sense of familiarity as they move. To prepare your pet for this trip, drive for short distances with your pet to prepare them before the final move. Also, remember to plan ahead for any special carriers your pets may need for transportation. There are even special seat belts for large dogs.

Air Travel: If you are moving your pet by air or internationally, check all rules and regulations far ahead of the day you plan to leave and remember to keep your pet’s special documentation at hand.

After Moving Day: Don’t let pets roam around the neighborhood until they are acclimated. Take them out on a leash to explore their new territory and show them how to get home. If you let them out in a new place right away, they might get lost or run away due to stress. Make sure your pet’s new identification tags are secured to their collar.

Now snuggle up with your furry friend and enjoy the new home!

Save hundreds by packing yourself

You can save yourself some money by packing everything yourself. Here’s a some packing tips to make packing easier and more organized.

1. Don’t Procrastinate
Don’t procrastinate. This seems simple enough, but getting started can be difficult. A few weeks prior to your move, start packing several boxes a day. Begin with items that are least essential to your daily life. If you pace yourself, you will be more organized and the job won’t be so overwhelming. Make packing easier by not waiting to get started.

2. Pack room-by-room
Focus on one area of a room at a time and don’t mix items from different rooms in one box. To prevent miniature knickknacks and small items from being lost or mistakenly thrown out with the packing paper, wrap them in brightly-colored tissue paper.

3. Packing Labels
Label clearly. On the top and side of each box, write a general description of the contents and the room name. Use different colored markers for each room, which will provide additional clarity for you and your movers.

4. Use Packing Paper
Stay clean. Regular newspaper may bleed ink onto your possessions. Use packing paper to wrap all items.

5. Stick with Moving Boxes
Use boxes designed for moving. Boxes obtained from grocery or liquor stores are not always clean and might not hold the weight of the items that you will be putting in them. In addition, varying box sizes can make loading more difficult.

6. Know what you can’t pack
Know what you can’t pack. Some common household items can’t be shipped because they are hazardous. Don’t wind up on the wrong side of the law. Read our list of what you can’t put on the moving truck.

7. Moving valuables
Don’t box up everything. You should personally transport heirlooms, important papers, legal documents (wills, passports. etc.), and valuables. Make packing easier by decided what doesn’t need to be packed.

Moving Checklist

Below is a moving checklist for your convenience

[] Set the date of the move
[] Arrange for utility transfers
[] File change of address
[] Notify everyone of your change of address 
[] Schedule moving estimate
[] Start packing!
[] Open bank accounts near your new address 
[] Create one “Open Me First” box for specific rooms
[] Start eating up perishable food from freezer and refrigerator 
[] Hold a yard sale. 
[] Confirm start time, current home address and future home address with movers. 
[] Take all garbage out of the house 
[] Make sure the drivers of House to Home Moving have your cell phone number(s)
[] Be available for the movers’ questions 
[] Perform final checks before leaving current home

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