When retirees or seniors begin the process of moving, downsizing is usually a large part of the process. Perhaps a retiree is moving from a larger house that served as their family’s home for decades. Now they may be ready for something a little more manageable. Less square footage means less to clean and a smaller yard can significantly cut down on the amount of upkeep required.
Alternatively a senior may move to a care facility, retirement community or in with another family member. The nature of a move for a senior is often to smaller accommodations. These moving tips for seniors focus on downsizing and may help your family make it through an important move.
Extra Help – The Point Person
Moving and downsizing may be an emotional process, so the help of another family member may be very vital. Will there be a primary caretaker involved to help the senior move?
If your loved one will be moving to a senior care facility, experienced staff members at that facility may already have a process in place for moves. Find out who the point person is for new residents during a move and consult him or her before you begin the moving process. This point person will probably have a wealth of information to help you and your family member during the move like important details such as what items are permitted or prohibited or where on the property a truck should go to unload. Decide amongst your own family members who will be the point person for your family. It can be confusing for the staff of a facility to deal with multiple adult children and their respective spouses.
Culling the Herd
Downsizing may seem like a daunting task to a retiree who has a whole lifetime of things to sort through. Start downsizing early. Take one room at a time, starting with the least frequently used room. Assign each item to a category like donate, toss, or take. Leaving an open category like “undecided” means more work, as you will have to go back and consider the future of an item again. Plan extra time for this process because it may be emotional for a senior or retiree to sort through all their possessions and make permanent decisions.
A senior deciding to move and downsize is an excellent time to pass on family heirlooms that may not fit in the new space. Passing down an item to a family member or donating it may help the senior feel more comfortable with paring down. If there are special items like a piano or grandfather clock that have been promised to another family member, we can help carefully pack those items and move them to that family member’s home. Alternatively, a move is a great excuse to let the adult children of a senior reclaim their childhood toys, books, and trophies.
Use the New Space as a Guide
Visit the new space before the move, if possible, and find out the dimensions. This will help when it comes to planning what to bring and what to leave behind. Familiar furniture may be more important than buying new. Seniors may take comfort in familiar objects and surroundings. A move at this stage in life could be rather emotional so having familiar items out and returning to a normal routine as soon as possible are helpful.
We would love to help you or your family member have a smooth transition during your next move. Contact us here so we can help!