Relocating the Elderly: A Helpful Guide

A home is more than just four walls and a roof. Home is a place that provides comfort and safety. A place that holds memories. All of these qualities grow the longer you live in the same home. Because of this, having to move to a new home can be very upsetting – especially for the elderly. Not only is it harder for seniors to endure a move physically, but it is also difficult emotionally. After all, they have spent years of their time, effort and money to create a home they truly love. Moving seniors can be an enormous challenge, requiring time, organization, and lots of patience. You will also need the assistance of the guide below that will hold your hand as you go through all of the stages of the senior relocation process.

Communication

Moving house is always a time of difficulty and worry. But for the elderly, leaving a cozy, comfortable place that has been their home for many years can be a time of great sadness and apprehension. The main cause of this distress is the perceived sense of loss – a loss of control, independence and self. In order to ensure a smooth transition, reducing your parents sense of loss and powerlessness is a must. To do this, communication is of utmost importance. To create an open line of communication:

  • Discuss the matter at length. Talk with your parents about why they need to move and their options for where they can move to;
  • Be patient. Give your parents time to think about moving, grieve their loss, and also accept the changes that are to come;
  • Be positive. Point out the good aspects of them moving – less responsibilities, less work, increased safety, better healthcare, the chance to spend more time with you and their grandchildren (if moving closer to you).
  • Give them choices. Let them choose their new home or living community. Allow them to be part of the moving preparations, letting them decide what belongings they will take with them, etc.

Planning

After a decision is made about whether or not your parents will be moving – and where they will be moving to – it is time to start planning the relocation. With every move, a great deal of time, effort and organization occurs. For a senior move, you will need to accomplish a number of important tasks, such as:

  • Downsizing your parent’s belongings.
  • Packing your parent’s belongings.
  • Hiring professional movers that are experts in handling a senior move.

Packing

When packing for a move, the elderly are not just packing mere belongings. They are packing memories, keepsakes, and other essential elements from their life. Because they will need to limit the amount of items they move with them, packing can be a longer-than-usual process. To make the packing process efficient and stress-free, you should:

Be considerate and patient. While you may want to just throw things into boxes and donate gobs of other items, it’s important to be considerate and patient with your parents at this time. Ask them what they’d like to do themselves and what they will need help with. While it’s a good idea to help them sort their belongings and steer them in the direction of getting rid of nonessential items, be sure to let them have the final say in what they keep and what they say goodbye to.

Start early. As we just mentioned, it can take time for your parents to decide what belongings to keep and which ones to toss. This is why it’s important to start the packing process early – around three – four months before moving day.

Begin with simple tasks. Easing into the packing process will make it much more bearable on everyone involved. So begin with simple tasks first. For example, try having your parents pack a room in their home that doesn’t hold much emotional attachment, such as a guest room or study.

Another way to help make the moving process easier is to focus on one area at a time. This will make everything that needs to be accomplished less overwhelming.

Pack an essentials box. The first few day after a move is always the hardest. Unpacking, finding specific items you need, and so on. This is why packing an essentials box is a must In this specific box, pack the most must-needed items your parents will need during those first few days after moving. This way they will have easy access to the necessities – medication, toiletries, clothes, basic kitchen items, etc.

Ensure the safety of belongings. Moving is hard enough without suffering the loss of items that were damaged during transportation. While packing, take the necessary steps to ensure all of your parent’s belongings are safely packed to ensure they make it from Point A to Point B on moving day.

Label all boxes. To keep the packing process organized, be sure to label all moving boxes, furniture and other belongings clearly. When labeling, include the specific location that each box, etc. is to go in at your parents’ new home. It is also a good idea to label boxes with their contents to make unpacking easier. For items that require special instructions, be sure to state them on the labels.

Moving Day

When the day of the move arrives, emotions will run high for everyone involved, especially your parents. You will need to be extra cautious in order to keep everything running smoothly and error-free. Here are some things to consider on this stressful day:

  • Be present on moving day to supervise all moving activities as well as the emotional state of your parents.
  • Take the necessary precautions to eliminate the risk of accidents and injuries during the move.
  • Set aside any items that should not be loaded on the moving truck (an essentials box, valuable items, or important documents).
  • Take the time to double check the house before leaving it for good. Ensure nothing has been left behind.
  • Create a safe and comfortable trip for the senior(s) as they relocate to their new home.
  • After the move, help your parents settle in to their new home. Place all o their belongings in the correct places and ensure they are able to freely and safely navigate through their new home.
  • If your parents have moved to a retirement community or assisted living facility, ensure they know how to reach staff for assistance.

For more moving tips, click here. For professional moving services, contact us at 800.771.0151.

Top Tips for Labeling Moving Boxes

When you think of moving to a new home, what words come to mind? If you’re like most who have gone through the process of a home move, you probably think of words like chaos, disorganization and stress. It’s not that moving to a new home is all bad. In fact, it can actually be a very exciting time in one’s life. The problem is that there are a lot of details involved in order to orchestrate and conduct a move. From finding a new place to live, to packing, cleaning and buying supplies, there is a great deal to organize if you want to get from Point A to Point B successfully.

Luckily, your moving preparations don’t have to be disorganized, chaotic or stressful. How, you ask? One way is to devise a smart and foolproof labeling system for packing. Below you will find our top tips for labeling moving boxes for an upcoming move.

Create a Color-Code System

We previously mentioned a color-code system. Now we will discuss in full what this is and how it works. So here goes! The best way to label moving boxes is to create and use a color-coding system. Here’s an example:

Say you choose the color blue to mean bedroom. You will use either a blue marker or blue tape to label all boxes that are packed with items from your bedroom. Come moving day, you will know to take all boxes labeled with blue to the bedroom until they can later be unpacked.

How will others, like friends and movers, understand your color-coding system? A good way to keep them informed is to place colored pieces of paper on the doors of your new home that match the color-code on your boxes. For example, for bedroom boxes labeled with blue, place a blue piece of paper over that specific bedroom door.

Create a Number Labeling System

Are you into numbers more than colors? No problem! Another great labeling technique you can use is a number labeling system. The purpose of using numbers to mark your moving boxes is to designate a certain number to each container. Then, you create a master inventory checklist that includes the contents located in each numbered box.

For example: If Box #1 includes a coffee maker, toaster and blender, each of these items will be listed under Box #1 on your inventory checklist. Then, on the box, you will write “#1”.

The key to using a number labeling system is to ensure you don’t lose the master inventory checklist. So print several copies and also email it to yourself and even to a friend for extra backup.

Gather Labeling Supplies

One of the keys to successfully pack for a move is to have the proper supplies to get the job done. While the most obvious supplies you’ll need are things like cardboard moving boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, and tape, you will also need labeling supplies:

Quality Markers. One of the most important labeling supplies to have are markers (have several on hand!). Unlike ordinary pens, markers are the best choice. When shopping for markers, keep these things in mind:

Color. Using markers of different colors will allow you to color-code each box based on the room it belongs in. This will make moving day, and unpacking, much more organized.

Quality. With moving costs exploding around you, it can be tempting to cut costs on things like markers. But this is a definite mistake, as they are more likely to run out of ink faster and not show up as well.

Permanent and Waterproof. Moving day comes with a big list of what-ifs. What if it rains? What if something leaks? Problems like these can cause labels to smudge and smear. This is why using permanent and waterproof markers when labeling your moving boxes is a must.

Labels. If you prefer to have sticky labels that you write on, you can find downloadable and ready-to-use printable moving box labels on the Internet. You can also purchase labels from a local moving company. These labels will include the names of different rooms on them so you won’t even have to write on them.

Colored Tape. While packing your belongings, you will have lots of clear packing tape on hand. But this won’t work for labeling! To label your boxes, you will need to purchase colored tape. This way, you can enhance your labeling system and make box notification easier.

Label Boxes Correctly

There are, of course, no serious rules to follow when it comes to labeling your moving boxes. You are a unique individual, after all, and can label them whichever way you choose. But we do have a few proven techniques to share with you to help make labeling an easy and organized success.

  • Choose a labeling method that works best for you. Then, label the top and two sides of each moving box. Be sure your writing is legible. It should also be visible on at least one side, even when boxes are stacked one on top of the other.
  • Attach moving labels to your boxes then place clear packing tape over them. This way labels won’t fall of or get torn or wet during transportation.
  • Label boxes that require extra care with words like “Fragile”, “Breakable” or “Handle with Care”.

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Top 5 Signs It’s Time to Move

When you hear that someone you know is moving – whether to a new home, city, etc. – how do you feel about it? Are you happy for them, but are glad it’s not you? Or do you feel pangs of envy and jealousy holding your insides in a tight grip? If you can’t help but wish you were the one moving, it may be time to ask yourself some important questions:

  • Am I happy?
  • What am I doing with my life?
  • Who am I?
  • Is my current situation what I want, or do I need more?

You may be scared to find out the answers to these important life questions, but they are vital if you want to live a life that you are truly content with. To help you in your quest for happiness, here are five warning signs that it’s time to move.

1. Your budget is stretched too thin.

Can you pay your bills, but your disposable income disappears in the blink of an eye? Or worse, are you unable to pay your bills? If your budget is stretched too thin to be able to afford to pay for the things you need and want in order to live comfortably, it is a clear sign that it’s time to move. Money woes can cause major stress and anxiety, and can become a serious burden. It’s not always easy finding a location that offers cheaper living costs, but with adequate research, it is possible. Extensive research should be done on areas like overall living costs (housing, utilities, food, healthcare, education, transportation, etc.). You should also check the unemployment of the area and more, specifically, employment opportunities in your area of expertise, because let’s face it, moving will only be worth it if it’s possible to find a good job that can loosen the stress on your financial situation.

2. You’re stuck at a dead-end job.

Are you underpaid and/or unappreciated at work? If so, you are probably feeling an escalating dissatisfaction with your current job. This is a sure sign that your career may be headed in the wrong direction. Sensing deep inside that your professional skills are being wasted and taken advantage of, then a move could suit you well. Moving to a larger city will provide you with better job opportunities and help you fulfill your career goals.

If a large part of why your current job is causing you high levels of stress or simply not working out is because of a long commute, moving closer to your job could be worth it. Not only will it mean less time in the car – or on other means of transportation – but it also means you’ll have more money.

3. You’ve found your life partner.

Have you found your better half? The one you feel completes you and the life you’ve always dreamt for yourself? If so, a move may be in your near future. While your current residence may have been the perfect place when you were single, your relationship status may mean it’s time to relocate to a new and larger home – quite possibly, even a new town or state.

4. Your family has expanded.

It can be very exciting to start a family. But as it grows, your home may quickly change from spacious to claustrophobic. You may need a house that offers more than one bathroom, so morning routines are less stressful and chaotic. Or you may end up needing an extra bedroom because your once young children now need their own personal space. Whatever the reason, as things grow, more room is needed, and the best way to get it is to move to a larger home.

5. Your home is too large.

Upsizing your home when your family expands is a good decision that will serve you well for many years. But as time chugs by, your home may end up feeling too large. As your kids grow up and move out on their own, or when you are no longer able to maintain your home and property due to its size, this is a clear indicator that a move is in order. Less space can actually come with many positives, like lower maintenance costs and more disposable money to spend on your favorite activities and hobbies.

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