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.

Step-By-Step Guide to Unload a Moving Truck the Right Way

After many hours of loading all of your belongings safely inside a moving truck, you are probably already tired and ready for moving day to be over and done. But as you roll up to your new home, you still have many hours of unloading ahead. Sigh! So how do you make the process of unloading a moving truck efficient, speedy and safe? By checking out the handy step-by-step guide below.

1. Fully extend the loading/unloading ramp your rental truck is equipped with. Check the ramp to ensure it is in good operating order and also that it is dry.

2. Open the truck door. This should be done slowly so you won’t disturb items inside, and if something falls out, you will be able to react quickly. The chance of pieces falling out of the truck as you lift the door is high because things easily shift during transportation.

3. Unload items carefully and in the right order.

  • The first item to unload will be the last items you loaded.
  • Next, remove miscellaneous items that are lightweight. These will be those belongings that have been placed on top of larger items or in remaining empty spaces.
  • Household appliances should be next on your unloading list. Since these items are delicate – and heavy – use extra care when moving them, along with a utility dolly and several extra hands.
  • After household appliances have been taken off the truck, tackle bulky boxes.
  • Now comes the time to remove furniture. Be sure to unhook any ropes or moving straps that are holding pieces in place inside the truck. For furniture that contains drawers or doors, check to ensure they are well secured and won’t fall out or swing open while unloading them.
  • Once all of the previously mentioned items have been unloaded, you should be left with just large boxes to remove. Be smart and carry only one box at a time – it will actually be just as quick and will decrease the risk of damaged items and personal injury.

4. Use proper lifting and carrying techniques during the unloading process. Bend your knees, and use the strength of your arms and legs to lift and carry heavy pieces. Be sure to hold items close to your body, take small steps and keep your movements slow and precise.

5. Avoid rushing while unloading your moving truck. Rushing to get the job done faster will only lead to broken belongings and injury. So plan every step carefully and avoid hasty actions.

6. Take belongings directly to their designated location as you remove them from the truck. This will eliminate having to move large, heavy items around your home later, and will also save you lots of time when trying to unpack, because everything will already be in the right spot.

7. Check inside your moving truck one last time to ensure all of your belongings have been removed. Then close and secure the door, and disengage the ramp.

8. If a moving company delivered your items, check your inventory sheet to make sure all of your belongings arrived safe and sound. Be sure to do this while the movers are still there, just in case!

9. If you rented a moving truck for a DIY move and it has officially served its purpose, it’s time to clean the empty truck, fuel it back up and return it on time.

For more must-known moving tips, click here. To learn about our rental services, check out our website.

Prepare Your Belongings for Storage: A How-to Guide

There are items we want to throw away, and there are items we want to hang onto, but we just don’t have the space – like antique furniture, outgrown children’s clothes or artwork. So what should you do with these things? For items you want to keep for future use or sentimental value, it is a god idea to put them in a storage unit. Self-storage units provide a simple and convenient solution. All it takes is choosing an appropriate storage facility and moving your belongings into it. But, before tossing your items inside and locking the door, you want to ensure your belongings will remain in excellent condition while stored. To make this happen, you will need to prepare and pack your items with great care and attention to detail. Check out our useful how-to guide to learn how to prep your belongings for storage.

How to Prep Furniture

  1. If applicable, empty furniture of any items – books, papers, etc. Using a brush attachment for your vacuum, remove any excess dirt, and clean all surfaces with a mild solution of soap and water. Let furniture air dry fully.
  1. Protect your furniture, based on its material. For leather, use a protective spray as well as leather conditioner. For wood finishes, apply a protective coat of wax to seal the wood and reduce the risk of mold development.
  1. Disassemble large furniture pieces (as much as possible). For any protruding elements (table legs, etc.), cover them with a protective layer of bubble wrap.
  1. Pack all detached pieces together so no parts get misplaced. Also, place small hardware parts (bolts, hinges, etc.) in a sealable plastic bag, then tape the bag to the corresponding furniture.
  1. Cover furniture with sheets and blankets. Use specialized fabric furniture covers if your items will be stored long-term, and secure with cinch straps, plastic wrap or rubber bands.

How to Prep Appliances

  1. Empty and thoroughly clean any appliances you intend to put into storage. If you plan to store a fridge/freezer, be sure to defrost it first or expect a wet and moldy disaster!
  1. When cleaning appliances, it’s a good idea to disinfect them properly. A cleaning solution of bleach or baking soda will work as an excellent disinfectant/cleaning agent and will also remove any bad odors.
  1. Completely drain water from any attached hoses or internal mechanisms – especially when storing dishwashers and washing machines. Missing this step can lead to water freezing and damaging your appliances during winter months or mildew during warmer months.
  1. Tie down and secure any attached cables and hoses. Remove any hoses or other attachments, if possible, and store them inside the appliance so they won’t get lost.

Things to consider:

If possible, leave doors on household appliances slightly ajar when stored. This will allow proper ventilation and will prevent condensation and bad odors.

How to Prep Electronic Devices

  1. Ensure all electronics are clean and free of dust.
  1. Pack sensitive electronic devices in their original boxes or ones of similar size and quality. Use crumpled packing paper, foam sheets or anti-static packing peanuts to fill any empty spaces inside boxes to ensure optimal protection during storage.
  1. Seal all boxes tightly in order to keep moisture out and damage away.

How to Prep Clothes

  1. Hang garments on a clothes rail inside wardrobe boxes. This will keep them wrinkle-free and ensure good ventilation to eliminate the risk of mold.
  1. For expensive and delicate clothing items, wrap them in a suitable protective cover to keep them fresh, clean and damage-free.
  1. For clothing that will be stored long-term, use an insect repellant such as naphthalene or mothballs.

Things to consider:

When storing clothes for extended periods of time, avoid folding and piling them into boxes. This will not only lead to wrinkles, but damage due to dust, dampness and mold.

How to Prep Mattresses

  1. Inspect mattresses for any signs of infestation. Also, make sure your mattresses are clean and completely dry. To make sure, consider placing them in a spot with direct sunlight for a few hours.
  1. Place mattresses in a specialized storage bag that supplies a perfect fit. Durable mattress bags are a wise investment when storing mattresses, because they protect against dirt, dust, moisture and pests.
  1. Seal the ends of the plastic protection bags with packing tape.

Things to consider:

Use vacuum bags to save space when storing bedding items, like comforters, duvets, linens, etc.

How to Prep Books

  1. Ensure all books are fully dry. Try spreading them on a table in a sunny room for several days before packing them for storage. Also consider running a dehumidifier in the room.
  1. Wrap leather books in packing paper to eliminate the risk of them sticking to each other.
  1. Place books in small, sturdy boxes. It is recommended to pack books flat – especially larger ones – to prevent damage to their spines.

Things to consider:

Books are incredibly heavy! Avoid using large boxes because they will be too difficult to lift. They may even break under their own weight.

For more useful how-to guides involving your move, click here.