Six Essential Moving Tips For Senior Citizens

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Moving is hard enough when you're young and agile. If you're entering your golden years and need to move to a new home, the prospect of packing everything into boxes, loading it in a moving truck, and setting it all up again can be downright daunting. However, people successfully move into new homes at all ages--and you can too if you follow these six essential tips.

1. Be willing to give things up.

One of the biggest mistakes seniors make when moving, especially when downsizing, is trying to keep too much. If you keep an open mind and are able to part with more possessions before your move, you won't have as much to transport and set up again. Consider having your children and grandchildren over to your home. Let them "shop" your home for things they may need that you no longer have use for. You can also donate some other items that are in good shape but are no longer serving you.

2. Start early. 

Working from sunup to sundown is not a safe choice. You need to approach this like a marathon, not a sprint. Start tackling moving-related tasks early on instead of waiting until the last minute. Complete tasks that you can do on your own, without a friend around to help, first. These might be tasks like calling your utility companies to set up service at the new address, packing towels and other lightweight items, and collecting all of your important documents in one place.

3. Be specific when asking others to help.

Asking for help can be tough, especially if you have family members who like to "take over" and leave you feeling out of control of your own move. To avoid conflict, try being very clear and concise when you ask your family members for health. For instance, instead of asking "Can you help me move?" ask "Can you help me get my dresser and sofa into the moving truck?"

4. When in doubt, don't lift it.

It has probably been a while since you last moved, and even if you're fit, you may not be able to lift the heavy items like you used to. Resist the urge to prove to yourself that you can still lift heavy items. If you start to pick something up and it feels too heavy, set it down and ask someone to help. You could cause permanent damage to your back if you lift an item that's too heavy.

5. Let your friends know you are moving.

As a more mature adult, you may not be as connected on social media as the younger generation. Younger friends, in particular, may not be aware that you moved if you don't post on social media, since this is how they are used to finding out about friends' life updates. So you'll need to make an effort to inform friends that you are moving. Write them personalized letters and drop them in the mail, or give them a call on the phone. Make sure they all take down your new address (and phone number if it will change) so they can keep in touch.

6. If at all possible, hire movers.

If you're on a tight budget, you may be tempted not to hire movers and to instead move yourself with the help of friends. However, you owe it to yourself to at least get estimates from moving companies before you decide whether or not you can afford these services. Hiring household movers to load all of your boxes into a truck, drive them to your new home, and unload them will take so much of the burden off of you and your family. You don't have to worry so much about injuries, and your family will have more time to spend with you doing things you actually enjoy--rather than just packing boxes.