If you are a senior adult, you know the day may eventually come when it's time to downsize your living quarters. Whether you need to cut costs, move to be closer to family or need a new home to accommodate a medical need, it's not the easiest job in the world to find the right new place, sort through a lifetime of possessions, and make the actual move. Here are a few tips to help the process run more smoothly.
Find the Right Home
One of the first things you will want to do is decide on a new home and neighborhood that will be a good fit for you. Whether you are moving across town or across the country, you can do some online research to get a good feel for the prices of homes that are the right size and the right location where you are hoping to move. Your ideal price may be higher of lower, but you can do similar research to find out what's available. As you determine what you can afford, ,make sure to include utilities and monthly expenses.
You should also consider several other things in addition to price as you look for a new home. Perhaps the biggest is a home that will enable you to age in place or live there as long as possible. This means no stairs (either at the entry or inside), smooth floors that won't trip up walkers, grab bars in the bathroom, and wide hallways and door frames to allow room for wheelchairs. You also want a good location with adequate transportation options near friends and family.
Organize Your Stuff
One of the more difficult tasks as you move will be to downsize your possessions. Start this process early and give yourself plenty of time; it will likely take longer than you think. Having enough time makes the process less stressful as well. Start small in an area with little emotional attachment, such as the laundry room. If your new house won't have a room that current house does (like an office), you should be able to get rid of just about everything in that room.
You can reduce clutter by getting rid of duplicates(you probably don't need four spatulas), and don't be afraid to sell things yourself on Craiglist, Ebay, or Facebook. You may make more than you thing selling your old items. One last tip: Allow yourself time to reminisce as you sort through everything. You might even want to invite your kids or grandkids over to help you pack so you can share memories with them as you look through them.
As you consider the actual process of moving, you'll have to decide how it will work for you. Do you want your friends and family to help you pack and move, or can you afford to hire professional movers? One option is to hire a senior move manager who can help you manage all the various details of the process. This may be more helpful than you think, especially because it can relieve family members from the stress of having to do everything themselves.
No matter how many details you take care of, moving in your senior years ca be an emotional experience. Take your time and lian on your family,friends, and professional for help. Before you know it, you'll be building great memories in your new home, surrounded by your friends and family.
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