8 Moving Tips for Seniors in Portland, OR

Moving is a task that never quite gets any easier, and when you’re a senior, it can be especially hard to leave behind a home that you’ve spent years raising a family and living your life in.

To help you through your upcoming moving process, review the moving tips below. They will help eliminate your stress and frustration. You’ll have a better idea of how to prepare for a major life change and care for yourself throughout.

1. Plan Ahead–Get a Floor Plan of Your New Space

This is an important first step. A floor plan for your new space is an important thing to have. A floor plan will tell you how much furniture and other belongings you can fit into your new space and help you figure out where everything will be placed. It also will help you come up with some fun decorating ideas.

A floor plan will also help you figure out if you have to find a new home for that large dining room table, china hutch, and buffet or if you can take them along. You’ll also be able to know if your new bedroom will be able to accommodate that new queen-size bed you want.

2. Start a Checklist and Make a Schedule

You don’t want to get overwhelmed, so when you’re moving, organization is essential.

  • Two months before your move date, develop a schedule that lists tasks and the date you plan to complete them. Plan to pack items you don’t really need on a day-to-day basis first.
  • If you’re computer savvy, there are online calendars you can download to help you keep organized
  • If computers aren’t your thing, write everything on a calendar in a bright color you can’t fail to notice

Packing can be a pain, and getting all the supplies you need can be a big chore, so you might want to consider hiring a mover that will do the packing and unpacking for you, providing the packing supplies and then disposing of them once unpacking is done. That will be a big time and energy saver.

3. Decide What to Take, Toss, or Donate

You might be moving to a smaller place, but even if you’re moving to a home or apartment that’s the same size, you don’t want to take unnecessary items with you. Moving is a great opportunity to declutter.

As you go through your possessions, have three boxes handy, sorting items to keep and move, give away/donate/sell, or throw away. Start this process early–it’s a process that can be emotional. But do you really need to keep that Christmas card from someone whose face you can no longer picture? Remember, you can keep your memories without keeping a physical object.

4. Call on Your Family or Friends if You Need Help

Decluttering, sorting, packing. They all take time and can pose quite a challenge. If you need help, ask friends or family. Even if you don’t need help, involving your family and close friends can make the process fun.

You also might have things you want to give to your loved ones, but are these things they will want and use? Your daughter might have always coveted your stand mixer, but your grandchild may not be interested in that watch you received as a graduation present and might be better off donated.

5. Pack a Bag of Essentials

No matter what you do, the first 24 hours in your new home are going to be hectic. Instead of digging through boxes, prepare a suitcase with essentials: towels, sheets, clothing, medications, etc.

6. Be Smart When Packing

There’s a system for packing and sorting. Start with large items–is that piece of furniture staying or going? What about the pillows on it? If you start with large items and move on to small items, you’ll get more of a sense of accomplishment that makes packing less of a chore.

And stay organized. Begin with one room at a time, and don’t move on until you’ve completed the sorting and packing for that space. Focus is important. Plan to block off a certain amount of time to work on your move every day. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked. You might be surprised how this will help you accomplish more.

7. Pay Attention to Your Physical and Mental Health

Moving is exhausting, no matter how young or old you are. It takes both physical effort and mental strength. As a senior, it’s important to be realistic about what you can do physically.

Sorting through your possessions can take a toll on your mental health as memories surface. You also might have lived in your current home for decades, which makes it a hard place to leave.

Ask for help if you need it. The right movers will carefully pack your possessions, or you can call on family or friends. If you find yourself feeling anxious, depressed, or feeling confused, reach out to your doctor. Again, professional movers can make your move much less stressful and bring peace of mind that everything is being taken care of properly.

8. Have a Goodbye Party

Bid farewell to your old home by getting together with friends, family, former coworkers, and anyone else you’ll miss. If a big shindig isn’t your style, create your own goodbye ritual. That might mean sitting quietly in your favorite spot or consider:

  • Taking photos of every room
  • Creating a memory book
  • Leaving something behind

Leaving something behind can be fun for you and whoever moves into your old space. In the old days, people would leave an old shoe behind a wall, under a floorboard, or near an opening of the house to keep evil spirits away. Today, you can leave some positive energy behind with some dried flowers or simply a welcoming note left on a counter.

Move With Confidence

Moving is never easy. It’s time-consuming and physically and mentally demanding. You have to know your limits, stay focused and organized, and prepare yourself to say goodbye.

These tips should help, as will hiring the right moving partner who offers every service necessary to make your move as stress-free as possible.