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Home, Sweet (New) Home: How to Prepare for a Move to a Senior Living Community

September 13, 2022

Moving, regardless of circumstance, is a stressful experience all around. In addition to the amount of physical work involved with packing, boxing up decades of memories and closing a chapter of your life to move into a senior living community also takes an emotional toll. The following tips will help you know where to start, how to pace yourself and make the process as enjoyable as possible.

1. Give yourself as much time as possible.

This might be the most important thing to remember! While your move might be months away, avoid procrastinating until the last minute. In general, we tend to underestimate the number of things we own and will subsequently need to sort through in the process of packing. By not allowing yourself enough time to go through every room of your home and ensure that every last item is accounted for in one way or another, you are setting yourself up for greater stress and anxiety in the weeks and days approaching your move.

2. Enlist the help of family or a friend.

Packing doesn’t have to be a chore or something you do alone. Invite a loved one to help, turn on some music, order lunch, and make it a time to socialize and reminisce. Even if you are excited about your move, it is a time of change and change can evoke a variety of emotions. Having the support of important people in your life will ease your adjustment and keep it as positive for you as possible.

3. Downsize your belongings.

A move to a smaller space can be challenging, but it also presents an opportunity to pare down your material possessions and simplify your life. An easy way to start is to set up a few boxes designated for keep, donate/yard sale, and gift to family or friends. Start with a small room, such as a bathroom or a closet, and work your way through your home one room at a time. Carefully consider each item’s sentimental value, usefulness in your new home, and whether or not you will have a place for it. You might even find it helpful to obtain a copy of the floorplan of your living space from your new community; this way, you can ensure that your furniture will fit and you will have an idea where things will go ahead of time.

4. Schedule movers.

Unless you plan to have family or friends helping you move, you will need to hire a moving company. Consider getting two or three quotes for the job to find the one that best fits your budget. Most moving companies offer a range of services, from simply dropping off a pod for you to fill with your belongings to loading up furniture and boxes you have already packed ahead of time to full-service packing up your home for you while you relax.

For the most accurate estimate, be prepared to provide as detailed an inventory of your home’s contents as possible. Don’t worry if you’re still in the process of cleaning out – you’ll likely be contacted within a few days of your move to revisit your inventory one last time and adjust your estimate accordingly.

5. Change your address.

First, contact your bank, doctors, insurance carrier, and any subscription services to change your address in their systems. Next, set up a mail forward to your new address through the post office. This can be done in person at the post office or online and serves as another layer to catch anything important with whom you may have forgotten to change your address.

6. Cancel/transfer utilities.

Don’t forget to call your electric company, water, sewer, gas, oil, pest control, internet/cable, etc., to transfer your service to your new location, or even close out your accounts altogether if you will not need them at your new home. The move-in coordinator at your new community can provide guidance regarding which utilities you will need.

7. Plan for cleaning after you move out.

No matter how neat and tidy you keep your home, moving is messy – and your home will likely need good detailing after you move out. If your budget allows, it might be worth your while to look into hiring a professional to do this for you. By the time you’re at this point in your move, you will likely be physically and mentally exhausted and ready to settle into your new abode!

Located amidst the tree-lined streets in the heart of bucolic downtown West Chester, The Hickman offers several affordable living options for seniors — from independent living to memory care and everything in between. Contact us today for a tour and discover your next home.