How to Plan a Move to Senior Living When You’re Over 65

How to plan a move

Moving is stressful and for people over 65 it can be much harder than it was decades ago. Not only are most seniors not quite as strong as they once were, they also have accumulated much more “stuff” that has to be moved or let go of. But with a little planning and common sense, making a move to a senior living community when you’re over 65 can be a breeze. Here are tips to help make your moving day a good one.

Tip #1 – Start a move to senior living early

When possible, start planning your move as soon as you know a move is in the cards. Make a list of all you need to do from getting estimates from movers or DIY truck rentals to soliciting help from family and friends for moving day. If you have large heavy items that will be moved, now is the time to prearrange with a mover to handle those items. 

Also make a list of everyone who will need to know your change of address including loved ones and friends, the U.S. Postal Service, insurance and utility companies, doctors and dentists, Social Security, and Medicare. For those with a driver’s license or state ID, be sure to update with the appropriate state agency. If you’re moving to a new state or town, it’s also a good time to start looking for new healthcare providers in that area. For an excellent checklist to keep everything straight, try’s “Moving Checklist – Tips for Move Planning.”

Tip #2 – “Rightsize” your possessions

Moving after 65 often means a smaller home is the destination. But after living for decades in the home where you raised a family, there are stockpiles of possessions; some yours, some your kids, and some that who knows where it came from. Closets, garages and basements are the first places to look to begin sorting out what will go with you and what won’t. Let children know they need to take care of what belongs to them, and then begin sorting through everything else to decide:

  • If it’s going with you.
  • If it’s going to family or friends (think heirlooms).
  • If it’s going to a charity like Salvation Army or Goodwill.
  • If it’s going in the trash.

As you go along, keep in mind not only do small items need to be purged, but large ones like furniture, appliances, lawn care equipment, and large tools will too. Some will likely stay with the home, like dishwashers, stoves, and washers and dryers, but others, like couches, beds, and lawnmowers may not fit or be needed at your new place. If you have an abundance of larger and small items that are still useful, consider a garage sale that will make a little extra moving money and relieve you of having to find a home for unneeded items. Find out more about rightsizing in the blog, “Downsizing or Rightsizing? Preparing for a Move Later in Life.”

Tip #3 – Pack and label

The sooner you can get packed, the easier a move will be. Before starting to pack, gather all the materials you will need including:

  • Plastic bins with lids.
  • Clean boxes (banker’s boxes from an office supply store work great!).
  • Bubble wrap, newspaper and/or other packing paper.
  • Packing tape.
  • Tape and a marker for labeling (masking tape works well and peels off easily after the move).

Begin with those items you don’t need every day like art, framed family photos, extra linens, off-season clothes, guest room items, etc. As you get nearer to your move date, start to prep things like furniture and exercise equipment that may need to be disassembled, all or in part. Be sure to keep all nuts, bolts, screws, and parts in labeled bags so that they can be easily reassembled after the move. 

Once kitchen packing begins be sure to stock up on paper/plastic plates, cups, bowls, and silverware so everyday ware can be packed in advance. By packing a little bit every day, the job is easier and before you know it, you will be all packed and ready to go! For more expert packing tips, check out our moving tips blog, “Which are the golden rules of packing for a move?

Tip #4 – Keep valuables close

Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, always keep valuable items in your possession. Family heirlooms, jewelry, valuable artworks, and other collections, etc. should either be stored with a trusted friend or family member or kept with you during the move to ensure they are not lost, stolen or damaged. 

Other valuables that are easy to misplace are medications, which should be packed with personal items like clothes and toothbrushes in a suitcase that is packed as if you’re taking a trip so that everything you need is handy and accounted for. If during a move with a moving company, possessions are missing or damaged, the blog, “How to File a Claim for Damages and Lost Items After a Move,” offers best steps to take.

North Chandler Place is an excellent choice for moving to a community where seniors have a variety of living options from independent to assisted to memory care. Curious about how to fund senior living? Check out our free guide, A Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing.  To speak with a professional about all that North Chandler Place has to offer, contact us today!

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