How to Reduce Stress and Make Moving Easy: A Guide for Seniors
Moving is always stressful, and it gives everyone anxiety. But there’s lots you can do to make the transition as smooth as possible. Read on for advice on moving, packing, and getting the help you need.
Things to Consider
Before you pack, find important papers like your tax records, birth certificate, will, and other legal documents. Locate your checkbooks, credit cards, jewelry, heirlooms, and family photos. Keep all these items together in a special box or container and don't let anyone but yourself or a trusted family member handle this box.
Take pictures of the furniture you intend to keep. Don't forget to take photos of the sides and tops of furnishings, as well as the front. Get your utilities and TV hooked up and turned on before you move. Buy plastic utensils and paper plates that will get you through the first few days of your move because unpacking all your kitchen accessories could take some time.
When you pack, label boxes with a color-coded system. Boxes you want to keep should be marked in blue. Boxes of stuff you're giving away should be red. And boxes that you're putting into storage can be orange. Count your boxes and write down how many you have.
Include an "open first" label on boxes that have your essential items to reduce moving stress, according to SeniorLiving.org. This includes medicines, toiletries, cookware, towels, and pet supplies.
Spread heavier items, like dishes and books, across several boxes. Even if you have help moving your items, you may have to stack and move some boxes yourself, so don't allow any one box to become too heavy.
Get Moving Help
Essential boxes and valuable items can be stored in your own personal vehicle on moving day, along with any pets. For your furnishings and the bulk of your boxes, hire a professional moving company. Do some research online, or have a friend or family member do it, to find a reputable company. Have a signed contract with the company before the move begins to insure your items.
Before the moving company leaves, count your boxes to make sure the number matches the number you wrote down. Look over your boxes, furnishings, and large items for signs of damage.
Get a full-service moving company. A good moving company will put your furniture where you want it, and move boxes into specific rooms.
Consider Your Pet
Take special care of your pet during moving day. Leave your pet in the room that's being moved last so he can stay surrounded by familiar items as long as possible.
According to the ASPCA, you should allow your dog or cat to get used to the new home slowly. Close doors so your pet can adjust. Unpack his items as soon as possible and put out food and water bowls and toys quickly.
Don't Forget About You
Don't let stress make you forget about yourself. It's important not to skip meals, according to Your Storage Finder. Prepare a few meals and snacks ahead of time and leave these items out. Take some ready-to-eat food with you in the car when you move, and drink lots of liquids. Get one day’s worth of medicine ready the night before, so you don’t miss any regular doses.
It's often sad to leave a familiar place and scary to move somewhere new. Don't ignore these feelings. Talk to friends and family about your move. Tell them how you're feeling and share some warm memories of your home. You need and deserve emotional support.
Allow yourself to be sad but also embrace the joy of moving. Remind yourself that moving into a new place can also be wonderful. You will meet new neighbors and friends and have new experiences.
By reducing the stress of your move, you’ll make it easier to adjust. Remember the essentials, pack smartly, and get help. If you plan wisely, your move will be as stress-free as you can make it.
About the Author
Teresa is the co-creator of MentalHealthForSeniors.com, which is dedicated to providing seniors with information on physical and mental fitness so that they can be active and happy in their golden years.