How To Make Moving Decisions: Move Management for Seniors
Although making the decision to move is especially difficult for seniors, the decision and the moving process can be made considerably easier if the individual and their family plan ahead and enlist the help of professionals. Deciding to move on your own, when you are healthy and independent, will make the transition from your long-term home to an apartment or community much easier. If you fear growing older and not being able to care for yourself, if you are a loved one who worries about the safety of a senior relative, or if you are a caregiver who is unable to continue to provide the necessary care to a senior at home, then a move may be the answer to your problems.
After deciding that a move is desirable or necessary, the next step in the moving process is downsizing. You or your loved will likely be moving from a family home to a smaller apartment; therefore, there are a lot of decisions to be made in order to make the new space comfortable and functional. According to Nancy Loyd and Mary Ann Brewer, owners of Busy Buddies, Inc. Moving Services and founding members of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), “The first and most important thing to do when you know where you’re moving is to make a floor plan showing each room and the placement of each piece of furniture. Try to take actual measurements of the rooms, and include locations of doors, windows, heaters, outlets, etc.” Next, you have to decide what to take to the new home. Never get rid of an item you really want to keep. However, keep in mind that there might not be room for everything. Try to make decisions that take space limitations into consideration. You should let family members know what you plan to take. Then, schedule specific times for the pick up of items you are giving to family and items you are donating to charity. Finally, make sure all items are prominently labeled. “Use colored stickers to mark what goes to the new place and what doesn’t. This will allow you to keep the home livable through the process and help you remember what goes where when the time comes,” advises Greg Gunderson of Gentle Transitions, a CA senior relocation company.
If you sort and mark everything appropriately beforehand, then you and your family or moving professionals should be able to easily pack your belongings. It is a good idea to allow the movers to pack most of your belongings. This will make the move much easier on you and will also guarantee that the moving company insures the contents of the boxes in case of damage. Also, if the move takes longer than anticipated because you are disorganized, the movers will charge more. Be sure that each box is labeled with the room it came from and a few of the contents. You may want to photograph your valuables, so that you have a record of their condition before the move. Pack smaller valuables with your personal items, carry them on your person, or place them in a safe deposit box during the move.
Hiring a Moving Company
Identifying all of the articles to be moved with stickers will help to ensure that you receive consistent bids from potential movers. Consult two or three moving companies and be sure to get written estimates. Once you have decided on a mover, you should sign a contract, which should include a specific price. While discussing your contract, be sure you understand the amount of insurance that is provided on your possessions before you make a decision. “The standard coverage, which comes at no cost, is 60 cents per pound per item. That means if a 10-pound crystal bowl costing $500 shattered, a consumer would get only $6,” warns Hope Yen in “How to Find a Reputable Moving Company.” Also, you should be aware that, by law, movers can collect only 10% above the price quoted in a non-binding estimate as long as no additional services were provided.
Using a Senior Move Manager/ Moving Coordinator
One way to guarantee that your move goes well is to enlist the help of professionals. Moving professionals go by a variety of different titles, including Senior Move Managers and Moving Coordinators. The newly formed National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) provides guidelines for many of these professionals. Moving professionals can provide support and assistance with both the physical and emotional aspects of the moving process. They can assess, coordinate, monitor, and perform the steps in the moving process, including: planning; customizing floor plans; referring realtors, movers, shippers, liquidators, charities, and haulers; sorting; contacting utilities; packing; unpacking; organizing; settling; and decorating. Utilizing the help of a professional move manager or moving coordinator can help to alleviate the stress and aggravation of moving, making their fees money well spent.
Special thanks to Sarah Morse and Donna Quinn Robbins, co-authors of Moving Mom and Dad, for material included in this article. You can order a complete copy of the book by calling (570)-703-7476 or by going to www.amazon.com.
Thanks are also due to Nancy Loyd and Marry Ann Brewer of Busy Buddies, Inc. Moving Services for their suggestions and materials. For more information, visit NASMM’s website at www.nasmm.com.