Mom’s move can be a daunting task. Whether it’s downsizing to make independent living easier, or transitioning to an assisted living facility, you have a crucial role to play. The more you help with planning, logistics and emotional support, the more comfortable the move becomes. Here are seven practical steps you can take to make moving day stress-free.
Sorting through keepsakes to decide what to keep and what to get rid of can be emotional (and a bit overwhelming). So, you’ll want to avoid rushing this process while planning mom’s move. That’s why it’s best to start by dealing with more mundane belongings. Help your mom identify and discard clutter early on, so that when the time comes to deal with old treasures, you can give them the attention they deserve.
Mom’s move should involve the family
Getting everyone involved in organizing and packing can not only make the process easier but also ensure that each of your siblings can save childhood relics from being thrown away. In addition, it’ll allow your mom the option to give away heirlooms to family members rather than donating them to charity.
Hire specialized professionals
Hiring the right moving company is an important step, but you’ll also want to consider hiring specialists such as professional packers, furniture shipping companies, or white glove shipping companies. You can even find a maid service for move-out cleaning to minimize the moving daytime crunch.
Use a storage unit
A long-term storage unit is another great way to avoid discarding beloved possessions. You can also use it as a midway point to get items out of the house early, freeing space to make the rest of the packing easier. This even reduces the number of boxes that must be moved on moving day, potentially lowering moving costs.
Help with paperwork and updates
Like any elderly parent, your mom may need help with reading fine print and navigating the technology needed to update information online. Of course, the post office and Social Security will have to be notified of the address change, but there are also many other updates to make, such as:
- Canceling cable TV and/or Wi-Fi
- Canceling utilities such as electricity, water and gas
- Transferring subscriptions such as newspapers and magazines
- Updating address with local organizations or canceling memberships
- Updating financial accounts such as bank accounts, credit accounts and investment accounts
- Changing registrations such as voter registration and car registration
- Updating address on driver’s license
- Sending change of address cards to friends
Be sure to ask your mom if she’d like your help with any of these updates.
Label everything well
It can be especially hard to find specific items later if moving boxes end up in several locations (such as the storage unit, your mom’s new place, and your house). Labeling everything well is crucial, and you can also try these strategies to improve organization after mom’s move:
- Use a color-coding system so you know which room each box is from.
- Make itemized labels, especially for boxes that are hard to categorize.
- Create a “map” of the storage unit so you know exactly where to find each box.
Make sure she has an overnight bag
Ensure your mom doesn’t suffer any discomfort in the aftermath of moving day by helping her pack an overnight bag that includes everything she’ll need for the next day or so. Designating one moving box as an “open first” box can also be helpful.
Although the transition from a family home into senior living arrangements can be an emotional time, using these helpful tips to support your mom can help her feel less uprooted and ensure that she settles into her new living situation more easily.