10 tips to downsize and ‘de-stress’ your move!

moving for senior citizens10. Start Early – End Happy
It’s never too early to begin the downsizing process. Begin by focusing on typical problem areas such as the attic, basement, garage, closets, and file cabinets.

9. Get Generous
Since you can’t take everything you own to your new home, now is the time to make arrangements to “gift” some of your treasures to special people in your life including, and especially family, helpful neighbors, friends, favorite organizations, or a church/synagogue.

8. Save your Memories
You may have boxes of old photos from every holiday and vacation. What do you do with them? Consider the following ways to reserve family photos and stories: audio and video recordings, copy your special photos on to CDs, or try your hand at scrapbooking. There are services that will take all your photos, slides, and videos and do it for you.

7. New Looks for Books
If you own large quantities of books, you need to spend time downsizing your collections. Books occupy lots of space and are heavy to move. Consider donations to libraries or senior centers, or sales to used bookstores. Contact a book dealer for older books with potential value.

6. Use It Up…Don’t Move It Out
Plan to use as many of your canned goods, frozen foods and paper products as possible before the move. If there are too many, think about passing them on to a local food pantry.

5. Recycle the Toxins
Take time to put together a box of household, yard and automotive cleaning products, as well as paint that are considered hazardous. Visit Earth911.org for more information on hazardous collection in your area.

4. Don’t Lose Touch
Create a list of people, places, and utilities/services that need to be notified of your upcoming change in address.

3. Space Plan Ahead
Most Senior Move Managers can provide you with a customized floor plan of your new residence. A floor plan will help you determine the pieces of furniture that will fit in your new home, and the best location of each. Knowing which pieces will fit in your new space will help you in your rightsizing process.

2. Pack a Survival Bag
Put together a survival bag for move day. It might include personal needs (medications, eyeglasses, toiletries, change of clothes, important papers,etc.); kitchen needs (snacks, drinks, etc.), basic tools (hammer, screwdriver, flashlight, tape, etc.); cleaning supplies (sponge, roll of paper towels, soap, etc.); and payment for the mover-be sure you know which form of payment they accept.

1. Ask for Help
Don’t be too proud or independent-minded to ask for help. Moving is not easy and you shouldn’t do it all yourself. But don’t wait until the last minute to ask for help. Some of these downsizing steps require months to accomplish. The best place to find help is through the National Association of Senior Move Managers (www.nasmm.org).