Downsize to Fit New Space
More often than not, older adults move into smaller homes or care facilities that can’t accommodate all of their belongings. Downsizing is, therefore, necessary. The process can be grueling, emotional and unexpected, so starting as early as possible is ideal. Sort based on a keep/toss/donate/pass down system and work from the least-used rooms to the most frequented. For more tips on downsizing, click here.
If time does not allow for much downsizing — or if your loved one is reluctant to part with enough items — consider a storage unit. Out of sight, however, doesn’t mean out of mind. While the unit may prove useful for the move, it will still need to be sorted. Make storage pare-down a post-move priority.
Map It for the Movers
Drawing up a map, to scale, of your loved one’s new space will help on many levels. Prior to the move it can help determine what furniture stays and what goes, depending on space and layout. During the move it will provide movers with a very specific plan of what goes where, which will limit the amount of furniture moving you and your loved one will have to do after the fact. Lastly, it will act as a guide as set up of the new space begins.
Moving Day Normalcy
If your loved one is willing to turn over the reins of control to someone else for the day, plan an outing for her. Sending her out to do something familiar — lunch with a friend, a trip to the salon, etc. — can help provide a sense of normalcy on this rather hectic day. This may also give you a chance to get things done more efficiently if your loved one has been slowing the process. Ensure your loved one’s new space is ready for them upon return. Fill their fridge with necessities and set up their rooms as similarly to their old residence as possible. This will help ease the transition into their new home.
First Things First
In order to get your loved one set up for his first night in his new place, the bedroom and bathroom should be at the top of the priority list. In the bedroom, make up the bed, set up bedside lighting and an alarm clock, unpack any books or magazines your loved one may be reading and make sure all boxes are out of the way of the main path to the bathroom and other areas of the home. In the bathroom, unpack toiletries, towels, bath mats and any necessary medications. Make sure there’s toilet paper, and that pajamas and robe are accessible. In the kitchen, set out a few necessities, including plates, bowls, forks, knives, napkins, paper towels, dish soap, coffee/coffee maker, etc.
Because a move at this stage of life can be so emotional, it’s important to get as much of your loved one’s routine in place for that first night. If he enjoys listening to music during dinner or before bed, make sure the radio is unpacked. If TV is his thing, arrange for utilities to be set up prior to the move and for the TV cabinet to be organized before you leave for the evening. For an added touch of home, set up a few pictures and other keepsakes, even if it means setting them up on top of boxes.