It has been shouted from the rooftops, time and time again, that moving house is one of the most stressful life events you will undertake. The process is lengthy from start-to-finish and the majority of relocations will have a number of obstacles to overcome before the movers are able to sit back, relax and enjoy their new property.
Moving house as a senior citizen is different to any relocation you will have experienced in your teens, 20’s, 30’s or even your 40’s. As a senior citizen, you have accumulated a lifetime of physical memories, souvenirs and belongings and in the most cases, senior citizens are looking to downsize their home and compact their life after all children have flown the nest and the grandchildren are growing up.
Strategic and advanced planning is crucial for any move to run smoothly. We have compiled this handy senior citizen moving checklist, full of chronological steps and things to do when moving that will hopefully make the relocation process a simple, organised and stress-free journey.
TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO THE MOVE
- Start researching moving companies and obtaining quotes – Get quotes from as many removal companies as possible and decide which services/the level of help you require
- Commence the decluttering – If you are downsizing, you won’t be able to take EVERYTHING to your new home, now is the time to donate or throw away unwanted items
- Work with the floorplan of your new home – A great way to see what furniture will fit in your new home is to study and work with a floor plan of your future home
- Sell your unwanted items – If there are items you wish to sell when decluttering, start doing so now as this can also be a lengthy process and it gives time for buyers to collect
- Pick your moving date and book your removal company – you want to make sure there is space for your booking, especially if you are moving in busy periods such as summer. At this point after decluttering, you will also know if you want to do the packing yourself or have the removal company take care of this for you
- Request moving boxes and packing materials – moving materials will be supplied by a reputable Canadian moving company. If you are packing yourself, you want these in advance so you can pack slowly and gradually to relieve stress and tension
- Researching your area – Prior to your move you want to suss out the best facilities and amenities in your area, this includes the best doctors and healthcare facilities, dentist, proximity to postal services, supermarkets, clothing retailers etc.
SIX WEEKS TO ONE MONTH PRIOR TO THE MOVE
- Create an inventory - Making a full inventory of your belongings is important to know exactly what items should be with you when you reach the other end
- Make travel arrangements – The distance between provinces can be overwhelming when moving across Canada. If you want to fly to make the journey quicker, you should arrange flights on the 6-4 week countdown to ensure you can arrive when you need to
- Notify your doctors – If you are moving to a new town, city or state and cannot keep the services of your current GP Surgery, you will need to contact them in advanced to have your medical records transferred to the new GP Surgery of your choice
- Organise utilities – At this stage, you should contact your utility provider to inform them of your move and schedule cancellation of your bills. It is also recommended to set up any new utility services to begin on your moving day to ensure you are up and running on moving day. You should also cancel, renew or change home insurance policy or provider
- Start packing – Begin methodically packing ASAP i.e. focus on one room at a time so that you don’t forget crucial possessions. It is best to start with less frequently used rooms
- Book secure space – Now that you have chosen what you want to take, arranged flights and booked your removal company, it might be necessary to organize storage solutions at either end. If so, book this now to ensure you are not caught short!
- Order new furnishings – If you are buying new beds, sofas, carpets etc. the earlier you order the more likely to have them arrive on or shortly after your moving day
TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO THE MOVE
- Redirect your mail –You can request a mail redirect at this point, but have the starting date postponed until a few days before the move so you don’t miss any important mail
- Notify key services about a change of address – Banks, prescription delivery, insurance, credit card companies, drivers licence and any other relevant organisations
- Fill any prescriptions – To be on the safe side, try to obtain at least a months’ worth of medication prior to the move. You can’t be sure of delays or holdups at your new GP’s
- Arrange for a deep clean – Moving is tiring, so why don’t you arrange for a cleaning team to deep clean your new house in-between current tenants moving out and you moving in?
- Book overnight accommodation – If you are travelling to your new home via car and the journey is a long one, we recommend booking overnight accommodation at the halfway point to ensure you are not driving when tired
ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THE MOVE
- Pack personal items – Now that the move is only one week away, you will can begin packing personal items such as clothing, toiletries and cosmetics, or prepare them for your removal company
- Organise disposal of flammable materials, liquids or other specialist items – your removal company will not be able to dispose of such items
- Defrost your freezer – Start cutting down on fresh or frozen food that will not last in transit. Defrost your freezer with enough time for it to dry completely before moving day
- Spring cleaning – Now is the ideal time to clean any accessible parts of your house that aren’t overcrowded with piles of clothes, possessions and moving boxes
- Confirming details with your moving company – Finalise all of the finer details with your removal firm, such as times, emergency numbers, directions, house accessibility etc.
TWO TO ONE DAYS PRIOR TO THE MOVE
- Organise boxes to move yourself –set aside and label boxes that you want to personally carry and delivery to your new home, as to not cause confusion to moving teams
- Pack an essentials box – Fill a box filled with crucial items that you will need EASY access to when you immediately arrive, i.e. tablets, pyjamas, toothbrush & toothpaste, kettle, bread etc.
- Create a mini toolkit – People underestimate how handy it is to have a toolkit ready to go, include a screwdriver, pliers, wrench, tape etc. and even a sharp knife for opening boxes
- Prepare for key exchange – Gather every set of keys you have for your current home and arrange a convenient time and place to collect the keys to your new home upon arrival
- Take note of all meter readings – If this is necessary, record all of your meter readings for electricity, gas, water and take photos when possible
- Instruct moving company on proceedings – walk through the home with your and inform them of what to pack and what to do
- Double check your inventory – If you have not packed yourself, ensure one person is there when the packers have finished to check your inventory and sign confirmation
- Check, check and check – Once the packing and loading is complete, thoroughly check each room to ensure NO items are left behind!
- Is your house secure? – Make sure you have locked and fully secured all windows and doors
- Leave your keys – Leave all sets of keys in a safe place that has been pre-arranged with the owners-to-be of your home
Once you arrive in your new location, take the unpacking steady if this is an undertaking you are completing yourself and enlist the help of friends and family when possible. When hope this moving checklist for senior citizens has helped to make your relocation within Canada an organized one and inadvertently, a stress-free and simple one.
Quality Move Management Inc. is a specialist Canadian moving company and we have ample experience is assisting senior citizens when they are downsizing for retirement and moving homes, whether this is across town or across the country.
To find out how we can help you comfortably move within Canada, contact us today and we will be happy to assist. But in the meantime, you can begin working your way through our extensive moving list for senior citizens.