When your elderly parents need to move, either to a new home or to a nursing home, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. As mobility diminishes, it’s tough to keep up with housework, and your parents’ home may have become disorganized in recent months. Also, many seniors, like all of us, tend to keep things that they don’t necessarily use, and it can be difficult to make decisions about what to give away and what to keep. The help of a professional moving company can help in many ways as you undertake this big job. What can you do to ease the process of moving your parents to a new house?
1. Begin with Sorting
Before you ever start packing boxes or arranging for storage, start by helping seniors to sort through their belongings and let go of items they don’t use anymore. This can be very difficult, especially if they grew up in times of scarcity, but in the long run, they’ll be much happier with fewer things to care for and less to move.
It’s often easier to give items away if you know they’re going to a good home, so make suggestions of whom to give certain items to: “Dan’s daughter Kaley loves dolls; maybe she would like to take care of this one.” Donating to charities can also be a satisfying way to reduce your number of possessions.
2. Take Pictures
Seniors will be more comfortable in their new home if furniture and objects are arranged similarly to the way they were positioned in their old home. For example, keeping the same family photos on top of the dresser or laying a favorite quilt over the sofa can be the touches that help them to begin adjusting to their new circumstances. Taking pictures will help you to create a familiar atmosphere later on when you unpack.
3. Start Small
If you wait until the last minute, your parents may feel that everything happens too quickly. If you begin early, however, they can take care of small tasks without overtaxing their energy or feeling there’s no time “to say good-bye.” You can begin by asking them to tackle just one desk drawer or attic box per day. If they can manage the sentimental items, you can delegate more utilitarian packing to professional packers or volunteers.
4. Keep Packing Materials On Hand
If you can provide your parents with high-quality packing materials, they can begin working on packing during their spare time and as they have energy, even when you’re not there to help. Packing materials like bubble wrap and packing papers will also help with protecting fragile heirlooms and dishes.
5. Evaluate Changes in Square Footage
If your parents will be moving to a smaller place, you’ll need to know how much they can take with them. It can be very helpful to obtain a room layout of their new home so you can help your parents know what furniture they can take. This is especially helpful if the change is drastic, like moving from a three-bedroom house to a one-bedroom condo.
6. Hire Outside Help
Working with a trusted moving company can be a big help when it comes to moving your parents. A professional moving company that offers a variety of resources and services can provide you with lots of different options. For example, if your parents’ new home isn’t quite ready when they have to move out of their current home, the professional moving company can store their belongings in their storage facility until you need them again. Also, you can spend your time caring for your parents instead of packing and loading boxes.
7. Honor Your Parents’ Preferences
Seniors adapt much better after a move if they were able to maintain control of the process. Even though it may be tempting to jump in and make all the arrangements yourself, remember that you like to be in control of your own life, and it’s no different for your parents. Listen carefully to their concerns and wishes, and do your best to address the concerns and honor their requests.
8. Help Your Parents Acclimate
Unpacking quickly can help your parents to acclimate because they’ll see all of their belongings and be able to get on with their lives. If you can help them to meet their new neighbors and learn how to visit the shops and restaurants in their new neighborhood, they’ll get their bearings more quickly in their new home.
If your parents are moving in the Brooklyn or NYC area, contact us at U.Santini. Our professional moving company has been serving NYC since 1930, and we treat our customers like family. As a family business, we know family, and we’d be delighted to help you with yours. Call us at 718-768-6778.