Have you thought about moving but feel paralyzed at the prospect of how to go about dealing with everything involved? You’re not alone! Moving can be an extremely overwhelming project. A good way to approach the task is to think of it in 4 areas.
What To Do With All Your Stuff?
- The sooner you start paring down belongings – whether you’re moving or not – the better.
- It can be easier to think about your possessions from the perspective of what you want to keep rather than what you want to get rid of.
- Start with low-hanging fruit…it is way easier to purge accumulated office supplies than the decades long backlog of photos.
- If you’re stuck, enlist the help of friends or family (only if they will be non-judgmental), or enlist a professional organizer or senior move manager. These can be found at net, NAPO-SFBA.org, and NASMM.org.
Deciding Where To Live
- Work with a Placement Specialist – ideally someone local, not a general internet service. Placement services are free because they are compensated by the living facilities. Local professionals really know the features and culture of all the available options and will work to find the right fit for your personality and needs.
- Choosing a home or retirement community is as much about the outside life you’ll have there as the place itself. Do you want/need to stay near your current doctors, family, friends, and familiar areas? How will moving impact your social circle and support network?
- There are many different options for downsizing – including staying at home! Sometimes the best choice will be plan for support services so you can age in place at home.
- Start looking before you’re ready to move. It can take awhile to make a decision about where will be the right fit…it’s much better to do the legwork and take your time about this major decision than feel pressured or rushed if something happens and you have to move quickly.
Manage Your Emotions
- Moving can be one of life’s most stressful events; expect to feel a range of emotions both positive and negative.
- Don’t go it alone! Create and rely on a support network – friends, family, hired professionals to share the tremendous workload and stress of the move.
- Be aware that feelings about a move can come in different stages and layers.
- Having conversations early on with your adult children (or parents) about moving can bring clarity and more ease when the actual move happens.
- Document your desires around long term and emergency care in writing to ensure your wishes are honored if you aren’t able to advocate for yourself.
- The move doesn’t end on moving day – adjusting to your new space and life can take time and support.
Selling Your House
- There are real estate professionals that specialize in working with seniors. Look for the designation: SRES – Senior Real Estate Specialist.
- There are different financing options available to help make a move happen. Consult a reputable mortgage broker or realtor to discuss options.
- Work with a realtor who really knows your area and takes all the specifics of your situation into account when making the plan for how best to sell .
- Staging matters – Most buyers have the easiest time picturing their life in your home when the home is staged rather than filled with your things.
- Work with a realtor who partners or can refer to a professional organizer or senior move manager to help you downsize.
Intimidating as it is, getting started on any of these items is the best way to start! Pick something that feels relatively easy to get the ball rolling. Every step you take brings you closer to the end goal!