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Helpful tips for older people moving home

29th September 2017

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Moving home can be a stressful experience and with more and more older people downsizing and deciding to move in later life, this essential guide will help make the process much easier.

There are a few factors older adults need to consider when planning a move, especially if the person moving suffers with mobility problems and needs new walk in baths and other features to help them get around their new property. These decisions could make moving day much smoother and hiring a removal firm, professional cleaner and even help to pack up your items can make all the difference to the ease of moving day.

Three weeks before moving day

People moving need to start thinking about organising and arranging things around three weeks before the move.

People who own pets need to start making arrangements around three weeks before. Britannia Movers International, the expert removal business, says, “Make arrangements for moving your pets - moving can be very disruptive for pets so you may want to ask your vet for specialist advice on taking care of your animals to avoid distressing them.”

Another consideration older people need to consider is clearing out unwanted belongings and planning a fresh start in the new home.

Really Moving has some great tips to help people clear out, “Often the most stressful part of moving later in life is not to do with the actual property you have chosen, it is choosing what to do with the years of things you have accumulated along the way. You would be surprised by how many things you have collected over the years, and many of them will not have been seen, used or even thought about for a very long time!

“Choosing to throw away, donate or recycle some of your items can be tough, and going through storage can often bring feelings of nostalgia and a desire to keep more than you need. Our suggestion is to give yourself enough time, and allow yourself to enjoy the process!

“Being able to share funny stories about different items with children and grandchildren is often more important than keeping the knickknacks themselves. Only tackle one area at a time and some will be easier to do alone – throwing away old clothes, worn bedsheets and towels, and items that do not have much sentimental value, for example.

“Be aware of how much space you will have in your new home. There may be items you want to save, but don’t have space for. Consider whether family members might be able to store them for you, or if it is worth hiring a storage unit for larger items.”

At this stage it is also highly recommended that older people look into hiring a removal firm, especially those who need mobility aids and will be unable to do it on their own.

Bishop’s Move, the largest family-owned removals company in the UK, has some great tips for hiring a removal firm.

- Always get quotes from removal companies that are affiliated to the BAR (British Association of Removers) or its international equivalent, FIDI, to ensure your move will be undertaken to the highest of industry standards and you are comparing quotes that are of a similar standard.

- Arrange for a home survey so that the relocation professional can visit you at your home to discuss your individual requirements, assess the volume of your effects and look out for any potential access issues.

- Take advantage of a full packing service as well as enquiring about bespoke packing options to suit your personal circumstances and minimise stress.

- Keep in contact with your removal company. Arrange and confirm your removal date as far in advance as possible to avoid any availability issues and to ease your peace of mind.

- Always ensure that you have the correct removals insurance in place. As no matter how careful your removal company is with the planning and execution of your move there is unfortunately always a small element of risk when moving.

People should also start clearing out the freezer and defrosting it before the move.

Two weeks before moving day

Two weeks before the move is a great time to arrange for meter readings to be taken and to look into the different service providers that are being used.

Britannia Movers International, adds, “Arrange for meter readings and service disconnection/connection. Contact your essential service providers and notify them of your move.

“Arrange for your post to be redirected - contact Royal Mail if you want to have your post redirected to your new home. They need at least five working days’ notice to arrange the service and you can have post redirected for between one month and two years.

“Organise the disconnection and reconnection of domestic appliances - organise for a qualified plumber, electrician or gas fitter to disconnect your appliances (washing machine, cooker, gas fires etc) in your present home and reconnect them in your new home.”

Older people moving will also need to transfer their phone number and to arrange for the final bill to be sent to the new home. It is also worth getting some advice on aerials/satellite dishes/digital cable/broadband transfer as the current services that are being used in the old property might not be suitable in the new area you are moving to. If you do not have an internet connection in your old home, this may be the perfect time to look into one for your new home. There are lots of deals and it can take a couple of weeks to organise this.

A few days before moving day

If it hasn’t been done already, defrosting the fridge and freezer is the next priority as they need to be defrosted at least 24 hours before removal because moving them while still frozen can damage them.

Ensure everything that is a non-essential item has been packed up. Really Moving have some great packing tips people can follow.

The specialist home moving service, says, “After throwing away the items you don’t need, packing should be much easier. You may want to do it yourself, or with the help of family and friends, but you could also get professionals to pack and transport your items for you.

“You’ll know your valuables will be packed carefully, they’ll bring the packing supplies and will take the used boxes with them. Remember to let your removals team know if you need them to pack, how many items you’re moving, whether you have stairs or a lift, if there is parking nearby, and if you need them to disassemble and reassemble certain pieces of furniture. Most companies are happy to do this, sometimes for a very small fee, but you need to let them know in advance.”

The moving day

Once the moving day arrives there will be a few essential things you need to do.

Britannia Movers International, adds, “Make sure that all the meter readings you have pre-arranged are taken, leave a copy at your old home and keep a note of the readings yourself.

“If nobody is moving into your old home straight away, make sure that the power and also the water supply is turned off.

“Make sure that your old home is secured, closing and/or locking all doors and windows.

“Drop your keys at the estate agents if you need to.

“Make sure you have exchanged contact numbers with your removal team and, finally, arrange an approximate time to meet them at your new home.”

If you’re downsizing or simply looking to have a clear out you can donate your belongings to charity shops to help raise more money for them.