Simple Moving Tips for Seniors Looking to Downsize

A senior couple packs boxes for a move

Should You DIY or Hire?

Once you have your new home picked out, it’s time to make a major decision of how to handle the moving process. Should you hire professionals or try to do-it-yourself with some help from friends and family. Ask yourself these questions before weighing the pros and cons:

  • Does my family have time to help?
  • How far am I moving?
  • Can I physically handle this work?
  • Will it affect my health if I try to do it myself?

If you decide to DIY this job, you will spend less money but you will be putting a greater demand on your family members who help out. Hiring movers is costly but will be safer, faster and more efficient. Keep in mind if you are moving 500 miles or more, it is suggested that you consider a moving crew for the best and less stressful option.1

Top Senior Moving Tips

Now that your potential move is on the horizon, take time to create a plan and use these tips to make this transition as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

  1. Make a timeline – Start from your moving date and work backwards to make a timeline of actions that need to be completed before the move.
  2. Create your floorplan – Draw out your floorplan, which will allow you to figure out exactly how much you can bring and where it will all fit.
  3. Reduce your belongings – Sort through everything to decide if it will come with you or be given away to family and friends. You can also donate items to your favorite charities, have a sale, or even put precious belongings in storage if necessary.
  4. Create a sorting system – Use colored stickers to mark items you want to donate, ones to give to family members, and ones to keep. Make a list of potential recipients instead of going through each item and trying to determine who should have it. This will save a lot of time and energy.
  5. Devote your time – Plan a certain amount of time every day to work on downsizing and stick to your schedule.
  6. One area at time – Focus on only one area or one room at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.
  7. Ask for help – This can be a stressful process – physically, emotionally and mentally. You shouldn’t have to handle this all on your own so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  8. Label carefully – Label your boxes well so you know exactly what is inside each and where it should go. Mark a few “open first” with the essentials you will need right away.
  9. Prepare emotionally – Moving can be a fun, new adventure, but transitions are often challenging. Embrace the emotions as they are normal and try to look at the move with a positive outlook.
  10. Notify of new address – Notify your contacts of your change in address.
  11. Pack a bag – Pack a suitcase as if you are going away for a couple of days.2 It is helpful to have everything you need in one bag and not packed away in multiple boxes. Also create an essential box full of paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags, scissors, snacks, bedding and coffee. It should be the last one on the truck and first one off.

Start a New Chapter

This is an exciting time whether you are moving across town or across the country. If you are ready to downsize to a senior living community, schedule a tour at Advent Christian Village. Contact us to learn more about our vibrant lifestyle in Live Oak, FL.


  1. Moving Tips, Trick, Secrets for Seniors. yourstoragefinder.com. (Accessed Dec 6 2018).
  2. 10 Moving and Downsizing Tips for Senior Citizens. www.gentlegiant.com. (Accessed Dec 6 2018).
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