Pensioners – especially those recently bereaved – face particular logistical and emotional challenges when moving house. But sensible planning – and the right removal company – can make the process painless. Here are nine essential tips for moving late in life…
1) Start decluttering early
If you’re downsizing from a family home to a smaller property you’ll probably need to get rid of a significant number of household possessions, so start decluttering as soon as possible. Although storage is always an option, a move is a good opportunity to think about passing on items to your children and other relatives. You may want to use an auctioneer to sell items of furniture you can’t take to your new home.
2) Find a quality remover and discuss your particular needs
A good removal company will be fully equipped to cater for the needs of older people and will know how to make your experience as stress-free as possible – so make sure you seek out a quality firm and explain your situation to them. Get recommendations from friends who have recently moved, or read reviews on Google. And look out for the BAR (British Association of Removers) logo, which indicates that the company meets high professional standards.
Preparation for the move
3) Plan the move with your removals company
A good removals company will work with you to make a clear plan for before, during and after the move – and will listen to your views about how you want things done. They will make sure you feel in control of things, which is key to minimizing the stress involved in moving.
4) Invest in a full packing and unpacking service
Older people should avoid the temptation to get involved in any of the physical business of moving and lifting heavy objects. At this stage in your life is it well worth going for a comprehensive packing service (remember that goods packed by your removals firm will be insured), while an unpacking service will mean that you’re not faced with a large pile of heavy boxes stacked in a room. A good removals firm will even plug in all your white goods as part of the after-move service, so that your fridge and washing machine are ready to use from day one.
5) Label everything clearly
Make sure that all boxes are clearly labelled with the relevant room in the new property. That will save a great deal of time and worry at the other end.
The move itself
6) Don’t be alone
For both emotional and practical reasons, it’s best not to be alone on your moving day. If you’re single, ask a family member or friend to stay over for the last night in your old home and the first night in your new one, to provide help and support and to generally keep things cheery.
7) Make lists
Although a good removals company will have everything under control, to-do lists that you can tick off as you go along are great for helping you feel fully in control, keeping stress levels to a minimum.
8) Go at your own pace
A quality removals firm will be sympathetic to your pace, state of health and way of doing things – and will include in their estimate extra time if necessary. Don’t feel you have to be rushed.
After the move
9) Be philosophical!
Your removals company can provide an after-move service that takes care of all the practical needs of the first few days in your new home. But it’s important not to underestimate the emotional impact of moving house late in life. As a pensioner, especially if recently bereaved, you’re likely to have several decades of memories invested in a family home, and perhaps a fear that those memories will be lost with the move.
So it’s important to remember that the old house is just a bricks-and-mortar property of which you have been the temporary custodian, and to know you will still be able to take all your memories into your next home.
At Anthony Ward Thomas we provide a comprehensive removals service tailored for pensioners and older people, ensuring that your move is stress-free and comfortable. Call us on 020 7038 0411 to talk to one of our experienced advisers.