Whether you are helping an older relative or friend to relocate, tackling the planning, sorting, packing and moving stages can be challenging and a little overwhelming. However there are some relocation and downsizing tips that can help lessen the stress and the emotional impact of a move to a new residence.

Here is a downsizing and moving checklist that just might help make the whole process a little easier.

Planning Ahead

A valuable relocation checklist item is to try and plan well in advance if you can. This will ease some of the stress and give you time to tackle tasks methodically. Tips include:

  • Setting a firm date for the move and plan your calendar around it
  • Creating to-do lists, timelines, lists of things you’re likely to forget and questions about the new residence
  • Taking some time to sort out photos – it will be a lot easier at this earlier stage when you’ve got a bit more time
  • De-cluttering on a monthly basis until you start the major sorting process
  • Obtaining estimates from moving companies and scheduling the move in a non-peak period
  • Drawing up a floor plan of the new home and think about the placement of shelving, storage and appliances
  • Planning where all of the major furniture will go
  • Changing providers for gas, electricity and water if need be
  • Organising cleaners for the old property
  • Refilling prescriptions in advance
  • Considering hiring a professional property clearance service who can help with every step of the process

2. Organising Paperwork

The relocation process is a busy period, and with so much going on it’s easy to lose track of things. Sorting important paperwork early will give an ordered structure to moving seniors, and ensure that nothing of value gets lost in the process. Tips include:

  • Gathering together important papers like deeds, wills, Powers of Attorney, medical records, birth certificates and passports
  • Storing important papers in a safe place, and letting key family members know where they are
  • Completing a Change of Address form at a post office for things like bank accounts, driver’s licenses, voter’s registration, magazine subscriptions, social clubs, lawyers, accountants, Medicare, Social Security and of course family and friends

3. Sorting Items

Another one of our handy downsizing tips is to tackle things room-by-room in order to fine-tune the relocation process, and help with the inevitable packing that lies ahead! Tips include:

  • Dividing possessions and furniture into four categories:
    • Definitely Save – these are the most beloved, meaningful and useful items
    • Possibly Save – these will need to be re-visited later and pared down
    • Donate, Sell or Give Away – these can be distributed to family, friends, charities, garage sale buyers or sites like eBay and Gumtree
    • Discard – these can be discarded in household bins, a hired skip bin, kerbside clean up services or at a local council Resource Recovery Centre
  • Using coloured stickers or tags to indicate which category items belong in. For example, green for Save; orange for Possibly Save; blue for Donate, Sell or Give Away; and Red for discard
  • Deciding what keepsakes will stay, and give away the rest to appropriate family members
  • Not going overboard with items that need to be Donated, Sold or Given Away – some collectables should be kept as they will help the new residence feel like a home
  • Being patient and allowing the mover to talk about memories, to reminisce about family times and to acknowledge emotions

4.  Packing Items

Another of the major tasks that form part of a downsizing and moving checklist is the packing of items, and this process can well and truly be made easier if you ask for the assistance of others (including family, friends and property clearance services). Other tips include:

  • Packing boxes as efficiently as possible, wrapping delicate items, packing heavy items first, and taking care, not to over-pack boxes
  • Marking boxes in terms of which items are to go into which room in the new residence
  • Packing and labelling a few ‘Open First’ boxes which can include items like fresh bedding, toiletries, night clothes, towels, basic kitchenware, a torch, tape and scissors
  • Packing and labelling an ‘Important’ box which can include items like the new lease or contract, medications, an address book, legal documents and a First Aid kit
  • Ensuring that all valuables are kept either in a lockable safe or relocated to the residence after the move
  • Taking advantage of specialised containers that moving companies often supply. For example, some supply packaging like wardrobe boxes which will enable you to leave clothes on hangers rather than having to fold them into boxes

5. Moving Items

You’re finally at the last stage of the relocation process, and in most cases, this means most of the hard work is over. If you’ve planned ahead and sorted and packed efficiently and effectively, then it’s now time for moving – the last part of our relocation checklist! But there are a few things you can do to minimise hassles at this stage as well. Tips include:

  • Double checking that boxes are labelled properly
  • Having a written contract from your removalist and a clear idea of what your coverage is for lost or damaged possessions
  • Confirming a time for their arrival, both at the old and new residences
  • Organising someone to meet the removalists at the new address, and with a key!
  • Confirming your payment options
  • Organising someone to meet the movers at the new residence. Be sure they have a key! If thisx is a facility, be sure the manager is expecting you.
  • Setting up the bedroom and bathroom first by unpacking the ‘Open First’ boxes
  • Taking your time to unpack and organise the remaining boxes, even if it happens over the course of a week or so
  • Having ‘settling in strategies’ in place, including making sure the fridge and pantry are stocked, all lights and appliances are working, and those that have moved are clear on how to secure the property when they finally turn the lights out!

Daunted by the task of relocating a loved one? Contact the experts at Property Clearance today on 1300 200 292.