Preparing Your Home to Move

Are you thinking about moving? Preparing to change homes (and in some cases, lifestyles) is a major process, from finding a good real estate agent to staging a property. Depending on your energy levels and the schedules of family members, the prospect of moving as a senior citizen might seem especially daunting. Want to make it easier? Based on our experience helping seniors transition into new living arrangements, we have some ideas to help make your move run more smoothly! Read on for some tips.


1) Plan ahead. Often, seniors move from a home into an assisted living facility in response to a health crisis. Moving under such circumstances is sometimes necessary, but it can be more challenging when there is no plan in place for emergencies. While no one can predict what will happen in a lifetime, it can be helpful to start thinking about your future while your health is in better condition, especially if managing daily life is just starting to get harder.


Planning ahead means thinking about finances and the cost of assisted living facilities, but also other lifestyle considerations. For example, is your religion important to you and would you want a retirement residence which supports and observes those religious beliefs and practices? Location is important to most people and so what is your ideal location? Is it close to the water? Close to all the favourite places you like to go, or maybe you want to live closer to your family?

There are many kinds of retirement residences in Greater Vancouver, from the more urban to the more remote, and it can be fun to envision what you want your later years to look like! Doing some research on your options in and beyond Vancouver, considering your budget in advance, touring a few places and discussing your next steps with friends and loved ones will make the process easier when the time comes to act – and you may even start to look forward to it.  Here’s a tip – schedule your tour around lunch and the retirement residence will likely invite you to stay for a meal!


2) Make a checklist and timetable. Once you’ve decided to move, there are many steps to take. You will need to find a realtor, de-clutter your home, decide what to take, and potentially make repairs, among other tasks. In order to make the process more manageable, consider breaking it into different daily or weekly tasks and giving yourself a flexible time frame to get them done. What is most do-able for you and what seems more daunting? Think about what will make the task at hand less stressful for you.


For instance, one major task is downsizing. It can take a while to decide what to take with you to a smaller residence, and what to do with everything you leave behind. In a previous blog post, we suggested some charities that can benefit from the items you no longer need ( In order to decide what needs to go, maybe start downsizing in rooms that you use less often – it might be easier to part with material things you know you don’t use much. You can label (with green painter’s tape and a Sharpie) the items you can easily get rid of, and start thinking creatively about how you want to donate them. There are charities that pick items up for you, but it can also be a rewarding experience to drop off your donations at the place of your choosing and be thanked for your effort! Giving yourself lots of time to do this, and having a plan to tackle it step by step, might make the process more manageable.


3) Consider hiring support. At Home to Home, we can come in and help you with many aspects of the moving process, from downsizing your current abode to drawing up a floor plan for your new residence. We can find ways to sell or donate items that you no longer need, schedule movers and cleaners, and pack and unpack your belongings. We make this process as easy for you as we can! Alternatively if you decide you don’t want to hire outside help, at least don’t be shy about asking family and friends for help. A big downsize and move is too large of a project for anyone to have to go through alone.

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