June 20, 2014

A recent study by researchers at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that older adults who had moved as part of a retirement plan were happier than those who stayed put. If you’re considering relocation and plan to move from one state or community to another, it’s never too early to start de-cluttering. The National Association of Senior Move Managers recommends the following tips for right-sizing and making your move:

1 – Start Early – End Happy
It’s never too early to begin the de-cluttering process. Focus on typical problem areas first such as the attic, basement, garage, closets, and file cabinets.

2 – Get Generous
Now is the time to make arrangements to “gift” some of your treasures to special people in your life.

3 – Save Your Memories
Consider ways to preserve family photos and stories, with a customized process of audio and video recordings called Life-Storying, or try scrap-booking.

4 – New Looks for Books
Downsize your collection. Consider donating to libraries or senior centers, or sell to used bookstores.

5 – Use It Up … Don’t Move It Out
Plan to use canned goods, frozen foods and paper products before moving, or think about passing them on to a local food pantry.

6 – Recycle the Toxins
Take time to put household, yard and automotive cleaning products in a box and for info on hazardous collection in your area.

7 – Don’t Lose Touch
Create a list of people, places and utilities/services that need to be notified of your upcoming change in address.

8 – Space Plan Ahead
Most senior move managers can provide you with a customized floor plan of your new residence. This will help you determine the pieces of furniture that will fit in your new home, and the best location of each.

9 – Pack a Survival Bag
Put together a bag for move day. It might include personal needs (medications, eyeglasses, toiletries, change of clothes, important papers, etc); kitchen needs (snacks, drinks, folding chair, disposable cups and plates; basic tools (hammer, screwdriver, flashlight, tape, etc); cleaning supplies (sponge, roll of paper towel, soap); and payment for mover.

10 – Ask for Help
Don’t be too proud or independent-minded to ask for help. Moving is not easy and you shouldn’t do it all yourself. But don’t wait until the last minute to ask for help. Some of these downsizing tips take months to accomplish. Find help through