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A New Living Space: Tips for Senior Citizens

Chris Crompton - September 07, 2016 11:03 AM

If you’re a senior moving into a new home, you may have mixed feelings. Maybe you’re looking forward to this exciting chapter of your life. Maybe you’re nervous about such a big change. Or perhaps, you feel a little of both. After all, you may be leaving some really happy memories behind. How will you get everything packed? How hard will it be to settle into your new home?

Here are some tips that can help make moving into a new home just a little bit easier:

•    Break it down. Facing a move can be overwhelming. There’s just so much to do — where should you even start? One way to tackle such a big job is to break it down into manageable steps. Start by making a list of everything that needs to be done. Make it a very detailed list. Write, “empty dresser” and “box up books,” for example, instead of simply “pack bedroom.” Once you have your list, pick a single item to start with, and see it through to the end. By tackling one or more small tasks a day, you will move steadily toward your goal without feeling overwhelmed.

•    Take it slow. If you’re not looking forward to packing up your home, you may be tempted to try to do it quickly. After all, the sooner you’re done, the better you’ll feel, right? However, try to remember that pushing yourself too hard can be detrimental. You may burn out. You may even injure yourself — so, take it slow. Only do what you can reasonably manage in a given day. Stop frequently while you’re working, as well. Take a quick nap, if you need one, or eat a nutritious snack. Don’t forget to rehydrate. According to the Mayo Clinic, seniors are more at risk for dehydration because, as people age, their ability to conserve water is lessened, and their sense of thirst “becomes less acute.”

•    Offset the stress. There’s no way around it: Big changes in our lives — like moving — are stressful. What’s more, stress is hard on us, physically and mentally. The good news is, there are steps you can take to mitigate the strain of moving. Good stress relievers, according to an AARP article, include taking a walk in the park, looking at silly videos on YouTube, stopping for a moment and breathing deeply, and even giving someone else a big hug.

•    Hire some help. It may be tempting to try to move on your own, especially if money is tight. However, a high-quality moving company can make a move so much easier. Be sure to choose a full-service company. You want one that will pick up your belongings inside, pack them all carefully so they won’t be damaged during transit, and set everything up again once you’ve arrived at your new home.

•    Check out the floor plan. Whether you’re moving into a new house, a new apartment or a senior living community, if you know the exact dimensions of your new floor plan, you can do some early strategizing. How much space will you have? Will all your existing furniture fit in your new home, or will you need to downsize a bit? You can even plan exactly where you want each piece of furniture to go. That way, you can have your movers put all the heavy pieces right where they belong, and you won’t be faced with the task of moving a heavy couch or piano all on your own.

•    Make yourself at home. As you’re preparing to move, look around. Your old home is so much more than just the four walls that make up each room: It also consists of your furniture, the photos you love and the antiques you’ve come to cherish. Try to remember that all of these things will be coming with you. After arriving at your new house, surround yourself with these treasured possessions. When you do, you may find that you'll feel right at home in no time.

Chris Crompton is Marketing Manager at Transit Systems, a freight shipping company located in Pennsylvania. Transit Systems offers professional service and low rates on long-distance shipments and small moves.

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