moving tips

Moving Tips, Ensuring a Smooth Move

You may have been planning a move for years and can take a couple of months to get organized, prepared and packed for the big day. Or, maybe a sudden change of circumstances mean you only have a couple of weeks or less. The better organized you can be, the smoother your move will be. Here are some moving tips. These are things we do for our clients at Rearrangements Relocation and Transition Services.

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Moving Tips

1. Start with a time line.

Right from our first meeting with you as a client we begin to establish time frames. When will you get possession of your new home? Do you have a possession date when you will have to have cleared out the current home? When will move day be? Ideally you will have 8 weeks to get ready, but often there will only be a couple of weeks to do everything.

2. Keep a complete Moving To Do List.

List everything which must be done. Decide who will do it and when. Tick off items as they are competed. Review this list often and try to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

3. A move binder is a great tool.

Besides your Moving To Do List you will have Mover’s Estimates, Contracts, Service Providers’ contact information, your Time Line, Change of Address lists, travel plans. You may also add a list of boxes and their contents as you pack. Keep anything and everything in binder. Keep it with you on move day – don’t pack it.

4. Label your boxes by room.

That is, label them according to which room they go into in the new home. You can also colour code each box with a different colour for each room. Post a legend of the meaning of your colours for the movers. You may also want to post a coloured label at the door of each room, corresponding to your system.

5. Hire Expert Movers

You want a company of competent and reliable movers where your belongings will be insured. Rearrangements Relocation and Transition Services recommends movers who meet these criteria.
Here is a video from Government of Ontario about your rights when hiring a mover in Ontario.

6. Call Ahead

Book elevators, moving rooms, etc. early. And follow up a day or two before the move with a confirmation call to everyone involved.

7. Keep important papers and valuables with you.

Set them aside in a safe place ahead of the movers loading the truck so they don’t get swept up and loaded on.

8. Take a Basic Survival Kit

On a long distance move consider that you may arrive at your new home before the moving truck does. Also, it takes longer than you think to unload the whole truck and get set up. You may want to take a basic survival kit of any supplies you may need while waiting.

One nice feature of having Rearrangements Relocation and Transitions services supervising on your move day is that you are not stuck waiting while the movers unload. You are encouraged NOT to be in attendance during loading and unloading because it is hectic and somewhat hazardous. You will be able to go to a store or a restaurant or a hotel, anywhere you can stay to be as comfortable as possible during unloading, unpacking and setup time.

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Relocation stress syndrome

Avoid Relocation Stress Syndrome (RSS)

What is Relocation Stress Syndrome?

Relocation Stress Syndrome or RSS, an official nursing diagnosis, is brought on by a move from one home to another. Symptoms, which can last for a year or more, are dependency, confusion, anxiety, depression and withdrawal. Moving changes circumstances and brings a new environment. It can take a long time for us to adjust. Researchers found that older individuals can take longer to adjust than younger people and are more likely to suffer symptoms of RSS.

RSS Is Worsened By Sudden Moves and Considerable Loss

Relocation Stress Syndrome becomes worse when a move comes suddenly and losses are considerable. Both circumstances are often the case for seniors. Seniors’ moves are often made necessary by a sudden illness, loss of mobility or loss of a partner. These losses are stressful in themselves without adding a move. A move may also change usual routines and lifestyle. Sometimes moves include loss of proximity to family, friends and giving up pets.

Downsizing to a smaller space usually requires giving up many of the possessions collected over a lifetime. Often these are reminders of precious memories. Losing some ‘defining’ possessions may even feel like a loss of identity. This identity loss may not seem rational to some, but it is real and increases relocation stress.

Physical Demands of Moving May Cause Health Problems

Going through everything in the home to get ready for a move is physically demanding too. Reaching, climbing, lifting, bending as well as extra walking and standing are required. There may be exposure to allergens like dust and other health hazards. Without adequate help, these conditions could cause a catastrophe for a Senior and add to the emotional challenges they are facing.

Risks for Seniors in Preparing Home for Sale

For Seniors, preparing the current home for sale is another challenge. Circumstances before the move may have lead to deferred maintenance and repairs. Usually decor has not been updated to suit tastes of current home buyers. Besides the emotional loss of selling their home, Seniors risk financial loss from reduced offers if they are unable to make the necessary repairs and updates. A poorly prepared home will attract lower offers and will take longer to sell. However, if they are still living in the home, the change and disruption necessary to put it in sale condition can make RSS more likely.

Lessen Severity of Relocation Stress Syndrome

Move First, Sell After

To avoid compounding the severity of relocation stress brought on by the changes associated with a move, it is the ideal situation to make the move first. Then the repairs and redecoration necessary to get the most equity out of the home can take place with less impact on the Senior.

Maintain a Sense of Control

The severity of Relocation Stress Syndrome can be lessened by regaining a sense of control. The person being moved should participate in the decision making according to their capability. Minimizing the amount of change helps. If surroundings and routine remain familiar, the transition will be easier.

Break Down the Job and Get Help

Careful preparation and adequate, appropriate support before, during and after a move helps lessen RSS. Downsizing requires many tough decisions and is often overwhelming for seniors. It is best broken into small chunks and done with help.

Don’t Rely Entirely on Family and Friends

Even if there are family and friends who want to help, the time commitment may be too great. Since they probaby don’t handle this sort of undertaking every day, they may lack some expertise and resources. For Seniors, having to rely on family and friends is another blow to their sense of independence and control. It may seem too big a favour to ask. They might be dreading the family squabbles this sort of project often causes.

Hire a Specialist to Coordinate the Move

A team approach is best. Each situation is different, but assistance may be required from a variety of medical, social services, financial and legal experts, movers, contractors, cleaners, executors, powers of attorney, family members and friends. A professional who can pull together a good team and co-ordinate their efforts throughout the move process will be invaluable. This is the role of a Certified Relocation and Transition Specialist (CRTS).

Certified Relocation and Transitions Specialists find the necessary resources to fill in the gaps in their client’s support team. They use their expertise to co-ordinate the move plan and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. They are trained to help Senior clients retain a sense of control and choice, along with their personal identity, independence and dignity. They want to help their senior clients capture their legacy to share with future generations. CRTS have the ultimate goal of helping their clients avoid Relocation Stress Syndrome and all its symptoms.