VOL17 ISS2 2017

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THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — TRIANGLE NC | VOLUME 17 — ISSUE 2 64 RELOCATING SENIORS Relocating Seniors BY LAUREL HYATT As 'seniors' we're living longer, remaining more active, and most importantly increasing in numbers faster than any time in history. Did you know that the U.S. population of those over 60 will jump by nearly 80% as the 'baby-boomers' retire between now and the year 2030? That means 'we' will soon account for a fifth of the total U.S. population. Whether you're downsizing to something more manageable, relocating closer to your kids/grandkids, (or gracefully escaping your kids/grandkids), moving can be stressful. Think about it - as seniors we are moving from homes where we've invested 30, 40, even 50 years of our lives; homes where our kids were born and grew into young adults; homes enriched by dozens of holiday gatherings; and homes where our grandkids first came to know who we were as grandparents. A move at this time of life becomes more than a move, it becomes a life-changing transition. My point is relocation as a senior need not be as stressful – with a little planning. First of all, you need a plan. Someone very wise said to plan your work, then work your plan. Decide early on in the process how much you want to do (or can do) yourself and how much you will need to hire to have done. There are moving companies and there are also senior move management specialty companies available. Obviously the more you can do yourself, not only the more money you'll save but the easier it will be to get yourself reorganized in your new home. Start a timeline notebook of things that need to be done before you move, as you move, and after you move. Include in your mover's notebook any key phone numbers or addresses you'll need in the process (i.e. movers, landlord, electric company, gas company, cable/dish companies, internet service, etc.) Next, start downsizing! It's a rare scene when a senior decides one morning, "Yep, I believe I'm going to get a bigger place this time!" Usually, it's the opposite. We're trying to fit a lifetime of memories and furniture into 1-2 bedroom apartment or condo. So start early by going through the seldom visited areas of your current residence like the attic, basement, garage, spare junk room, and all those pesky drawers you haven't opened since 1981. starting a new life in senior years As with any move, breaking the overall tasks into more manageable 'bite-sized' pieces will help. You didn't accumulate it all this in a week nor will you be able to sift through these treasures and decide what to keep in a week. Move through a little each day until that area is clear and then move on. Ask yourself, "If I knew a disaster was going to strike, and had 5 minutes, what would I save?" Don't move things you don't love or need. Start to donate unwanted or unneeded items to family members, charities, or recycling centers. If you already have the layout of your new residence it will help you plan out what will go where (and what will not fit). This is helpful not only for furniture but for things like books and artwork too. As moving day gets closer, be sure to notify everyone of your change of address—include your family, friends, the post office, any regular publications or associations, and your bank. You can get all your correspondence ready weeks in advance, then drop in the mail about a week prior to the move. Don't forget to cancel or forward utilities. The best moving advice I ever heard was to create an 'emergency move box' with things like medications, toilet paper, paper towels, soap, first aid supplies, pen and paper, scissors, some snacks, towels, washcloth, and some bedding (oh, yes – in mine there'd be a coffee pot and coffee). That way even if the other supplies get buried in the move you can survive till they surface. It's also a good idea to pack a suitcase as if you were going away for a few days. That way you'll have a few sets of clothes and essentials to wear. Above all, even though we're seniors and have a lifetime of experience, there's no shame in asking for help. Moving is stressful for anyone of any age -- emotionally, physically and mentally. We're no different. Make this move your best move ever! []

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