Moving and Downsizing - Professional help can make moving easy - Senior Living Member Article By Positive Aging SourceBook

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Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 01/10/2020

Moving and Downsizing - Professional help can make moving easy

Moving and Downsizing - Professional help can make moving easy

Moving can be a daunting task—no matter what your age—but it can be even more overwhelming for older adults who may be leaving a home they have lived in for decades. Luckily, the enormous growth in the senior population has led to the development of a wide variety of professional moving and real estate services designed specifically to help older adults and their families.

Senior Move Managers®, Senior Real Estate Specialists®, and Certified Senior Housing Professionals are just a few of the professionals who are specially trained to help seniors with all the challenges of moving and downsizing.

Senior Move Managers assist older adults and their families with the emotional and physical aspects of relocation. They can also help families who wish to declutter or reorganize a home to better age in place. These professionals provide a multi-faceted approach to the move process, from space planning in the beginning to post-move support and advocacy. By addressing all aspects of the moving process, Senior Move Managers minimize the chaos and stress of moving.

From initial planning to downsizing to the physical aspects of moving, Senior Move Managers create a comprehensive plan that includes selling or disposing of unwanted items and setting up the new residence. Many Senior Move Managers are also movers. Others work closely with a reputable local moving company to complete that aspect of the job.

Senior Real Estate Specialists are Realtors who are specially trained to manage the sale of a home for consumers over the age of 50. They bring targeted knowledge, senior experience and marketing savvy to each sale. These specialists have extensive knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages and the importance of universal design to the uses of pensions, 401k accounts and IRAs in real estate transactions.

Finally, Certified Senior Housing Professionals (CSHPs) are real estate professionals who have completed extensive coursework on how best to assist older adults and their families in the home buying or selling process. CSHPs understand that late-in-life moves can be more complicated and require greater physical and emotional energy than traditional moves. They are trained to help older adults navigate the complexities of moving by addressing their fears, concerns, needs and goals.

The first step in every move process should be to evaluate the current living situation and needs. Then consumers can contact the many local professionals to inquire about services and costs. 

Most professionals offer a diverse menu of services, ranging from full service moves to help with particular aspects of moving, buying or selling. 

Use the checklist on the following page to interview professionals and carefully document their answers. Using this information, it will be simple to choose the right professional for the job.

While the moving process may never be fun, there is no longer any reason for it to be difficult. Older adults and their loved ones can now let specially trained professionals handle all the details of selling, buying and moving—from cleaning out the cluttered basement to finding the perfect new place for every piece of treasured furniture. With professional help, every move can be a smooth one.

Getting Started

  • Tip #1 : Be Patient.  The process of downsizing takes time. Give yourself time. 
  • Tip #2: Address Pictures. Pictures pose a problem for many older adults. There are so many pictures collected over a lifetime. First eliminate all doubles. Next, you should throw out pictures that contain people who you can’t name. Finally, get rid of generic landscape pictures.
  • Tip #3: Shred. After pictures, paperwork is the item that causes the most challenges for older adults. Matt recommends spending 20 minutes a night shredding old mail and bills. 
  • Tip #4: Start Small. Focus on sorting through a single room or even a single drawer.
  • Tip #5: Give it away. Use Freecycle, Facebook groups, charities, and other options to unload unwanted stuff. Often, the amount of money you would earn selling items is negligible. There is a much larger value to giving something to someone who will actually use it. This is especially true for old furniture and clothes. 
  • Tip #6: Share and receive stories, not stuff. Older adults often struggle when their children or grandchildren don’t want all their furniture and household items. Instead of simply refusing an item, ask about the story behind it.

Sources: nasmm.org, seniorsrealestate.com, and seniorsrealestateinstitute.com.

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