Moving into your new retirement home
So you’ve made the decision to downsize into your RCA retirement home. What happens next? If you’re a senior who’s been living in the same house for a long time, this could feel daunting. Following on from our article last month about how to minimise stress when downsizing, this month we’re offering tips on how to take the stress out of moving house. Presuming you’ve gone through our tips on downsizing, you’ll already have sorted through all your items and will already know what to take. If not, take a read here on advice on how to downsize your home
1. Make a list
The first thing to do is make a list. Getting organised in advance and making a check list of all the things you’ll need to do will make the move far easier. Keep adding to the list as you go along and find more things to include. And crossing off items on your list is very rewarding. Make a note when each item is needed to be done by too.
2. Decide what you are taking with you
Look at what you plan to take with you and those items you have decided to dispose of. Of the items you are disposing of, list them into three categories
- items to sell
- items to throw away and
- items to give away (charity, friends and family etc)
Once you have done this, you’ll be left with the items you plan to take with you. Get a floor plan of your new home with measurements and decide what furniture will go where. Put labels on the furniture indicating where it will go in relation to the plan.
3. Contact removalists
Once you have planned what is moving with you, contact three removalists for quotes. Ask around and try to get recommendations from friends or family. By inviting three removalists you can compare prices and what service they provide. Don’t rush into signing an agreement. Check exactly what service they will provide. Will they pack and unpack? Will you need insurance to cover yourself for fragile or valuable items?
You have hopefully already disposed of the items you aren’t taking with you so this should be straightforward. Make sure you have lots of boxes and lots of labels. Being organised now will save you time later. Think ahead and pack each box with similar items that will be relocated to the new home in the same area. Label each box clearly with details of what’s inside and where it needs to be unpacked in the new home (which room/which part of the room).
There are lots of space-saving storage items to consider also. Vacuum bags for bedding, closet and drawer organisers, under bed storage, cube boxes. These items can be moved straight into their new location without needing to be unpacked.
4. Change of address notifications
Make a list of everyone you need to inform of your new address. Important ones to remember:
- Utility providers (electricity, water, gas) and telephone services / internet providers
- Doctors, Medicare, Dentist
- Car registrations, driving licences, car insurance
- Home insurance
- Electoral Roll
- Accountant, Lawyers
- Sports clubs, social clubs, subscriptions (magazines / newspapers etc)
- Veterinary practices, pet registrations with local authorities
- Friends and family. You may want to consider having change of address cards made that you can post to your friends and family members.
It’s also worth considering a mail redirection service from Australia Post for one, three, six or twelve months. Then anyone you missed off the list can be contacted as the post arrives through the redirection.
If you have pets, you may want to consider somewhere for them to stay during the moving process. If you decide not to take them with you, you will need to arrange their rehoming with either friends of family or a rehoming centre such as the RSPCA.
7. Moving Day
Move large items of furniture into your new home first. At the beginning of the move you will have the most energy so get this out of the way first. It’s also much easier to move large items into empty rooms rather than having to plot a course around lots of boxes afterwards.
Then start moving your boxes into their new rooms. All the work you did earlier will pay off now as your labelling should mean you are unpacking your items in the right place in the right rooms and the boxes just get moved to one location.
8. Familiarise yourself with your new retirement community
You’re done. You’ve downsized into your new home. You’ve organised your space effectively, have ample space to live, less heating bills and hopefully more spare income to enjoy your retirement living.
Speak to the manager at your retirement village and find out what planned activities they run that you’d like to join and what opportunities there are to connect with others in the village. RCA retirement villages plan regular social clubs and exercise classes. You’ll soon feel part of the community and able to enjoy your retirement spending more time on the activities you enjoy.