Moving Day 101

Professional a moving company

Three Steps for Surviving the Moving Process.

Over the years, while interacting with attendees at our Upside of Downsizing conferences, we have been told that the process of de-cluttering and organizing a home can be the most stressful and time-consuming part of downsizing.  Sorting, donating and eliminating a lifetime worth of possessions can be overwhelming for individuals downsizing for the first time. It is why the Eight-Step Checklist we created at the Upside of Downsizing is so important to follow.

Once the de-cluttering phase is over, and individuals have placed their homes on the market and identified where they will be moving, the home stretch of downsizing is finally in sight. Moving day is next on the agenda, and we have some tips to help make moving day a success.

Step #1 – Hire a Professional

Seniors who are on a budget may be concerned that hiring professionals to help in the downsizing process will be a budget buster for them. But failing to get the help of a professional when it is warranted can end up costing downsizers a lot more money in the long run.

There are many professionals involved with the downsizing process, including real estate agents and home stagers. Another professional that is recommended for consultation during downsizing is a move manager.

Move managers assist seniors and boomers with the emotional and physical aspects of downsizing and relocating. They also can help develop a floor plan for your new living space, unpack and arrange your belongings in your new location, transfer utilities, and subscriptions and arrange for your postal service to be forwarded to your new address.

There are a number of reasons why hiring a move manager is beneficial. They include:

  • Help reduce the chance seniors and boomers will be financially exploited during the downsizing process;
  • Help seniors and boomers to downsize in an organized manner designed to reduce stress;
  • Provide seniors with a sense of control during the moving process; and
  • Solve unexpected problems during the moving process to reduce stress on seniors.

Move managers can be especially beneficial during a crisis situation, in which a spouse has died or an unexpected injury or illness causes the downsizing process to be fast-tracked. Moving is stressful enough without trying to navigate it at the same time as dealing with another crisis. Seniors, or their adult children who are assisting with downsizing, will definitely want to consider hiring a move manager if faced with a crisis situation of this nature.

Fees for using a move manager vary by location. Some move managers charge by the hour, while others may offer package rates for their services. Retirement communities – if that is your final destination – often are able to recommend reputable move managers who can assist.

For those who may be relocating to another type of living arrangement, move managers can be located through the National Association of Senior Move Managers. The association is an accrediting agency that has strict requirements for its members. All senior move management companies accredited by NASMM have been thoroughly vetted and are required to follow the association’s Code of Ethics.

Step #2 – Hiring a Moving Company

If you are working with a move manager, they will be involved with arranging for a professional moving company to transfer your belongings from your current home to your new retirement location.

Seniors or their adult children who are navigating through the downsizing process on their own and wish to hire a professional mover will want to find a reputable moving company to assist them. Unfortunately, moving scams are very real, so choosing a company that has a good track record for service is important.

Asking for recommendations from friends and family members who have used movers in the past is a great place to start. Once you have recommendations, or have found a company you think you would like to use from another method, you can check out the company’s licensing and complaint history on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.

It’s also important to know the warning signs of a possible moving scam or of movers who may be less than reputable. They include:

  • Movers who answer the phone number associated with their company using a generic greeting rather than a specific company name;
  • Movers that do not have an official website, presence on social media or a local address that can be verified.
  • Movers who refuse to provide a written estimate, demand a large deposit before moving day or ask customers to sign official documents that are not completely filled in.
  • Movers who show up on moving day with a rental truck, rather than a company truck that is registered to their business.

Consumers can check whether a moving company is licensed as well by going to the United States Department of Transportation website and looking up the company’s DOT number. If the company does not have a DOT number, cross them off your list.

Step #3 – Self-Movers

If your moving budget is limited, or you simply feel confident in your own ability to get your things moved to your new retirement destination on your own, it’s important to be very organized.

We are not big fans of trying to move yourself for many reasons, but do realize that for some seniors and boomers, they may not have an option due to budgetary constraints. If you find yourself in this position – or simply feel confident in your ability to make the move on your own – we will provide some comprehensive steps to make the process a success in next week’s blog. Check back next week for tips on how to do everything from packing your items to survive the move to where to find packing boxes best suited for your items.

Have some moving day tips to share? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section.

Mary Spann

Mary Spann

Mary Spann is the founder and president of Upside of Downsizing®. In addition to her 26 years in construction, interior design, and home staging, Mary also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, making her uniquely qualified to assist with the downsizing process. Mary learned the key components of construction and interior design at an early age. Her father was a prominent custom home builder in Minnesota and Texas, and her mother was a successful interior designer and a real estate broker.
Mary Spann

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