What are the Challenges of a Senior Move?
A senior move can be the most complicated, the most challenging and the most frustrating experience of a lifetime, especially if the seniors are moving from a home they have lived in for what seems like forever… A home that has collected treasures, memories, books and paperwork for so many years.
What Relocating Seniors are faced with…
A couple years ago, some dear friends, Mary and Ben (not their real names), were preparing to move from their Bellevue, Washington home of 50 years and into a smaller space. They were excited to make this transition, and looked forward to not having yard work and house repairs to deal with. The thought of living on a single level also appealed to Mary who had had a knee replacement. What they were not prepared for was actually facing the amount of “stuff” they had collected over the years.
Mary and Ben most definitely were not hoarders. One afternoon as we were beginning the process, Mary commented that they really didn’t have “that much” stuff to deal with. Every spring she had filled up several donation bags for charity. She always had plenty to donate to the church rummage sale, and willingly disposed of broken items. However, over the years, they had managed to fill every closet, cupboard, and piece of furniture with treasures! File cabinets were full of travel brochures and memorabilia. Tax forms and receipts for the last 50 years were carefully filed in other cabinets. Drawers of the children’s treasures filled their now abandoned bedrooms.
This is fairly typical of a senior move.
Boxes of very usable things reached the ceilings of each closet. Mary had always been a careful shopper, purchasing linens only when they were on sale. She had a collection of very nice items that were intended for gifts. Well cared for clothing filled the closets. The problem was that through the years she and Ben had accumulated way too many of these belongings!
It took months for their committed family and friends to go through these possessions and help them decide what to take, what to donate, what to discard, and what to pass on to other family members. When the job was finished, they hosted a little party for the loyal workers. Ben thanked everyone, and got a bit teary when he concluded that he just didn’t know what they would have done without these wonderful people.
We all want to think that we can handle this sort of project. After all, it is “our stuff” to deal with. In reality, a senior move is usually more than we can handle alone. Mary and Ben were fortunate to have a large number of family and friends to help them sort, move and dispose of their things.
Not everyone is that lucky! Families are scattered over the country these days, and friends are often already spread too thin.
That’s where Moving Forward comes in.
Call us to learn how we can help you and/or your family cope with a senior move anywhere in the Seattle metro area.
Katie Munoz, Owner and President of Moving Forward also holds great, free events called “Discard, Donate or Dollars”, that will give you great insights for coping with a downsizing move or just plain downsizing and decluttering. Check our Events page frequently to see when and where the next one will be hosted.
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(contributed by Colleen Squier)
**originally posted 2/8/12