Moving can be overwhelming for anyone, let alone some of our great seniors. Here’s some tips to make their move as easy as possible.
1. Communication and Choice
Seniors can be emotionally vested in the home they’re leaving, and it’s expected that there will be sadness and apprehension about the move. It can be a tough conversation to have with your aging parent, but give them time to grieve the change and talk about where they will be living and why they are moving, in order to help make the transition smoother. When seniors are asked to leave their longtime homes, a frequent cause of distress is their perceived loss of control, so give your loved one as much choice as possible as they plan and implement the move.
2. Plan Effectively
Before families begin the sorting and organizing process, it will help to have a visual of what they are getting into. What rooms need to be furnished? How many square feet is the new residence? Writing for AARP, Ann Goyer recommends plotting the floor plan of your loved one’s new home on graph paper, and suggests cutting out pieces to represent furniture.
3. Enlist Relatives
This will undoubtedly be a big job, so enlist help from your family. Encourage siblings or other close family members to take a few days off of work. Even children and younger members in the family can participate. Surrounding your senior parents with loved ones who are supportive and encouraging could help ease the emotional stress of moving as well.
4. Sort and Organize
Moving your elderly parents will involve downsizing. Go through the house item by item with your support team. You can categorize objects to make the process easier: items to be moved, keepsakes to be left with family, items to be sold or donated, and items to be thrown out. Don’t allow yourself to become a packing robot lacking feelings. Honor the emotional attachment to personal belongings and allow your senior parent to reminisce as you help sort out their possessions. Remember, these are not just things you’re moving; they’re memories. Also, be open to your own emotions, especially if this was your childhood home.
5. Clean and Repair
After the organizing and packing is complete, there is work that still needs to be done. Whether the house is going to be sold, rented or passed on to another relative — the general requirements are the same. The house should be cleaned, and they should consider making any required repairs now before any get worse. It’s better to take care of maintenance issues all at once rather than dealing with them later while the house is for sale (or after renters move in).
6. Plan the Moving Day
There are a few different strategies for moving your senior loved one into their new home. A full service mover is the easiest way to go, but also the most expensive. They will load everything, deliver to its destination and put things in place. We looked at quotes from movers and found the cost of moving the contents of a two bedroom home across the country exceeds $6,000. Families can save some money on the move by using a self-service mover, which means their family will load the moving truck, but the cargo will be hauled by a professional mover. Then there’s the do-it-yourself (DIY) option where you can rent a moving truck or trailer. But, even the DIY option of renting a U-Haul or Ryder is not cheap: a move from Atlanta to Los Angeles in a 26 foot truck could exceed $3,000 when you factor in gasoline.
Of course, each family’s circumstances are unique, so we’re hesitant to give blanket advice. However, I hope these tips help you better plan and execute your elder loved one’s next move!
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Pittsburghers have a longstanding reputation for being passionate about their city, and the rooftop shouting seems to have finally paid off. After a few decades of reinvention, people moving to Pittsburgh will now find a modern, cultured city built on a foundation of hard work and simple pleasures. If you’re planning to move to The Steel City (and you should), here are some tips and information about the City of Pittsburgh!
Geography:One of the reasons for Pittsburgh’s recent praise is the city’s natural beauty in the form of rolling hills set around three intersecting rivers. It sure is pretty to look at, but can be difficult to navigate in a moving truck, especially in the middle of a Pennsylvania winter.
Setting a Moving Date: Spring, summer, and fall months will be the best times for the physical labor involved in a big move.
Winter Precautions: Snow and ice can make the narrow, winding roads common in Pittsburgh residential areas treacherous. If you can’t avoid moving to Pittsburgh in the winter, consider hiring experienced movers and verify that your belongings are insured.
Summer Heat: The summers are relatively mild and safe for the work of loading and unloading boxes. Do check the weather reports, however, as temperatures can creep up over 100 degrees on rare occasions. Let’s not forget the rabid humidity, either!
Renting in Pittsburgh: If you’re looking to rent, the market for apartments will be best at the end of spring and early summer when students of the many local universities and colleges are moving out.
Moving and the School Year: Competition for reasonably priced rentals will be higher at the end of summer when students head back to town, especially for housing in the Oakland neighborhood where multiple universities are located.
Pittsburgh is divided by three rivers: the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio. The Allegheny and Monongahela flow west to form the Ohio, which flows northwest out of the city before turning southwest. Along these rivers are many diverse neighborhoods that offer numerous home and lifestyle options for people moving to Pittsburgh.
The downtown business district (and most of the city’s theater and educational centers) lies between the Allegheny and Monongahela in the Golden Triangle. Across the Allegheny to the north is the aptly named North Shore, home to the city’s football and baseball stadiums, as well as a handful of museums. The popular Spring Hill neighborhood is also on the north side of the rivers.
West and south of the rivers are more residential neighborhoods, including a majority of the city’s single family homes, upscale apartment buildings and more spacious shopping centers. These neighborhoods give way to the outlying suburbs with larger lots and newer homes.
If you’re moving to Pittsburgh and want to zero-in quickly on the best restaurants, clubs and entertainment spots in the city, your best bet is to have a look in the local newspaper or turn on a local TV station. But with so many to choose from, it’s not easy to know where to start. Here’s a list of some popular local news sources in Pittsburgh to help get you started.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The second most widely read newspaper in Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette can trace its roots all the way back to 1786. The Gazette (as it was known then) has grown to capture over 180,000 daily readers, with its Sunday edition fetching more than 300,000.
The paper, which locals simply refer to as “the PG,” has won a handful of Pulitzer Prizes over the years and is regarded for its high-quality content. Daily editions contain everything from local and world news headlines to business and jobs listings, sports and entertainment.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review started in 1992 to fill a significant gap left when two of the city’s most prominent publications, The Post-Gazette and The Pittsburgh Press, went on strike for months. In that time, it’s made ground to become one of the most highly respected publications in the state and one of the top-read papers in the country. “The Trib” is published seven days a week and has a circulation of close to 190,000 from Monday to Saturday. Its Sunday edition reaches just over 200,000 readers.
Pittsburgh Catholic Self-described as the oldest Catholic newspaper to remain in uninterrupted publication, the Pittsburgh Catholic is a weekly publication owned by the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Released every Friday, the paper was founded in 1844 and today claims over 100,000 readers. Weekly coverage includes local news impacting the Catholic community of Pittsburgh, including happenings within the local Diocese, local news stories, and feature articles highlighting charity programs organized by the church.
Pittsburgh City Paper The best choice for discovering local culture, including arts, entertainment, dining and nightlife, the Pittsburgh City Paper is published every Wednesday and can be found on newsstands and in stores throughout the city. The newspaper is the recipient of numerous awards from local press club organizations, and in addition to arts and entertainment listings, also contains informative news, business, science and human-interest articles.
The weather you’ll find upon moving to Pittsburgh will vary significantly depending on what time of year you arrive. Pittsburgh offers visitors and residents four distinct seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. Pittsburgh weather is generally moderate, with summer and winter offering the greatest extremes. Summer temperatures average about 72.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but can spike to over 90 degrees. Winters tend to come with heavy snow, an average of 40.3 inches annually, and cold. The average temperature in the coldest month, January, is 27.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Moving to a new city is an exciting time, but also filled with a myriad of important decisions. One of those is where you are going to live, which is kind of the biggest decision. How do you know the best place to buy a home when you do not know the area? While long distance house hunting has its own set of challenges, there are ways you can make that decision easier. Here are some tips to simplify your search:
USE THE INTERWEBS
The best place to start your long distance house hunting is on your comfy couch. Through online research, you can scan neighborhood maps, look at homes, visit tourist attractions, read local reviews, and get an overall lay of the land. This gives you a starting point of how close you want to be to the hustle and bustle of the downtown core, or if you prefer a quieter location. You can also review the city-run web site for resident information such as garbage pickup, city by-laws, and park locations. As well, you can use your search to email questions about schools, community groups, and real estate agents.
UTILIZE ALL RESOURCES
It’s one thing to learn about a new city online, but it can be a different story when getting first-hand experiences. Ask your friends, family, co-workers, your new employer, people in online forums…anyone who can relay their personal accounts of what to do, what to see, and where to avoid. It’s important to do your preliminary homework to make the rest of your search easier.
PLAN FOR YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS
Once you have a general sense of your new location, you then need to create a plan, which should include the following: what are your house hunting deal makers, your deal breakers, do want to be close to restaurants and events, or do you want to be close to Mother Nature? Do you need a double garage or easy access to public transportation? What is your budget? Be as specific as possible. This will solidify your ideas and quicken your search. Also, make sure that you define priorities and timelines to get things done. For example, you cannot hire movers or discover the best route to work until you know where you are living, and you cannot find where you are living until you hire a real estate agent.
While you can complete all of your house hunting from your home, it is highly recommended that you visit at least once to get a feel of your new city and to see homes in person. Before planning your visit, know the purpose of each visit, how long you plan to stay, and what you can realistically accomplish. Don’t over plan each visit, and schedule in some relaxing time to give yourself time to walk around and enjoy your new city.
KNOW THE COST OF LIVING
How much does it cost to live in your new city? Are housing prices higher or lower? Does it cost more to fill up your car? Are fresh fruits and vegetables accessible and affordable? Available online, look at cost of living charts, and then compare those numbers with your current city prices. You can also look at online flyers to see the price differential for food and other goods you will need. You need to know the cost of living so that you can budget for everything (housing, food, savings, fun) accordingly.
Long distance house hunting may seem like a complicated and time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be. Starting early, being specific, and having a plan can streamline the process so that your move to a new city doesn’t become unduly onerous, and remains exciting.
One 80 degree day, two weeks ago nonetheless, spun the Steel City into a case Spring Fever that can only be cured by one thing…
Ok, so maybe “more cowbell” isn’t always what the doctor ordered. And although statistics show otherwise, Spring is often associated with one of the busiest times for movers. While you’re Spring Cleaning and tossing away that mountain of material possessions you couldn’t get rid of (read below), call the great folks at Bin There Dump That for dumpster rentals. (We hear they’re pretty awesome.) In the meantime, here’s some tips to ease the burden of moving as much as possible.
Determine how much time you have before your move.
Even if you have very little time, a few minutes spent planning and organizing the basics can help you make the best use of the time you do have. If you have more time, you can plan more carefully and possibly save money and time down the road.
Consider the distance you will be moving.
Moving across town may be something you can do yourself, using a rented truck for the largest items. Moving longer distances or moving to a new country may require that you ship items with a mover. Indeed, the farther the distance, the better off you are having reputable professionals take care of everything, including your pets.
For overseas moves, remember there will be such issues as customs and bio-security clearances, appropriate shipping methods, and storage issues on arrival.
Assess your budget.
Will you hire somebody to move your belongings or rent a truck and do the job yourself? Do you have money saved up? Do you still have time to set aside the money you will need? Will an employer cover part of the cost of relocating?
If your employer is assisting you, make sure that everything is in writing, including any variations agreed upon verbally or otherwise. Things do go wrong, and you need the written confirmations to ensure that you get reimbursed appropriately.
Written records are also vital when dealing with professional movers. Be sure that you get a signed-off contract, that you have read all the fine print, and that you have full inventory lists checked and signed off by both you and the removal company.
Allow some overlap.
If your lease or purchase agreement(s) allow, get access to your new residence before you must give up your old one. Even a couple of days will spare you the stress and rush of an overnight move, or the hassle of moving into and out of a storage facility. A time overlap can also help in case of any delays with closing on the purchase of a home.
If you must move via a storage unit or if your dates do not overlap, see if there is a service in your area that will deliver and move storage containers for you so that you do not have to handle your belongings twice. The more moves you have to make in-between arriving at your destination, the higher the stress levels become and the more frustrated you are likely to feel.
If the move came as a surprise, such as if a landlord decided not to renew a lease or you have been posted overseas, you should have at least some minimum amount of notice in which to pack and seek new premises. In this case, your first priority should be to secure new lodgings, but you may still want to multitask the search for a new place with beginning to pack and sort your stuff, otherwise you might find yourself running out time.
Too much overlap can be costly. Don’t pay double rent for longer than you need to. Seek the garages of friends and family before paying for storage options if possible.
Decide how much you will pare down your belongings.
This is a personal choice, of course, but anything you can part with is something you don’t have to move and moving is always a great time to be brutal with things you don’t need or use. Keep in mind that you will have to balance the time spent to sort your belongings with the monetary cost and effort required to pack and move them.
If you move frequently, try to keep a minimum of basic belongings. If you’re downsizing with the move, you will have no choice but to remove things from your life. This can add to the stress initially but the resulting lower level of possessions is often a huge release for your new way of living.
Start right away if you want to give away or sell belongings, rather than move them.
One alternative to taking that old sofa-bed with you is to sell it or give it away to someone else before you leave. Expensive antiques or furniture are great considerations for an auction or estate sale, as well.
Craigslist, LetGo, Facebook, and the like are excellent resources for selling and giving items away. In some places you can leave items on the curb and they’ll disappear of their own accord in no time (check with municipal regulations though). Maybe consider having a garage sale.
Phone local charities to see what used items they can accept. Many can send a truck to pick up items you do not wish to move. Many towns now have recycling centers so that you can have your items resold for the benefit of the community, rather than simply dumping them to be treated as garbage.
Determine how you will dispose of things that cannot be recycled or donated.
If all you have to do is haul stuff by the armload out to the apartment dumpster, there may be nothing to plan. On the other hand, if you will be shredding documents, making a run to the dump, buying extra trash tags, or hiring a hauling company, plan for these activities as soon as you can. Having a dumpster that is easily accessible during your move can make your job much easier. Did we mention we know a really great team over at Bin There Dump That?