Help Your Aging Family Members Move Into Senior Living


Are your parents or grandparents moving into a senior living community? If you volunteered to organize, plan, and pack for them, take a look at the easy-to-follow checklist that can make the move easier for everyone.

Create a Home Inventory

Does the senior in your life have decades’ worth of knick-knacks, memorabilia, keepsakes, home accents, and other similar items to move? Whether they want to clear the clutter or just don’t have room in their new space for everything, help them to downsize with a home inventory.

Before your parents or grandparents can decide what to keep and what to get rid of, they need to inventory everything in their house — especially if they have long-forgotten items stored in the basement, attic, or crawl spaces. To help your loved ones inventory everything they have at home:

  • Choose an easy inventory option. More specifically, choose an inventory method that’s easy for the seniors in your life to use. If grandma doesn’t have a smartphone, she can’t use an inventory app. But if she does use a laptop, a spreadsheet could work well.
  • Conduct or help with the inventory. Do your parents or grandparents have multiple rooms spread out over many floors to inventory? Help your loved ones with the inventory. If mobility or memory impairments are issues, offer to complete the process yourself.
  • Create a copy of the inventory. Notebooks can get lost during a move, and it’s easy to accidentally delete a spreadsheet or app. Make a copy of the inventory for your loved ones in case something happens to the original.

Organize the inventory using a method that makes sense to your family. This could include a room-by-room inventory or another strategy such as types of items, alphabetical, seasonal, or use.

Decide to De-Clutter

Now that your parents or grandparents know what they have at home, take the next step and de-clutter. Along with the social and home care aspects of a senior living community, these homes, condos, and apartments provide aging adults with a way to significantly downsize their living space. This means your loved ones will need to reduce the number of belongings they have before their move.

To de-clutter their current home as you prepare for the move:

  • Start with the inventory. You made a moving inventory for a reason — now is the time to use it. Review the list and ask your parents or grandparents to choose items to recycle, sell, donate, or get rid of.
  • Separate items physically. After your loved ones choose which items to leave behind, separate everything into labeled piles. Create a to-move area of the home along with designated spaces for items that they’ll donate, sell, and throw away.
  • Consider a yard sale. What should you do with the clutter you helped to cut? Make extra money for your parents’ or grandparents’ move with a yard sale.

Adjust the home inventory after you de-clutter. Remove items that your family members won’t take with them. This will help them to keep track of their belongings during the move and afterward as they unpack.

Hire Professional Help

Mobility and age-related issues may make it difficult (if not impossible) for the seniors in your life to physically move boxes, bins, bags, furniture, and other items. Even though you (and other family members) can help, a professional mover:

  • Has the right equipment. Instead of carrying heavy pieces of furniture, the professional mover has equipment (such as a dolly) to move these items safely.
  • Can save time. Movers can give you back time during this process. They’ll move your parents’ or grandparents’ home without you having to take days off from work to help.
  • Can reduce risks. You won’t need to worry about slip and falls or injuries with a professional moving everything for your family members.

Help the movers to load, transport, and unload everything with pre-move organization strategies. Label everything, color code bins, or create a blueprint-like list of your family members’ home for the movers to use.

Do you need to hire a professional mover? Contact Dixie Moving & Storage, Inc., for more information.