Tips for Moving Every Member of the Family

Moving day can be a frenetic, worrying day even with the aid of expert moving company and plenty of planning and organization. But when certain members of the household have special needs or face additional issues, homeowners must be even more prepared. Here are some smart strategies for facilitating moves involving three distinct types of family members: seniors, children and pets.

Moving Seniors

  • Problem: Clutter – A senior may have more trouble than the average individual during a move for a variety of reasons. One such reason is clutter. Grandma has had decades to accumulate a lifetime’s worth of possessions, ranging from valuable gifts and numerous important documents to sentimental keepsakes.
  • Solution: De-Cluttering – This wealth of material makes de-cluttering both more critical and more difficult for senior citizens. Age-related physical limitations are no help in this regard. The smart solution is to plan ahead and take extra time with the de-cluttering process, emptying out one room, box, or space after another at a leisurely pace to downsize for an easier move.
  • Problem: Physical challenges – Many seniors will naturally want to help out with the move itself, but Seniors with impaired hearing, eyesight or mobility should stay well out of harm’s way, since they might not be able to anticipate or react to pathway obstacles or other unexpected developments.
  • Solution: Pre-move delegation and modification – Although carrying treasured small items may be easy enough for seniors, heavy lifting and other risky ventures should be left to the professionals. If possible, it’s also wise to make any necessary modifications at the destination point, from widened doorways (to accommodate wheelchairs) to assistive rails, in advance of moving day.

(Read more about moving seniors HERE.)

Moving Kids

  • Problem: Fear of the unknown – While babies may be too young to understand what’s happening during a move and older kids can see the positive side of this new adventure, younger children may be frightened or distressed at the prospect of leaving the only home they’ve ever known.
  • Solution: Reassurance and education – Parents can “turn that frown upside down” by expressing their own excitement and happiness about the move and by assuring their little ones of the fun they’ll have in their new environment. They can even make a game out of learning all they can about their new community or neighborhood beforehand. Going about the pre-move preparations in a calm, relaxed manner will also help to prevent undue tension and anxiety in the days and weeks leading up to moving day.
  • Problem: Physical strain – Even when everyone is looking forward to the move, the actual moving day can prove physically stressful. A move to a new environment may mean exposure to new germs, climates or allergens. Fatigue related to the stress and strains of the day can also inhibit the immune system.
  • Solution: Medical precautions – Extra precautions to take before the move may include scheduling any necessary vaccinations and collecting the kids’ medical records for their next pediatrician. For your journey to your new home, plan regular breaks so everyone can stretch, walk around and use the restroom.
  • Problem: Safety – Moving isn’t a game, and kids who get caught up in the flurry of activity and excitement may put themselves and the movers at risk for accidents.
  • Solution: Distractions – On the day itself, it’s best to give the kids a space to play games or otherwise keep themselves occupied so they don’t get underfoot, interfering with the movers and possibly causing an accident. Once they reach their new home, they can participate by placing favorite, familiar items in their new rooms.

Moving Pets

  • Problem: Excitable canines – Dogs can actually be fairly flexible about where they live as long as their beloved humans are with them — but moving with them can still be tricky, especially if they get excited about their journey and try to roam the cabin of the vehicle.
  • Solution: Neighborhood previews and safe transportation measures – Taking a dog to the new neighborhood before the actual move, if possible, will make the actual move seem much less unsettling. On moving day, placing the dog in his carrier, along with his favorite toy or a comforting blanket, will keep him out of harm’s way. Water should be readily available; rest stops will be a must.
  • Problem: Feline anxiety – Cats are much more creatures of habit than dogs, so they may react more harshly to a change of dwelling.
  • Solution: Kitty’s own space – If a cat has his own room or space in the home, it’s best to leave him in there and seal it off while the movers work. Placing food, water and a litter box in regular positions right from the beginning will help greatly.
  • Problem: Exotic pet safety – Exotic pets can present some puzzling challenges on moving day. Fish, of course, need water, while Cold-blooded pets are especially vulnerable to temperature changes.
  • Solution: Preparing the right environment – Most fish can easily be transferred (along with their usual water) to plastic bags for the duration of the journey. Lizards can be placed in plastic bins dotted with air holes. Keep a close eye on the car’s climate control system and maintain whatever temperature range is normal for your exotic pet.
With the proper care and preparation, moving day can be a genuinely good day for all concerned. Here’s hoping that these strategies will help pave the way for a more successful move!
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