Seniors: If Relocating, What Should I Move?

Feb 21st, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

This is a very good question.  It is loaded with landmines, both sentimental and impractical.  Depending on how long it has been since you moved last, you will likely have accumulated an avalanche of stuff.  Ridding yourself of it really needs to be an annual undertaking so that you are not met with a heavier than necessary task. However, let’s assume you are of the “Fibber McGee” genre and you do not, will not, have not cleaned out that closet or basement or garage or attic in ages.  Let’s talk turkey!

Consider that moving, whether by a moving company or a rental truck, is an expensive undertaking.  A relatively modest truck from a national rental firm, moving across the country, will run over $1000, just for a 17′ truck, gas/food/lodging enroute not included.  What that means is that if you choose to move yourself from a 3 bedroom, 200o square foot home, there will be limited hauling space available for all the stuff you previously have hoarded.  In fact, just for your “essentials,” however you define that, this truck probably won’t be sufficient in size.

With every item moved from the house to the drive, realize you are consuming space.  Is the item worth the space it takes, the labor involved, the hope that there will be a place for it when  you arrive at your destination?  If the answer is no to any of these questions, set it on the lawn for later pick up by a non profit group that resells donated items. Before even touching a piece of furntiture in the house, look it over, examine it, ask why you have kept it all these years.  Decide if it has intrinsic worth or simply sentimental value.  If the latter, put a post it note on it and have it picked up along with other pieces you will have similarly examined. 

As you tour the house, look at every piece, every hanging, every what not, every souvenir.  Note whether there is a fine coat of dust on any of these items, denoting that you have paid little to no attention to them in weeks or months.  Discard them.  Make notes on your own home tour about conversation pieces and items that you recall someone admired.  If you can remember their name, put a post it note on that item and make them a gift of it. Don’t over look  junk.  Create a designated junk pile for either recyclying, if that service is available, or the junk yard.  Don’t assume you will “need” it later or someday;  don’t keep it “just in case;” don’t save it for someone in the family who might want it.  Get it out of the house and hauled away ASAP. 

Remember with every item you eliminate you are reducing the amount of time, labor and space required for moving.  If you give in to your need to keep stuff that has been in your garage for 15 years or stuff you have already had transported up to 3 or more times previously, it is time to dump that stuff.  So, if you are so bound to that stuff, imagine your having a ceremony in which you give thanks for its past usefulness and send it by truck or flame and smoke to its next incarnation.

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