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Moving Guide and Checklists for Senior Citizens

Senior couple packing boxes to move

Moving is one of life’s most stressful experiences. For seniors, there may be extra stress because of situations such as health, financial concerns or simply leaving the home you’ve lived in most of your life. The most common reason seniors move is to downsize. The time comes for every person, couple, or family when extra bedrooms and too many baths become more of a burden than a luxury. Let’s look at some living arrangements seniors may choose with a checklist for each. We hope that an organized and well thought out plan will help make the move go more smoothly.

Where Are You Moving?

In the five boroughs, there is housing to meet many different senior needs. Here are some specific considerations for each type of living accommodations.

Assisted Living facilities differ based on the amenities they offer. Before deciding on such living arrangements, find out what is included in the price and what meets your lifestyle.

  • Is the apartment furnished?
  • Does it have a kitchen and appliances?
  • Are meals available, either in your apartment or in a dining area?
  • Are there laundry facilities?
  • Do they provide transportation services?

Moving in with Family can be the perfect arrangement and a wonderful experience, but only if you plan ahead.

  • Is the home partitioned or are you living as one family?
  • Will you need to bring or purchase furniture?
  • Do you have your own kitchen area?
  • Have an honest discussion with your family about privacy, pets, family members schedules, and anything else that will help set expectations for all.

Independent Living is becoming a more viable option for seniors. This living arrangement has many considerations to make it successful.

  • Do you need to hire a companion, aide, or other help such as for cleaning or cooking?
  • Can you keep your own car, and does your home provide parking availability?
  • If moving into an apartment building, does it have a doorman and an elevator?
  • How much renter’s insurance will you need?
  • If you have furry family members, are pets welcome?

Whichever living choice you decide on, add these items to your moving plan checklist.

  • Book a moving company as soon as you have dates confirmed.
  • Measure rooms and check closet space to plan for downsizing.
    – Take the opportunity to give sentimental items with your family
    – Sell valuable items you won’t be able to take
    – Make donations
    – Consider storage
  • Does your new home accommodate special needs?
    – Wheelchair Accessibility
    – Walk-in bathtub
    – Stair lift
    – Building elevator
  • Purchase and schedule installation of any accessibility items so they will be ready as soon as you move in.
  • Consider hiring a packing company, but if you’re doing it yourself:
    – Start early with rooms and items that aren’t frequently used, such as the basement, extra bath, and guest room(s).
    – Throw a “pizza packing party” for family and friends.
    – Label packed boxes with not only the room, but also what’s included in each. This will make things much easier as you’re getting settled in your new home.
    – Pack an open first box  that contains necessities such as medications and any items you’ll need for the first night in your new home.
  • If you’re moving a far enough away, you might need to find new professionals:
    – Doctors & Dentist
    – Attorney
    – Accountant
    – Bank and financial advisor
  • Are you bringing a pet with you? Make arrangements with a friend or local boarder to watch your furry family on moving day.

While you’re settling in, take some time to get acclimated. You’ll need some pleasant breaks from unpacking. Explore your neighborhood. Find establishments that meet your needs. Make notes of their location and phone number.

  • Grocery or specialty store (do they carry your favorite products?)
  • Restaurant (do they have take-out or deliver?)
  • Pharmacy
  • Library
  • Post office
  • Cleaners
  • Senior center
  • Salon or barber
  • Place of worship

Once you’re somewhat settled in, enjoy yourself! If you’re new to New York City (or even if you’re not), make plans to do something fun, visit a museum, take in a Broadway show, dine at a recommended restaurant. This is why you made the great decision to live here!


If you or a senior family member are planning a move in the greater New York City area, give Serenity Movers a call for a free estimate.  The expertise of the Serenity team will reduce the stress and confusion of moving.  With over 19 years of experience moving in NYC, we handle the unexpected challenges as gracefully as moves that go like clockwork, and we offer a guaranteed moving price for your peace of mind.

One of the hardest parts of downsizing is deciding what to keep, give away or sell. For your peace of mind, Serenity offers climate-controlled long and short term storage. We’ll securely store your belongings so you can make these important decisions in your leisure – after you’re settled into your new home.

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