Essential Senior Moving Checklist: A Comprehensive Guide for a Smooth Transition

Written by Ari Parker Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2024

Moving can be time-consuming and stressful for anyone, but it can be particularly difficult for seniors who have spent years in a home collecting memories and precious belongings. Whether you’re moving into a retirement community, assisted living, or the home of a loved one, giving yourself plenty of time to plan will help ensure you don’t have to delay your move or miss important steps. Not sure where to start? Make a moving checklist, starting with these seven projects and tasks.

Get organized for your move

A moving checklist for seniors starts with getting organized. Whether you own or rent, a lot needs to be done when you’re moving, including organizing, cleaning, packing, and physically moving all of your belongings. Make sure to leave enough time to go through all of your things to avoid too much stress. 

1. Declutter and organize

Moving often requires choosing whether to organize, donate, or trash our belongings. One way to make this step more manageable is to break it into smaller pieces. Go room by room or choose categories of items to start with and sort items into three piles: keep, donate, and trash. If you know you’re moving well in advance, you can start this checklist for moving earlier and see what you’d want to keep, throw away, donate, or give to a loved one.

Depending on how much you need to downsize, you may want to consider enlisting friends and family to help declutter and pack.

2. Prepare your home to sell

As a homeowner, it’s smart to clean up, paint, and even update your home before selling. These efforts can help you make significantly more money from selling your home without taking too much of your time and effort. Some realtors may have access to programs or may be experienced in listing preparation work, so be sure to ask when you’re looking for your agent.

If you’re renting, you can skip this part of the checklist, but you may need to do some cleaning and wall patching to prepare for moving out. 

3. Get moving help

Most people can’t execute a move alone, and no matter how strong you are, lifting large and heavy furniture increases the chances of an accident that could affect your health and mobility. Consider hiring movers or getting help from friends and family to move safely and reduce your chances of damaging your personal belongings (or yourself)! 

Take care of logistics

When you change your address, logistical things like mail forwarding and finding new medical providers are important when creating a moving checklist. You’ll want to tie up these loose ends for a seamless transition to your new home.

4. Make sure you’re covered medically

Medicare plans are unique to where you live, so if you move—even if it’s not that far—you should change your address with Medicare make sure you’ll maintain your insurance coverage. Moving can also trigger special enrollment periods that can allow you to switch plans outside of standard enrollment periods. This presents an opportunity for you to look at the plans available in your new location to find the best Medicare coverage option for your needs.

Depending on how far you’re moving, you may also need to find new doctors and transfer your medical records to them. 

If you need assistance confirming your current Medicare coverage will remain active or comparing plans in your new neighborhood, Chapter’s got you covered with personalized Medicare guidance. If you have any questions, pick a time to speak with a licensed Advisor here.

5. Manage your accounts

From banks to utility companies, notify the institutions you work with that you’re moving. Change your address for any delivery services, set up mail forwarding, and cancel or transfer your utility accounts. It’s best to do all of this, or at least understand the processes, as soon as you can so you don’t forget.

Establish and maintain your community

Throughout the busy, hustle and bustle of a move it can be easy to forget to prioritize community. We included this in the last part of our senior moving checklist to help you maintain existing connections and forge new ones. If you’re not moving far or are moving in order to be closer to friends and family, you may not need to make many new friends. If you’re moving a long distance, establishing connections within your new community and maintaining old friendships are critical for getting the social interaction we crave and need.

6. Get involved in your new community

Getting involved in your new community will help you make friends and establish a support network. If you’ve relocated to a retirement community, take advantage of the events and classes available. If you’re living outside an organized community, consider volunteering, signing up for community classes, joining a club or group, or finding a senior or community center.

7. Set reminders to check in with old friends and distant family

Keeping in touch, especially when there’s distance between you and your loved ones, can prove to be challenging. But with cell phones and video conferencing, you can keep old relationships alive, which will help you feel connected as you get settled in your new neighborhood. 

Bonus: checklist for helping elderly parents move

Moving as an older adult can look different for different people. While the guide above gives you a general sense of what tasks you’ll need to keep track of for your own move, we understand there are also instances where children may want to help out an elderly parent, family member, or loved one with their move. 

If you are helping an elderly parent or loved one with a move, here’s a few more tasks to keep in mind:

1. Assess your parents’ needs

Take note of any specific requirements or preferences that your parents have for their new living circumstances. Do they need any accommodations, mobility devices, or home improvements? You can help them get these installed ahead of time to make for an easier transition. 

2. Gather important documents

Keep track of important documents, especially if your parents are moving out of state or internationally. Collect medical records, prescriptions, legal documents, insurance information, address books, and a copy of their living will and power of attorney. It may be useful for you to know how to access these files in case of an emergency

3. Pack a necessities box

Packing a necessities box is a good tip for anyone moving, but it’s especially important for an elderly adult who may need to know where their medications or mobility devices are if they use them. Ensure your parents can locate essential items by packing an easily accessible box or tote bag with medications, toiletries, a change of clothes, and important documents and devices. 

Moving for seniors can be stressful, regardless of how far you’re going or the level of help you have. While we can’t help with every aspect of your move, Chapter’s here to help you choose the best Medicare plan available in your new location and help you find doctors and pharmacies to meet your medical needs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any Medicare support. Our advice is always free. Schedule a chat with us or call us at (855) 900-2427 to get started today.

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