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How to Prepare for the Move to Independent Living

Moving to senior living can present many challenges, especially if you have lived in the same home for decades and raised a family. With numerous memories tied to your current residence, transitioning to independent living may seem overwhelming. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare properly if you are embarking on the move to assisted living.

This guide will offer insights into preparing for the move to independent living, which involves sorting through your belongings, labeling items in boxes correctly, deciding on a moving company, checking the necessary paperwork before you move, and arriving early.

Sorting Through Your Belongings

Efficient packing can ease the moving process, and sorting through your belongings is an excellent place to start. Take only the items you genuinely need, beginning with essentials such as medications, insurance information, and your favorite clothes. In addition to versatile and appropriate shoes, ensure that you pack your personal entertainment and clothing suitable for any weather. Other items like books or sentimental items such as framed photos should be sorted through and kept separately.

These keepsakes are essential as they can transform a plain apartment into a comfortable and familiar environment. This can be achieved by bringing your favorite piece of furniture, a piece of art, or a few photos. Even creating a “welcome home” basket containing your preferred snacks can make the move more enjoyable. You will also want to pack your favorite jewelry securely.

Independent Living Move-In Checklist

  1. 1. Medications
  2. 2. Insurance information
  3. 3. Appropriate clothing and shoes for all weathers
  4. 4. Personal entertainment items (books, games, etc.)
  5. 5. Sentimental items (photos, framed pictures)
  6. 6. Favorite piece of furniture or art
  7. 7. Welcome home basket with preferred snacks
  8. 8. Jewelry securely packed

Labeling Items in Each Box

Once you have sorted your belongings, you should box them up appropriately. For example, keep clothes in single boxes and label each box with its contents. This can be achieved by separating shirts and blouses in one box, pants and jackets in another, and undergarments in a separate container.

By labeling the boxes with the items they contain, packing becomes easier, and you will know which boxes can be safely stacked. Prioritize your most treasured items and ensure they are packaged securely. Any family heirlooms and highly valued jewelry should be kept in a safe place.

Independent Living Packing Checklist

  1. 1. Sort belongings into categories (e.g., clothing, kitchenware, books)
  2. 2. Measure furniture to plan for proper fitting in new residence
  3. 3. Purchase boxes and packing materials (bubble wrap, tape, labels)
  4. 4. Gather extra padding and cushioning items (towels, blankets etc.)
  5. 5. Pack fragile items with bubble wrap or other protective layers
  6. 6. Label all boxes clearly by containing items
  7. 7. Make a list of the most important items that you don’t want to forget when moving
  8. 8. Double-check all rooms before leaving

Deciding on a Moving Company

Researching the moving company you wish to use is crucial, as many options are available and costs may vary. Once you have sorted and labeled your items, take note of the number of boxes and get cost estimates. Ask your community for any moving company recommendations that they may have used. Make a list and read online reviews to make a final decision.

The moving company should be adequately insured and licensed, which should be evident on their website and correspondence. If you have heavy or oversize items like furniture that you wish to move, ensure that the moving company can handle them. Even with the right moving company, ensure they are available when you intend to move in.

Checking the Necessary Paperwork

You will need to fill out a range of paperwork before you are ready to move. This includes insurance documents and change of address documents. You must also set up mail forwarding with the US Postal Service and ensure utility services are canceled.

It is also essential to plan your end-of-life details accordingly. Once the paperwork is finalized, recheck it, then check with the community to confirm it has been signed and received during the week before you move.

Independent Living Paperwork Checklist

  1. 1. Change of address documents
  2. 2. Moving company contract
  3. 3. Insurance documents
  4. 4. Medical records and imaging scans
  5. 5. Financial information (savings, checking accounts, stocks, investments)
  6. 6. Social security numbers and tax returns
  7. 7. Authorization for health care services or power of attorney forms
  8. 8. Proof of residency documentation
  9. 9. Government-issued photo ID cards

Arriving Early

Try to arrive relatively early at your independent living residence to give you ample time to unpack. Once you finish unpacking, customize your apartment, and don’t forget to meet your neighbors! This can involve joining meals and any activities to familiarize yourself with your surroundings before bedtime. Spend as much time as possible meeting the individuals in your hallway once the apartment is fully set up.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for the move to independent living requires thorough packing, preparations, and patience. Take the time to confirm what you need and want to take with you, and leave the rest behind. It’s on to a new adventure when you choose to make the move to independent living!

Need information? Right this way.

outdoor area at The Atrium at Navesink Harbor

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