Tag Archives: moving

senior citizen safety

Purging and Packing Your Parents

If your parents are elderly, chances are the time will come when they need your help moving to a smaller home or to an assisted-living facility or a nursing home. Between making the decision to move, to finding a new home, to downsizing and packing belongings, moving your parents can be quite stressful. It can also be a very emotional time, especially if your parents are not fully onboard with the need to move. The following tips can help make moving your parents and their belongings a little less difficult.

Making the Decision to Move

You might see signs that your parents are struggling with living alone without assistance. These might include forgetting to pay bills or being unable to keep up with cleaning or maintaining their house. The subject of moving can be very difficult to broach. You can expect that your parents will be sad and apprehensive about moving. It is important to be understanding of their fear of loss of control and allow them time to:

  • Grieve about leaving familiar surroundings
  • Understand and accept the reasons for the move
  • Have a say about where they will be moving

The Big Purge

Months before the actual move, help them go through their personal belongings and household items to determine what they want to take with them and what will be disposed of or given away. This process can take months because your parents should be allowed the time to sort through their things, which may have great sentimental value.

During this process, you need to be realistic about how big their new home will be. It helps to make a sketch of the new living space to determine how many of their belongings will fit. If you paint a realistic picture of what furnishings and other items will fit in their new home, it will help you—and them—decide how many things they can take with them.

You need to respect a parent’s decision to keep certain items that may have sentimental value even though they are unlikely to use them again. Try to be diplomatic and make suggestions about storage or compromise with them if they want to take more things than they will actually have room for in their new residence. They might decide to find a new home for some cherished items rather than throw them away.

Be Systematic About Packing

About a month before the scheduled move is usually a good time to start packing items that won’t be needed right away. Depending on the season, that could mean certain types of clothing and holiday decorations.

About a week or two before moving your parents, begin packing one room at a time. Clearly label the boxes with the name of the destined room in the new home. That will help the movers know where to put each box. Do not pack items that your parents are using regularly until the day of the actual move. It is a good idea to pack a box with clothing, medicine, and food your parents will need during the first few days after the move and set it aside.

With a little planning and a lot of patience, you can make the process of moving your parents less complicated and, most important, less emotionally draining for all of you.

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thanksgiving groceries

Simple Steps to Get your Home Ready for Thanksgiving

Isn’t the task of getting ready to sell your home overwhelming enough without also having to worry about hosting during the holidays? If you don’t think you have enough time to get your home ready for Thanksgiving, never fear. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish with a minimum amount of time and effort. Here are a few quick tips to get your home ready for Thanksgiving guests.

Clean the Bathroom

Thoroughly cleaning your entire home might not be possible, but at least do the bathroom. The bathroom is one of the places people will notice the most if it hasn’t been cleaned. Clean the toilet and sink, the mirror and counter. A full bottle of soap and fresh hand towels for guests will also be appreciated. Are guests staying the night? Clean the bathroom they will be using and be sure to set out a fresh towel for each guest.


Even if you don’t do much other cleaning, be sure to vacuum, especially where guests will be spending their time. Freshly vacuumed carpet not only looks cleaner but also feels fluffier and lends a cleaner smell to the home. If you need to save time, you can just vacuum around furniture instead of moving it to vacuum underneath. If you aren’t going to have any overnight guests, you can also get away with vacuuming only the main areas of your home.

Tidy Up the Kitchen

Even if you’ve spent the day prepping and cooking the meal, it takes only a few minutes to tidy up the kitchen. Wipe down the counters, sweep the floors, and load and start the dishwasher. Not having messes on the counter or dishes stacked in the sink can make a huge difference in the impression your kitchen leaves on your guests.

Straighten and Dust

Once the vacuuming is done, the bathroom is spotless, and the kitchen is tidied up, it’s time to do those last little things to get ready for your guests. Combine two steps into one and carry a duster around with you while you straighten up. Eliminating clutter, dust, and disarray will make a big difference in how your home looks, and remember to stick to the main areas to save time. Also, bring a basket with you for any clutter that needs to be returned later to its rightful place. You can put the basket in your room until your guests leave then put things back as you clean up after the holiday dinner.

Preparing to sell your home during the holidays is work enough without also having to get your home ready for Thanksgiving. Preparing a meal to feed your guests in holiday style often takes all day, if not several days of prepping and cooking. Therefore, you’ll want to clean as quickly as you can and still ensure that your home looks presentable. If you’ve found yourself with a shortage of time, remember to focus your efforts on what absolutely needs to be done in order to make sure that your guests have the best holiday possible.

Holiday Hustle

If you're selling your house over the next few months, you'll want our Tips for Moving During the Holidays.

moving at Christmas

Tips for Moving During the Holidays

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year. Add moving to a new home on top of that, and you might find it hard to maintain the holiday spirit. These tips for moving during the holidays will help make your move as simple and stress-free as possible.

Plan Ahead

Almost every business closes its doors for a few days during the holiday season—either before or after Christmas. Take that into consideration when planning your move. Make arrangements in advance with all the services you might need, such as a moving company, so you aren’t left stranded.

Stay Organized

Organization is important when you move to a new home. It is, however, even more important when moving during the holidays. Group items for packing based on how quickly you will need to get to them after you’ve moved. That way, you won’t find yourself digging in box after box trying to find something you desperately need. Always clearly label every box.

Staying organized will not only make moving easier but will also give you the flexibility to take your time unpacking. Take out only what you need now and save the rest for after the busy holiday season.

Don’t Skip the Decorations

Holiday decorations may not be essential, but they are part of what make the holiday season fun. If you’re moving during the holiday season, it might not seem like the best time to go all-out with decorations, but don’t pack everything—leave out a few items that will put you in the holiday spirit. Pick items that are easy to clean up and pack at the last minute. Skip hanging ornaments on the tree this year. Instead, stick with simple, classic looks like tinsel, strands of popcorn, or just lights.

Small touches can help enhance the holiday mood. Burning cinnamon- or gingerbread-scented candles can bring the warmth of the holidays to your home. Playing holiday music while you pack is another easy way to create a festive atmosphere.

Take a Break

No matter how busy you may be with packing, don’t forget to take a break now and then. No one wants to feel like they completely missed this magical season because they were moving. Give yourself a little bit of quiet time in the house—send the kids to bake Christmas cookies with grandma or visit a local holiday event. 

Reassure Your Kids

Moving to a new home is a major, and perhaps sudden, change that can be scary for children. They tend to worry about things like giving up their old room, leaving behind their friends, making new friends, and moving to a new school. And when moving during the holidays, children tend to have one extra worry on their minds—how will Santa find me? Even if they don’t mention it to you, reassure them that Santa already knows about your move and will bring their presents to their new house.

You also need ways to keep your kids busy while you are packing their things. Reserve a box of small items to keep them occupied— coloring books, puzzles, and a few of their favorite toys.

Once you get everything moved into your new home, deck the halls  and get ready to enjoy the New Year!

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master bath, shower, double vanity

How to Choose the Home that is Right for You

Like any major purchase, trying to choose the right home when you’re looking to move depends on a number of factors. Unless you have limitless funds, you’ll have to fine-tune your expectations in order to get a home that fulfills your wants and needs. Even if you have an ample budget, you’re not always guaranteed that everything you’re looking for will be included in a single property. That’s why it’s important to sit down and clarify what you want and what you expect to get.

Choose the Right Home: Getting Started

What if you loved two similar houses in different locations? What if the house you liked the most lacked your most important feature? What if the house was perfect except it required a major, costly repair? Before you can even begin to answer these questions or begin your search, you have to answer the all-important question: What’s my budget?

Your budget is the most essential item in your search. Without setting a budget, you will be wasting a lot of time looking at homes that are not within reach. The budget gives you a window into realistic options so that you’re able to choose the right home. The financial parameters you set for yourself will help you look at homes within your range and give you insight into the actual costs of owning them.

One of the best ways to budget is to start by looking at your overall assets and your major expenses (i.e., cars, insurance, credit-card payments, and student loans). Then you will be able to determine how much you can afford to make in mortgage payments as well as whether you can cover the costs of your future home. You should have enough assets left over to keep you above water should something unexpected happen. Freddie Mac provides a worksheet to help you figure out your expenses and determine your budget.

Go with Your Gut

Once you start searching, your gut is going to be a great tool. Your instinct, intuition—whatever you want to call it—will guide you in making a good decision. If you walk into a house and it remains just that—a house—you may want to forget about it. If, on the other hand, you walk in and start envisioning yourself arranging the furniture in your new living room or your family eating together in the breakfast nook, that’s an excellent sign that it may be a good fit.

Focus on Features

When you’re mapping out what features you want, start by focusing on a few that are the most important. Maybe it’s the neighborhood or the schools, perhaps it’s a kitchen that speaks to your love of cooking, or perhaps it’s that guest room for your mother-in-law. Choosing the right home for you is just that—what’s right for you. Not what’s right for anyone else or what’s trendy and cool. It’s about you. A good fit will always happen when you choose a home that has the features you’ve always dreamed of or at least the potential to create them.

Wait a Minute—Don’t Buy Yet

The market doesn’t always allow you to hesitate, but if there’s even the smallest potential to wait a day (or three), take it. The perspective you gain from giving yourself the space to think clearly, and maybe even visit a second time, will go a long way toward cementing the right decision.

If nerves or stress try to take over during a house search, just breathe and remember—if you’re staying within your budget, plus leaving a little wiggle room, and the house and your gut are speaking to you, you’ll make the right choice.

The Right Home

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6 Things to Consider When You Inherit a House

The death of a loved one is always difficult, and often the last thing anyone wants to think about is what to do with their loved one’s possessions. If you find yourself handling a property left to you or other family members, it doesn’t have to be a burden. Here are six important factors to consider when you inherit a house.

1. Emotional Moments

Many people consider moving into a house left to them by a loved one. While this can be a great idea, there are a number of factors to take into account. One of the most important is the possible emotional baggage that may be left behind with the home. If you are sharing the inherited house with a sibling or another family member, you’ll need to have a calm conversation about your respective intentions.

2. State of the House

If you’re considering selling the house, its condition is one factor that will determine its value. Older homes almost always require moderate to extensive repairs before they are marketable.

3. Existing Debt

Often, the sale of the estate will cover any debt left behind by a loved one. Outstanding medical bills, loans, and other types of debt are often difficult for those in mourning to pay. If you want to keep the house and are faced with such debts, you may have to sell a lot of the contents. If that will not cover the debt, consider selling the house and keeping some of the sentimental items. A picture that reminds you of one of your favorite memories can be more meaningful than an empty house.

4. The Neighborhood

The neighborhood can be a major factor in deciding whether or not to move into the house, sell it, or rent it. Check into nearby schools, local watch programs, and the closest stores. All these things can make or break a neighborhood.

Also look at the renter-to-owner ratio in the area. If there are a lot of renters and the house is in good condition, you may want to try renting it yourself. If the house needs a lot of work, you could market it to investors who have the money to do the repairs.

5. Moving Expenses

While it may make sense to move into an inherited house, consider if you’re financially able or ready. Owning and maintaining a home is difficult, especially if you have been a lifelong renter who is considering ownership for the first time. In addition to your regular bills, you have to consider the additional expenses of property taxes, insurance, and all repairs to the house and property for the duration of your ownership.

6. Cost of Realtor

If you are planning to sell the house, you’ll have to decide if you’re going to sell it yourself or hire a realtor. Consider the cost of a realtor compared to how much work you’re willing or able to put into the sale. It’s also important to remember that it is a loved one’s house and that you may not be able to handle the emotional attachments involved in selling it.

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