As Senior Move Managers, we work with clients before, during and after a move. From experience working on hundreds of moves, we’ve learned how to avoid some of the pitfalls and make the move process as smooth and stress free as possible.

Stress associated with moving can be triggered by the many changes brought about by the move, worry about the cost of the move, and how much time it requires to get everything done. Planning ahead and arranging for help if you need it are two of the ways you can minimize stress.

In addition, there are a few things you can do to avoid adding to an already stressful event. From personal experience – and a few mistakes along the way – here’s what we have learned:

1. Book your mover early. The best movers book up quickly especially during peak moving seasons and at the end of the month. Because you don’t want to settle for second best, do your research, get price quotes and make your selection as soon as you know your move date.

2. Understand the mover’s base insurance coverage. Although we all hope our move goes smoothly and nothing is damaged, that is not always the case. Make sure you are not surprised about how you are compensated for damage if something goes wrong. Most moving companies include insurance at the rate of 60 cents per pound. If you do the math, that doesn’t add up to much. If you have items of value, find out the cost for full value insurance. Also, be sure you understand any timing restrictions for making a claim.

3. Declutter, declutter, declutter. Everything you move costs money to pack and move so avoid moving belongings you don’t use or love. It’s easier and more cost efficient to purge before you move.

4. Move valuables to the home of a trusted relative or a safety deposit box before having packers, movers or repair companies in your home.

5. Label your packed boxes clearly and indicate the room they will be moved to in the new home. Being in your new home surrounded by packed boxes can be daunting. Unpacking will be much easier if the boxes are placed by the mover in the correct room.

6. Be 100% ready for the movers when they arrive on move day. The movers will want to get started quickly. Make sure any last minute items are packed before they arrive. If there are boxes or furniture pieces that are not be loaded on the truck, make sure they are clearly marked.

7. Persoanally move your own prescriptions, checkbook and any important papers with you to your new home on move day. In the hustle and bustle of the day, you want to keep track of these important items.

8. Moving day is exhausting so have a plan or extra help on hand to make sure the shower curtain can be hung and the beds made. You also should have a kitchen and bathroom moving box that is labeled “UNPACK FIRST.” These boxes should contain items you will need right away including toilet paper, paper towels, a few trash bags, the coffee pot or tea kettle and personal care items.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to go it alone. Ask friends or family members for help. If you need outside help, consider hiring a Move Manager. Make sure the company is bonded, insured and willing to provide references. With planning, preparation and good partners to help during the move process where needed, you will be settled comfortably in your new home with the move a fading memory.

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A prospective client, moving to Florida this spring, followed up on a referral to A Bridge Forward. Her anxiety about the move was high. The realtor was eager to put the house on the market quickly, but there was so much to be done first. The realtor wanted the house to be clutter free, but the job seemed so big that the client didn’t know where to start.

I met with the client and we put a plan together. A three-person team from A Bridge Forward would work at her house for one full day so that it would be ready for the real estate photos the following week. The Bridge Forward team bagged up and delivered four loads to a nearby donation site. The team also bagged up and hauled household items to the curb for a special pickup. Many Milwaukee area communities offer “bulky item” pickups for a reasonable charge.

The client had planned to take some of her belongings to a nearby storage facility to declutter the house before showings. Once her house was cleared out, there was no longer a need for a storage unit, saving her time and cost.

The client’s reaction to the quick clear out: “Thanks again for today. I can’t believe how great everything looks!”

Getting a home ready to put on the market can be a stressful job, and both physically and emotionally draining. To learn more about how A Bridge Forward helps clients declutter, pack and unpack, click on the website link:

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Move day are words that cause anxiety for even the most experienced movers. For many of our senior clients, who have not moved in decades, this day is accompanied by many emotions including sadness about leaving a loved home, apprehension about the new living space and worry about the moving process.

At A Bridge Forward we work closely with our clients to help minimize the move-day stress. Because we have been with many seniors on the day of their move, we know the best practices that help seniors and their families have a smooth experience. Here are our top move-day tips:

  1. Have two small boxes ready for packing last minute kitchen and personal care items that you need on the morning of the move. Label these boxes “Unpack First” and let your movers know that you will need access to them when you get to your new home.

  2. Pack a tote bag for the day. Include any important paperwork, prescriptions and checkbooks. Include some high protein snacks and a couple bottles of water.

  3. Be 100% packed and ready when the movers arrive. Once they are at your home, they will want to start loading the truck quickly. Make sure all items are cleared off of furniture, including books out of bookcases, dishes out of china cabinets, beds stripped.

  4. Clearly mark any items that are NOT being moved.

  5. Make sure that all cash, jewelry and other valuables have been stored ahead of time in a safety deposit box or are with a close friend or relative.

  6. Know where items placed will be placed in the new home. If you have a floor plan, provide that to your movers.

  7. Make sure driveways and walkways are cleared of snow or trash.

  8. Have any pets boarded or contained. Pets could be injured by a mover carrying heavy furniture or lost if they wander through open doors or gates.

  9. Have a space blocked off for the moving truck itself to park at both locations, especially if there is no driveway.

  10. Make sure to have information on any moving rules, at either location, including reserving elevators if necessary. Provide that information to your mover ahead of time. Of

We often find that an extra set of hands on move day is helpful for the client and the moving company. There typically is more last-minute packing than most people anticipate and any delays may increase the cost of the move. It also is a physically demanding day, so clients – especially seniors – should ask for help.

Good planning and family or senior manager support on move day is important in easing the stress that goes along with the move. If you would like to learn more about how a senior move manager can help, click on the link to our website: