Tag Archives: moving

Stress Free Zone

7 Ways to De-stress During a Move

In 1967, two psychiatrists developed a scale for measuring stress. According to their research, different life changes create different levels of stress in our bodies. If these stress levels get too high, we are more prone to injury and illness.

One of the stressors that Holmes and Rahe identified is a change in residence.

Right alongside that stressor are others, like a change in schools, a change in marital status, and a change in work responsibilities.

A move in and of itself may not cause overwhelming stress. But chances are if you’re moving, you are probably also making some other significant life changes as well. Collectively, these changes can produce a storm of stressors.

You may not be able to control the life changes that come your way. But the good news is that managing the stress they create is possible. Simple de-stressing activities can help you keep calm and healthy amidst the packing and planning you’ll be conquering in the coming months.

Keep a regular exercise routine

True, you might be lifting lots of heavy things, carrying items up and down staircases, and scrubbing walls and windows as you get ready to move. But don’t neglect keeping a regular exercise routine. Thirty minutes a day can greatly reduce stress and anxiety, not to mention help you maintain the energy and strength you’ll need for the big move.

Get regular sleep

If you’re moving in the middle of a change in work, the only hours you have to organize, pack, and clean might be late at night.

It’s okay to work late, but remember that your mind and body will work best when they have proper sleep. Try to keep a consistent bedtime so you can get the most out of your waking hours.

Eat a balanced dietAhealthyfooditems

With all the hustle and bustle of moving, it is easy to let good eating go. But your body needs nutrients to manage stress and maintain health. Include fresh vegetables, fruits, and plenty of drinking water in your daily eating.

Take time to play

Go for a walk, play a board game, or cook your favorite meal. Taking time away from the stressors often gives new clarity and energy. You’ll find that when you come back to the tasks at hand, you’ll be much better equipped to manage problems.

Breathe

Practice breathing deeply for a few minutes each day. You might sit on the ground or on a chair. Close your eyes and focus on inhaling and exhaling. Play some soothing music in the background if that helps.

ChecklistMake a to-do list

When you start getting overwhelmed by how many things still need doing, one of the best ways to get that stress off your shoulders is to write it all down. Take fifteen minutes and a pencil and paper. List all the tasks you need to do, small and large.

Then prioritize the tasks. Which must you do today? Which must you do this week? Writing out upcoming tasks and assigning a time for you to do each one will make the work ahead seem much more doable.

Stay on track with this moving checklist and timeline.

Surround yourself with nature

With all the time our brains and eyes spend on screens, a little bit of nature can go a long way to de-stress. Buy a plant. Find a nearby park. Sit outside and watch clouds. Having a few minutes alone with your thoughts and with nature will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the stress of moving.Walking

Find a hobby

The act of creating can do wonders for our stress levels. Whether you’re a knitter, a painter, or a model car maker, losing yourself in a new (or forgotten) hobby can alleviate anxiety and help you regain perspective. Even setting aside fifteen minutes a day for your hobby will establish a healthy, consistent pattern that you’ll find yourself enjoying more and more.

Now that you have the tools to de-stress, check out some of Bekins’ other blog posts to get more tips for a smooth, manageable move.

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Eat, Throw Away or Donate? What to Do with Your Food Supply Before Moving

When you’re in the hustle and bustle of moving preparations, you probably spend a lot of time decluttering. You hold a garage sale to get rid of the heavy old bookshelf and treadmill you never use. You strategize the best way to pack your craft collection.

But have you thought much about your pantry?

If you’re like most Americans, you probably have a decent store of canned goods and other non perishables hanging around your kitchen. And that doesn’t even approach all the food you have in your refrigerator and freezer.

You don’t like the idea of throwing food away, but you don’t want to pack stacks of canned goods in the moving van either.

Moving day isn’t far off-so you need a manageable strategy right now.

Complete a Food InventoryFridge

While you may keep a careful inventory of our furniture, books, and electronic devices, you probably forget about your food storage. If you don’t really buy a lot of excess food, congratulations. But if you believe in emergency supplies, you’ll need to do some counting and sorting.

To stay organized, divide your list into the following categories:

  • Frozen foods (meat, vegetables, ice cream, frozen entrées, etc.)
  • Perishable, refrigerated items (dairy products, eggs, vegetables and fruits, and condiments)
  • Foods in glass bottles (bottled fruit, drinks, olive oil, spaghetti sauce, and similar items)
  • Canned items (vegetables, fruits, soup, and so forth)
  • Boxed items (grains, cereals, and the like)
  • Plastic containers (containers for bulk foods like nuts, pasta or rice; and bottled water)
  • Food supplies in fragile containers (flour in paper sacks, bread loaves in plastic bags, etc.)

Plan for Your New Space

The best way to decide what to keep, eat, or throw away is to look ahead at your new home. Will you have more or less cupboard space there? Do you want to build up a new food supply once you arrive, or would you rather have a month’s supply of food already in place?

By asking yourself these questions now, you can better envision a food plan between now and then. Here are a few possible scenarios that could happen once you move into your new home:

  • If your new home has a pantry closet in addition to your kitchen cupboards, you may want to take more food with you.
  • If you need to downsize for your new place, consider a better division between food supplies and dishes. If you have too much of one or the other, you should probably give some things away before you move.
  • If you have a large family that goes through food quickly, you may want to move more food items with you. But pay attention to food costs vs. the cost of shipping. This can help you decide if moving all those cases of soup is really the best strategy.

pantryEat from Your Pantry for a Few Weeks

How much of your food supply can you use in your current menus? Be creative. Enlist the help of family members to decide what foods you can eat in advance.

In particular, try to use up items in glass jars. Glass is harder to protect during a move, so the fewer glass containers you have on moving day, the better. Do you really need all those glass jars of freezer jam? Consider donating any items you can’t eat before you move to neighbors and friends.

Of course, you have to be realistic when eating from your pantry. You may still have to stop by the store for a couple fresh ingredients. But you may surprise yourself when you see how many meals you can make completely from pantry foods. Don’t forget to use foods from your freezer as well.

Finally, get rid of expired goods before moving day. If you do your part ahead of time, you’ll still have what you need when you arrive at your new home-but without the hassle and expense of moving food items you didn’t have to.

Donate Your Leftovers

moveforhunger.org

moveforhunger.org

The cost of your move is based on weight plus distance of the move. Ways to cut back on your weight would be to get rid of food. Rather than throwing away non-perishable food, Bekins along with Move For Hunger make it easier than ever to donate your food.

Bekins Van Lines is a founding member of Move For Hunger. Participating local agents will pick up the unwanted, non-perishable food items and deliver it to their local food banks in the area. Your donation of food will not only save you money on your move, but will help feed a person or family in need.

Need more fresh moving tips? Browse our blog for other smart, low stress strategies before the big day.

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What is a delivery spread?

When a sales consultant comes to your home to complete an in-home estimate, they will explain a variety of information. One such topic is your delivery spread. But, what exactly is a delivery spread?

Your sales consultant will give you a set of dates that typically range of 1-14 days for your household goods to arrive at your new home. When you sign the Bill of Lading, you agree to the dates in the window and are expected to accept the delivery within those days. The driver will call you 24-48 hours to let you know the planned date of your delivery. Meanwhile, Bekins will do their best to keep you updated on the delivery date.  A moving agent greeting a customer.

What causes the shipment to take between 1-14 days to be delivered to your new home? There are a variety of factors that goes into determining a delivery spread. The three biggest factors are:

  • The distance between your origin and destination
  • The time of year
  • The weight of your shipment

The farther the distance of the move typically means the wider the spread. Larger shipments are easier to predict days vs. smaller shipments. Smaller shipments allow for more loads on the truck, so a driver may have four or five other families that he has to deliver to or pick up in their shipment spread. For example: If you are moving from New York to Florida, the truck with belongings may be stopping in Richmond, Va. and Atlanta, Ga. before arriving in Florida with your items.

customer-service-billboardIt is a good idea to remain flexible during the delivery spread dates so you are free to accept the delivery on any of those days.  If there are any days in the delivery spread that you will be unavailable to meet the driver, always make a backup plan at the time of booking for someone else to meet the driver on those days, however this is not recommended.

In the rare circumstance your belongings will not be delivered within the delivery spread, Bekins will do what it can to accommodate you and your family. Our Customer Service department will be able to provide you with updates as they occur. If you have any questions about your shipment, please call 1-800-992-5202.

 

Medical Practice

How to Successfully Move Your Medical Practice

Do you like the location of your medial practice? Have you ever wondered how your clinic would benefit if you moved somewhere with a little more space or with a little more traffic? Regardless of your specialty, you can benefit from a move.

Moving locations can increase the number of patients you see and strengthen the stability of your practice.

If you think moving would help your clinic become stronger, you need to make sure you do it right. A well-executed move will help your practice, while a poorly thought out move could hurt it significantly.

Tip 1: Keep Your Patients Informed

Once you find a location for your clinic, immediately begin to notify your patients. Patients represent the lifeblood of your practice. You can’t afford to lose them in your move. Use these suggestions to keep your patients during the moving process.

  • Post notices of your move in the office at least 30 days before yoChecklistur move. This will allow your more regular patients to take notice and plan accordingly.
  • Send patients emails before and after the move explaining the details of the move. Include the address and, if necessary, your new phone number. Consider sending postcards as well, since some people prefer physical reminders.
  • Launch a social media campaign connected to your move. Encourage patients to like your page or share posts about the move. Not only will this remind existing patients of your move, it could also encourage their friends or followers to check out your new location as well.

Tip 2: Maintain Employee Morale

You can’t practice medicine without your support staff. You need to keep them happy to ensure your practice runs smoothly, especially during a stressful move. Use these tips to keep up your staff’s morale up, even during a difficult transition.

  • If your staff participates with the move, make sure you do things that make it more enjoyable. As they pack up files or equipment, give them plenty of breaks. Provide lunch on a few days and other rewards for their hard work.
  • In the same vein as offering rewards, consider offering some sort of bonus for your staff. They will feel more appreciated if you recognize their extra work.
  • Make sure your employees understand the purpose behind the move. When they see what they gain, they will feel more excited with the transition.

Tip 3: Find Professional and Specialized Movers

Your medical office has many things to move. Odds are you can’t afford to move it all on yourself. However, you need to hire specialized professional movers who have experience moving medical practices. Because your move represents a more complicated prospect than the average business move, you need a mover who can simplify the process for you.

Use these tips to choose the right moving service:Moving In

  • Interview movers before you hire them. Use the opportunity to get a feel for their experience and skill. Ask about their methods, so you can compare them with other companies.
  • Look for medical moving experience. You need movers who know how to move fragile equipment such as an x-ray machine or tonometer.
  • Ask for references. Use them to get a sense of the company’s work history. Try to get references from other physicians. They can give you a more accurate reading of the company’s skill.

Tip 4: Notify Your Payers

Of course, you should immediately notify your payers when you are moving. You could lose needed revenue if your payers don’t have your new address. Don’t forget to update your address with the postal service, this way you will not miss out of any mail or payments during the transition.

While moving your practice can cause stress, the right move will increase the number of patients you see and help you become more successful. Our tips will help you cover the major requirements of your move. Use our suggestions to start planning a move today.

Milit_Family

Permanent Change of Station: Tips for Surviving Your First Military Move

When you receive orders for your first permanent change of station, it can be hard to know where to start. Most importantly, you’ll want to take advantage of the available resources.

Before you worry about anything else, make sure you take advantage of the following entitlements:

  • Temporary Lodging Allowance. If you are moving overseas, you may ask for a temporary lodging allowance. This entitlement provides a lodging allowance for military members until they find permanent housing.
  • Temporary Lodging Expense. Like the allowance mentioned above, this expense covers lodging for military families. The main difference is that this is for members moving within the continental United States.
  • House Hunting Trip. Before your move, you will receive up to 10 days of temporary duty Military-Moving1leave. During this time, you can make a house hunting trip to your new station without paying a fee for leave.

Once you’ve taken advantage of these entitlements, you can start to plan the rest of your moving details.

Get In Touch with the Right Programs

Which relocation program you work with depends on your branch of military. Most often, you will need to contact the Transportation Management Office. This group will provide information on the coordination and reimbursement for your move.

If you have questions, you can also get in touch with your base transportation office. The name of this office varies among service branches:

  • Household Goods Shipping Office (Coast Guard)
  • Personal Property Shipping Office (Marine Corps and Navy)
  • Installation Transportation Office (Army)
  • Traffic Management Office (Air Force)
  • Joint Personal Property Shipping Office (Department of Defense)

The earlier you can make an appointment, the smoother your move will be. Once you’re familiar with the moving options available, you’ll be able to make some final decisions.

Make Preparations for Your Family

If your family is making the move as well, you’ll want to make additional preparations. For family_01this reason, most relocation programs provide family centers. This resource allows your family to become familiar with the new community. In preparing your family for the move, you can also do the following:

  • Request a sponsor. A sponsor from your destination provides extra support to your family. This individual can also prepare for the move by helping you determine which items to take.
  • Connect with employment assistance programs. Once you reach your destination, your spouse may be on the hunt for new employment opportunities. Your post or base may offer an employment assistance program to help with this step. Members of this program may also help your spouse apply for the Accredited Financial Counselor® certificate. Military spouses can earn this certificate while they provide financial guidance to other military families.

By taking advantage of these services and more, you ensure a smoother transition for your loved ones.

Seek Guidance from a Local Moving Company

Finally, you can make further preparations by contacting a local moving company. With so many programs available, this resource is sometimes overlooked by military families. While it may seem easier to have the military move you, there are a lot of advantages to opting for a Moving InDIY, Personally Procured Move. These advantages include the following:

  • Saved money. Rather than having the government move you, you can choose to receive 95 percent of what that move would cost. The advantage here is that you get to keep whatever money you have left over. So, by working with a moving company and taking advantage of discounts, you can actually make money on your move.
  • Increased control. Of course, another advantage will be greater control over your move. Rather than leaving all the decisions to the government, you can make those choices yourself.
  • Additional time. The other bonus will be your ability to create your own timeline. If you plan wisely, you may save time by procuring your own move.

When you connect with a local moving expert, he or she will be able to answer some of your pressing questions about relocating to a new base. Remember, the sooner you get started, the smoother your transition will be!

Fragile

Protect Your Treasures: Tips for Packing Your Collection Before a Move

When a woman took her family baseball card collection for appraisal, she discovered that saving something for sentimental value can yield big rewards. At the “Antiques Roadshow” taping in August 2014, an expert examined the baseball cards, which feature some of America’s earliest baseball players, big names for the Boston Red Stockings in the late 1800s.

Before the appraisal, the owner had turned down an offer of $5,000, suspecting the cards were worth much more-and she was glad she did. The appraiser valued the collection at over $1 million.

But, the sentimental value still trumps the monetary value. The woman has no plans to sell and become an instant millionaire.

Instead, she wants to keep the collection in the family for many more generations.

As a collector, you may understand her reluctance to sell. Whatever you collect, the collection has worth in your eyes not just because of what it’s worth but because of what it represents. When you have to move, you don’t even question whether your collection will move with you. You just wonder how you’ll pack it up so it arrives safely at your new house. If that’s a dilemma you face in the near future, use these tips to pack your collection right.

Fragile Items

Many collectors display their collections inside curio cabinets or other prominent locations. They want family and friends to see their special items. If collectors’ items are fragile, they want that observation to take place with minimal touching.

That principle applies when fragile collections follow their owners to new homes. Protect your too-easily-broken valuables with these suggestions:customer-service-billboard

Buy special moving boxes. Many moving companies or shipping stores sell special boxes for common fragile items. These boxes have dividers to cushion delicate collectibles in transit. These boxes commonly fit dishware, stemware, wine or framed photos or art.

Stock up on cushioned packing materials. People rarely have sufficient bubble wrap, newspaper, and packing peanuts when it comes time to put collections into boxes. Start saving these items as soon as you know you’re moving. You can also put out feelers around the neighborhood and on social media letting people know you’ll take packing materials they get from online orders. Many people throw these materials away, so they probably won’t mind giving them to you.

Mark boxes as “fragile.” This tip should almost go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many times people forget to mark some boxes as holding fragile cargo. Be meticulous about marking boxes. Write “fragile” on more than one side as well as the top. And while you’re at it, note which way is up to avoid damaging the items with tipping and flipping.

Another way to ensure your fragile collection arrives safely is to use professional movers. Movers take care with every box they pick up, transport, and set down, even boxes not marked as “fragile.” If using Bekins Van Lines, talk to your local agent about the precautions that will need to be taken to protect your collection.

Large Collections

Some collections are notable not just for the individual value of each item but for the total items in the collection. If you own 500 snow globes or 200 Madame Alexander dolls, you know what we mean.

The challenge with large collections becomes packing each item with the same care. You also have to gather sufficient packing material for each part. Try these tricks to pack large collections:

Use original boxes whenever possible. Many collectibles come in boxes with custom Styrofoam that fits perfectly around the item. If you still have that packaging, take advantage of its original purpose and put your items back inside for the move.

Pack boxes to a reasonable weight limit. With a large collection, it’s tempting to put as many items as you can in the least number of boxes necessary. But, as any book collector knows, LRjimWrapGlasthat can yield heavy boxes that are hard to lift and easy to drop. Limit most boxes to 30-40 pounds, if possible. Try to keep each box under 50 pounds.

Pay for professional packing services. You might not have time to pack every item in your collection personally. You have a lot to handle during a move, so ask your mover about professional packing services. Trained movers will handle your items with care, so you won’t have to oversee the packing process.

Oddly-Sized Items

Are you a cinema buff who owns original props from your favorite film franchise? Are you bringing your collection of igneous rocks to your new home? Unique, organic, and oddly-shaped collectibles like these rarely come with original packaging to simplify the moving process.

If your collection has strange or one-of-a-kind items, first decide if you want to personally move the ones you value most. You might experience less worry if you bring great-grandpa’s phonograph in your car instead of packing it with everything else.

Next, get an estimate on the price of custom-fit foam packing. The extra expense might be justified on your favorite pieces. Plus, you’ll always have it whenever you need to transport the item later.

Finally, ask a professional moving company how they’d recommend packing unique items. Decide whether you feel comfortable packing it yourself. If not, put your collection in the hands of the pros. Remember, a little extra moving expense is minor compared to the cost of trying to repair or replace a rare collectible.

However you decide to pack your collection, using these tips will help your priceless items arrive at your new home safely.

Relying on professional packing and moving services can alleviate your worries about your collection and allow you to concentrate your energy on other moving considerations.

tax time

Is your move tax deductible?

When moving to start a new career or when relocated for your current job, federal tax law allows you to deduct your expenses with a qualifying move.  In order to claim your move as a deduction, all expenses will need to be reported on an IRS Form 3903 to be included with your personal tax return after you have made sure your move satisfies all requirements.

The three requirements are as follows:

  • Time & Distance
    • The move must be close to the start day of your new job
    • Your new home must be closer to your job than your previous home
  • Distance
    • Your new home must be 50 miles farther from your previous job location
  • Time Test
    • If you are a full time employee you must have worked at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after you have arrived at your new home.

Tax Deductible Graphic_Bekins

For example:

Kourtney and her husband are moving because she was recently transferred from Downtown Cincinnati to the Glendale office in California. Currently, Kourtney travels 10 miles one way to her office. According to the IRS in order to qualify for the moving expense tax deduction, she will need to move closer to her new office and her new home must be 50 miles farther from her previous office.

Kourtney was transferred from Cincinnati on December 31, 2012 and she started her new job on January 15, 2013. As of February 2014 Kourtney completed the minimum requirement of 39 weeks of employment during her first 12 months in her new home. In April 2014 she filed form 3903 when completing her taxes. She was in fact eligible for the tax deduction and was able to write off much of her moving expense.

Working with Bekins proved much easier than determining her eligibility for the moving expense tax deduction associated with her long distance move. Her move was managed by a Bekins professional coordinator who assisted with planning, packing, loading options, and delivery.

customer-service-billboardOn the day of her move, the local Bekins agent arrived promptly at 8:00am with extra moving boxes in hand. The friendly movers assisted with last minute details and immediately started loading. Kourtney was concerned with the possible damage to carpet and hardwood floors, however the moving professionals laid runners and special padding to protect the home’s condition. As items and boxes were being loaded, the driver of the Bekins Truck took inventory of everything including its’ physical condition. Kourtney signed the Bill of Lading (shipping contract) which confirmed the level of service requested and delivery date and time.

On January 10th, Kourtney met with the Bekins movers who transferred her belongings 2,173 miles. After Kourtney paid for her moving expenses, the movers began moving each item. Kourtney checked off each item and its’ condition off of the inventory list and started moving into her new home.

As you can see, through Kourtney’s experience, she met the qualifications for the moving tax deductions and had a stress-free experience by choosing Bekins for her long distance move.

homeforsale

5 Ways to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Many times the hardest part of moving involves selling your previous home. The pressure of finding and persuading a buyer can become exhausting. Most often, you get one chance to make a positive first impression. So you have to make that moment count.

Help potential buyers feel welcome, safe and warm when they come to your home by using these tips.

Focus on Curb Appeal

The first impression often starts with the exterior of your home. Make sure your yard and front porch look as attractive as possible. You may need to plant fresh flowers, mow the lawn, and paint the door to create a beautiful entrance for potential buyers.

You may benefit from removing fencing around your yard. Most fences make yards appear smaller than they actually are. You don’t have to revamp your entire lawn, but focus on these hot spots to improve the overall aesthetics of your home.

Accentuate Your FoyerEntryway

You want potential buyers to step into your home and say “wow.” So start interior improvements in the foyer. Buyers often set their expectations for the home based on what they can see from the front door. Therefore, you have to make your foyer look bright and welcoming.

Consider applying a fresh paint coat, eliminating clutter, and cleaning the coat area. You may want to get a mirror or painting to create a focal point for this area. Then pick place a vase with flowers or bowl of potpourri to make sure your home smells clean.

These small additions help your home look both simple and sophisticated.

De-clutter

ghk-open-closet-with-clothes-0111-mdnA major turn-off for potential buyers is dirt. You want them to visualize their life in a place better than the one they currently have. Clean more than the day-to-day buildup. You will need to deep clean the carpets, repaint rooms, and store away or sell all unnecessary home pieces.

Every buyer looks for places that they can store their things. To make your home seem larger, remove half of your things from every storage area. Once you remove the items, organize the remaining items into neat piles. Buyers will look in closets and cabinets to determine the spaces available. Make sure your home looks as spacious as possible by de-cluttering every room.

Incorporate Natural Light

The lighting in your home can make a huge difference on buyer’s decisions. Fortunately, you can fix lighting issues easily and quickly. Wash your windows to give a clear picture of your view. Replace dark drapes with light colored window treatments.

Update light bulbs and consider adding overhead lights. As a rule of thumb, you should have 100 watts every square foot. You can also add floor lamps or task lighting to brighten your home.

Make the Kitchen the Highlight

Your kitchen can makitchenke or break the buyer’s decision. You have to make this room the highlight of your home. Otherwise, your potential buyer could knock down his or her asking price by thousands of dollars because he or she doesn’t like the kitchen. Even if you need to renovate the countertops, most homeowners get 85% return on the investment.

If you want to increase your chances to sell your home, consider updating the paint, countertops, and cabinets in your kitchen.

Use neutral colors so buyers have a blank canvas to envision their style in this space. If you have wiggle room in your budget, update appliances to give your kitchen a polished finish.

Once you have prepared your home to sell, take a moment to walk through the home as if it you were touring it for the first time.

This will help give you an idea of areas you can improve and add finished touches to the project.

Senior Moving

A Stress-Free Guide to Moving Elderly Parents

As your parents grow older, you may see them begin to struggle living day-to-day. Perhaps they have begun to miss bill payments or have fallen and broken a hip. They may need increased care after developing Alzheimer’s or dementia. At some point, you will need to move them into a safer living environment.

Where will they live? Initially you may consider your home. However, this decision is a major life choice and deserves some serious discussion from you, them, and the rest of your family. Here are some simple things you can do to make the moving process easier:

Coming to the Same Conclusion

Your parents may feel emotionally connected to their home. Expect apprehension when you first bring up moving. They will need time to ponder and accept the idea. Many times seniors feel that moving means losing control of their lives. To help them transition, explain that their opinion matters and that they have a say in where they live. Giving them time to come to the same conclusion as you will help them feel more confident and less distressed.

Talk with your parents at a family meeting with their loved ones. This will give everyone the opportunity to share his or her opinions and views. Active communication in the family will also build a better support system for your parents.

Deciding on Living Arrangements

During this meeting, discuss the level of care your parents will need in their new home. They may require constant supervision and assistance with daily living activities. Most of the time, seniors movingsenior’s care becomes more challenging over time. Consider speaking with a social worker for advice. They can provide valuable suggestions and insight on required care and living arrangements.

The housing situation you choose for your parents will depend on needed care, available facilities, location, and finances.

Create a list of pros and cons for each housing option in your area. Include the distance to relatives as this may cause concern among siblings. Often, family members who live closer have more opportunities to get involved with parents’ care. It’s essential to create an open dialogue with your family and come to an agreement on living conditions.

Understand that your parents have the final say during the decision-making. After all, the living arrangement will ultimately affect them the most.

Before you all decide on a living arrangement, visit the facility. This will help your parents get a feel for the environment, which may play a role into their decision. Take notes on how the employees interact with residents, what activities they provide, and transportation arrangements. You can also research online reviews from past guests.

Sorting Belongings

Most seniors have lived in their homes for many years, which means they have a lot of stuff to sort througsenior_downsizingh. Before you start to pack, go through your parents’ home and organize their belongings. Organize possessions into piles you’re keeping, donating, throwing away, and preserving as keepsakes.

Keep in mind the emotional state of your parents as you go through their things. Allow them time to decide which pile to put their belongings in and reminisce as you sort. Their possessions are more than objects-they’re memories.

As you organize, picture where possessions will go in their new house. How much room do they have? Where will the furniture go? Create a model of the home on paper to help you envision what their new living arrangement will look like.

Hiring a Moving Company

Booking a moving company will help ease the stress on you and your parents. In fact, your parents may feel more comfortable talking with a subjective third party than speaking with their children. Moving companies who specialize in moving seniors will offer comfort to the family. They also take on the burden of lifting heavy objects and ultimately make the process smoother for everyone.

You may want to consider having them pack belongings. They have the tools and knowledge to ensure valuables remain intact.

This allows you to focus on your parents as they transition to their new home.

Cleaning

Even if you hire a moving company, you will still need to clean the home. Whether you plan to rent, sell, or pass the home to a relative, have the entire family come and help. Also, repair any damages now to avoid the problems getting worse. These repairs will prevent rentpianoers or new owners from claiming fake damages.

Settling In

Your parents may need days, weeks, or months to adjust to the new living arrangements. Check in with them often to make sure they feel safe and comfortable. Every person reacts to moving differently. Some feel relief from not having to take of their home. Others feel hesitant to make friends. Most will feel some loss from the life change. Give your parents plenty of family support during this stage. Who knows, they may end up saying, “Why didn’t I do this a long time ago?”

Take the moving process slowly to ensure you and your parents have a smooth transition.

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An Introvert’s Guide to Making Friends in a New Place

After a big move to a new city, you suddenly find yourself with no one to hang out with. The friends you grew up with live many miles away and you don’t have high school or a college campus to force you to interact with others.

Every single adult who moves to a new town faces the age-old problem of how to make friends. Even couples might find themselves wishing for other people’s company. As an introvert in a new place, try these tips to meet some people and build a new support system.

Don’t Retreat

If you value your alone time, you might feel tempted to back away from invitations to social gatherings in your new city. Even if you just want to try a new restaurant, you order the food to go and take it back to your place.

Resist the urge for solitude. If you want to make friends, then make this a time of putting yourself out there, even if it’s by yourself at first. Go to movies, bars, coffee shops, and restaurants and open yourself up to conversations with strangers. Even if you don’t make friends, you’ll hear some cool stories.

Meeting New NeighborsSay You’re New in Town

When you meet people around the city, always tell them you’re new in town. This opens the door for them to tell you about local places to check out and events to attend. This will also encourage them to include you in their social circles and invite you to get-togethers.

Own your rookie status and allow people to act extra friendly and inclusive.

Look for Common Interests

Start looking for friends in fun places. If you love theater, join a group of play-goers. If you knit a mean scarf, find a club in your area. When you meet up with these groups for the first time, exercise your “new in town” line and tell them you’re trying to make friends.

Not only will clubs and organizations bring you together with lots of people, but you can go in knowing these people share your interests. This gives you easy topics of conversation and good ways to connect with others.

Make Friends with Coworkers

You easily made friends in high school and college because you had no choice but to spend endless hours with your classmates. The adult version of school is work. Befriend a few of your coworkers and start inviting them to after-work events.

Although you don’t have a guarantee your coworkers share your interests, they will understand your workday rants. Making friends with coworkers can also have networking benefits and make your job more interesting.

Make Plans

To build friendships, you have to make time commitments. When you meet new people, make concrete plans about when you’ll hang out with them and what you’ll do. Plans add structure to your interactions and help you bond with others.

You don’t have to develop complex itineraries. You can make a plan to hang out at youKeep Calm Postersr place and watch sappy movies. Just establish a specific time and place to have it happen.

Accept Invitations

A new city presents a perfect opportunity to become a self-actualized “yes person.” Say yes to almost anything potential friends invite you to. Even if you wouldn’t normally spend hours outdoors during wintertime, say yes to that ice fishing trip. Even if you don’t usually like scones, attend that tea party.

Build on What You Have

After you’ve made a few connections and established a small social circle, expand it based on the people you’ve met. Start introducing yourself to friends of friends. If someone you know says their good friend likes the same band you do, suggest you all go to the concert together.

Throw a Party

Don’t count on other people to do all the inviting. Throw a party and invite everyone you’ve made connections with. You don’t even have to host an event at your house-you can easily make a group reservation at a restaurant or round everyone up for a pub crawl.

Enlist Technology

If you’d rather meet people from your living room, the internet has made it possible. Online isn’t just for dating anymore. Many apps exist to bring people together as friends. Use a service such as Meetup to find groups of people in your area with similar interests and hang out with them.

Dating sites have their place too. If you’re single, find a site you like and start talking by sending messages. Even if you don’t meet a new significant other, you might meet some good friends.

Follow Up

After parties or other events with people you meet, follow up with them. Friend them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, tag them in photos. Make social media work to your benefit and bring you closer to others.

Making friends in a new city doesn’t have to be hard. Use these tips to establish a social circle and build meaningful relationships.