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Helping the Elderly Move House


Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

19th Feb 2020 (Last updated on 8th Feb 2024) 5 minute read

Moving house can be a stressful and chaotic process, but now that more people are deciding to downsize, there are also a lot of older homeowners deciding to move later in life. Even though hiring a professional removal company will greatly help them during the removal, there are still ways that you, yourself, can help the elderly move house.

Helping your elderly friends and family move requires a lot of planning and consideration, but it can be relatively straightforward with some patience and preparation. In this guide, Compare My Move provides a few useful tips for helping the elderly move house, explaining everything you need to know to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible.

  1. 1. Be Considerate
  2. 2. Leave Enough Time to Complete Each Step
  3. 3. Make Tasks More Manageable
  4. 4. Communication is Key
  5. 5. Keep Them Informed
  6. 6. Help Them Notify the Right People
  7. 7. Help Them Declutter
  8. 8. Hire a Removal Company to Help
  9. Save on Your Removal With Compare My Move

1. Be Considerate

When you’re younger, moving house is usually an exciting time as it either means a new job is waiting or that you’re in the process of starting your own family. This may not always be the case for older homeowners, however, it’s still possible to make it an exciting process if you’re first considerate about their personal circumstances.

It can be upsetting leaving your family home especially after living there for so many years. No matter how positive the reason for moving may be, it can still be a melancholy time. Try and acknowledge how they’re feeling and help them stay positive.

You could go through old photos with them, watch embarrassing family videos or simply ask them about the personal items you’re helping them pack. Reliving these stories can be a great way to positively start the moving process.

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2. Leave Enough Time to Complete Each Step

Helping elderly people move house will probably take longer than usual as they may not be as quick and fit which is important to take into consideration. Moving is a stressful and overwhelming process, so make sure you give them enough time to complete every step and get fully organised before the moving date.

Many people will need to start planning 3 weeks before moving day. Depending on their personal circumstances, you may need to help them sooner than this. Find a removals company as early as possible and start the tedious packing process by going through items that aren’t often used. It’s never too early to get organised!

3. Make Tasks More Manageable

Moving house can be overwhelming no matter what your age, but if you’re helping an elderly homeowner, it can have even more of an impact. To make things easier, follow our moving house checklist to break down each step into more manageable tasks, ticking them off one at a time so that they can go at their own pace.

This step can help you no matter what your age or where you’re moving to. Breaking things down is always a good way to make a process more efficient, helping you better decide what needs to be done and by when.

4. Communication is Key

No matter who you’re helping move house, you need to remember that you’re moving someone else's belongings. Clear communication with the homeowner ensures that no items are mistakenly thrown out or packed in the wrong box. They will know exactly what to take with them, so follow their direction.

If a step hasn’t been finished on time or if an item was misplaced or incorrectly packed, then they need to know. Whatever you’ve helped them do, make sure they’re fully aware of the plans created and the deadlines decided. Ask if there are any dangerous items that need to be safely packed and don’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure it’s definitely the action they want you to take.

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5. Keep Them Informed

Similar to the point above, you need to make sure you keep them informed of everything you do. If they’ve never moved before or haven’t in a few years, then your elderly friend or family member may not know how the moving process works. Make sure they’re aware of all their options before starting.

For instance, they might want to hire a removal company so you should discuss this with them, including the different quotes put forward, any additional services offered (e.g. dismantling, packing, reassembling) and how experienced the removals team are. Don’t make any decisions without them confirming it with you first.

6. Help Them Notify the Right People

When in the middle of a house move, it's easy to forget everyone that needs to be notified that you’re changing your home address. Get your friend or relative organised by making a list and helping them inform anyone that needs to be told of the change of address like their friends, acquaintances and GP.

7. Help Them Declutter

Before packing begins, it’s important to clean and declutter. It’s very easy to accumulate a lot of possessions throughout the years, so make sure you tackle each room one at a time. It's a good idea to sort items into a ‘keep', ‘donate' and ‘throw' pile so you and the homeowner can physically see what’s going where.

A good way of deciding what to keep would be to throw or donate anything you haven't used in over six months. Of course, many items hold sentimental value, so even if there’s no room at the new house they can always put them into storage. Always confirm with the homeowner before throwing anything away as you never know how much emotional value it may have.

If they find sorting through sentimental items difficult or if the deadline for the move is too soon, one solution could be to rent a storage unit to keep their possessions safe until the move is complete. This way, they will have as much time as they need to go through the excess items.

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8. Hire a Removal Company to Help

Professional removal companies make the moving house process so much easier, especially when it comes to helping an elderly person move as the heavy lifting is immediately taken care of. To ensure that they’re qualified and reliable, you can use a comparison website like Compare My Move to ensure they’re fully insured with the appropriate removals experience.

The removals team can take care of all the hard work, like dismantling furniture, packing valuable items, loading and unloading the boxes and even reassembling the furniture at the new property. This can be a great help to elderly homeowners and will make the process go much more quickly.

Save on Your Removal With Compare My Move

Here at Compare My Move, we have a network of reputable removal companies to help with your house move. It can be highly beneficial to hire a trustworthy removals team when helping an elderly homeowner move house as it reduces the risk of accidents occurring and ensures a smoother move.

Save you and the homeowner both time and money by getting up to 6 free quotes when filling out our quick and easy form, saving you up to 70% on your moving costs.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.