Senior Moving Checklist

Moving Checklist

Moving for yourself or a loved one can be a challenging and stressful event. To help you with the process we’ve laid out a senior moving checklist that can help you research retirement communities, plan on how to consolidate your possessions, and take steps towards finding a mover and scheduling your travel.


  • Determine Your Needs

    Before moving, write a list of all of your needs. For instance, are you looking to downsize to a one-bedroom home? Or do you need extra rooms for family to visit? Are you hoping to move to a 55-plus community? Or do you want to live in a standard neighborhood? Are you looking for a low maintenance lifestyle? Or a historic home that requires upkeep? Those retiring should also consider where they want to be and what they want to do while enjoying retirement. For instance, are you dreaming of year-round sunshine? Or do you prefer the mountains? Are you looking for recreational opportunities? Or do you prefer peace and quiet? Asking yourself these questions will help narrow down your options. Here are a few fantastic places to consider when choosing a retirement destination.


  • Research Retirement Communities

    Ready to retire? If you’re interested in learning more about adults-only communities, start researching various neighborhoods and housing complexes in your area of interest now. The sooner you know where you want to live, the sooner you can start the moving process. Read 10 steps for successfully downsizing after retirement.


  • Consider Hiring a Moving Specialist

    Good news! You can enlist an official Senior Move Manager® or a specialist from Caring Transitions to help with all moving logistics. Both services help seniors with downsizing, relocation, estate sales, packing, home staging, organizing and sorting, paperwork, customizing floor plans and overseeing movers. To find a qualified Senior Move Manager®, visit NASMM’s website and click on “Find a Senior Move Manager®.” To find a Caring Transitions Specialist, visit the company’s website and enter your zip code. Read more about Caring Transitions and Senior Move Managers®.



  • Enlist Family Members to Help

    A few months before the move, enlist family members to assist with sorting and packing your things. If downsizing, ask family members whether they’d like to take any furniture or larger belongings off your hands. They may also be able to help with donating and selling various items. When asking others to help with the move, contact family members well in advance. This will give them enough time to figure out which weekends or weekdays work best for them. Obviously, if they aren’t able to help out, you’ll need to look for alternative options such as a moving company or a relocation specialist.


  • Plan Furniture Placement Using a Blueprint

    Found your new home? Before moving, ask for a blueprint of the house. This will give you a better idea of what will fit where. Be sure to measure all furniture ahead of time. By studying the blueprint, you can quickly figure out what items won’t work in the new home. Make sure to keep an ongoing list of any belongings you wish to donate, trash or sell before moving. This should make your overall move a more efficient experience.


  • Research Moving Services

    Now is the time to figure out how you want to move. Are you doing it yourself? Or do you prefer to hire professionals? Start familiarizing yourself with options and your budget. If you do decide to hire movers, check’s extensive network of reputable and reliable moving companies. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. You can read more about choosing the right move method here.



  • Make Travel Arrangements

    Book your airline, car and hotel reservations well in advance to avoid prices. If you have mobility issues and are planning to fly to your new home, don’t forget to also call the airport to request wheelchair assistance ahead of time.


  • Notify Current Doctors

    Notify all of your physicians about the upcoming move. If moving to a new city, make sure to ask for referrals and/or recommendations.


  • Schedule the Movers

    After soliciting quotes from various movers, it’s time to book your first-choice moving company. Not only will hiring reputable movers ease the burden of relocating a lifetime’s worth of belongings, but it will also ensure that those belongings make it safely to the new home. To find the best moving company to handle the move, check’s extensive network of reliable movers. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands.


  • Contact Health Insurance Provider

    Contact your health insurance provider to assure seamless medical coverage during and after the move.



  • Find New Doctors

    Moving to a new city? You’re most likely going to need new doctors. Once you’ve received recommendations from your current doctors, call to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If your current physicians are unable to give you recommendations, contact your health insurance provider to find reputable doctors in your network.


  • Host a Garage Sale

    Need to get rid of your belongings before the move? If you’re downsizing, try hosting a garage sale. For tips on how to organize it, read our foolproof checklist for hosting the best garage sale ever.


  • Donate Possessions

    The less you have to move, the better – so start the pre-move purging process early. Begin by deciding which belongings you wish to donate. For gently-used items, call your local Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity or Goodwill to schedule a pick-up, free-of-charge. These organizations offer pick-up services and will be happy to take those couches, chairs and other extra home items off your hands. For more information on where to donate your stuff before moving, check here.


  • Rent a Storage Unit

    Not quite ready to part with your items? If you’re downsizing and need a place to store your belongings for the time-being, try renting a storage unit. Storage facilities offer a secure and convenient option for those looking for temporary or long-term storage. Several self-storage facilities to consider include U-Haul, Public Storage, Extra Space Storage and CubeSmart. For more information about these facilities, check here.



  • Change Social Security & Medicare Mailing Address

    If you receive Social Security or Medicare benefits, be sure to update your mailing address online before moving.



  • Forward Medical Records

    Scheduled an appointment with your new doctor? Prior to moving, contact your current doctor’s office to arrange to have all medical records transferred to your new physician.


  • Fill Prescriptions

    Before moving, be sure to refill all of your prescriptions. Aim to bring at least one month’s supply of medications with you on the move. Also, go ahead and transfer your prescriptions to a pharmacy close to your new home.



  • Prep the New Home

    After moving, you’ll need to properly prep the home to accommodate your needs. If your health is poor, try asking a family member, friend or handyman to help out around the house. Several easy fixes may include: installing an electric stair lift, plugging in night lights, installing a walk-in bathtub, adding a stool for seating in the tub, installing safety rails inside the tub, placing a ramp outside the front door, installing an elevator, and replacing the shower head with one that is hand-held.


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Senior Moving Checklist
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