Planning a Move to a 55+ Community? 9 Moving Tips for Retirees

Older couple plays with boxes while packing to move.

5 minute read

Moving to a 55+ community can be a great way to simplify your life and help you enjoy an active social lifestyle. But before you can settle into your new home, there are some details you’ll need to take care of. Most of the time, moving is no fun, and this is probably a bigger change than other times you’ve relocated. But don’t worry. You can make the transition without too much stress.

When you start to think about all the tasks involved in moving, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But if you go into this project with a battle plan, you’re already ahead of the game. It’s a good idea to have a checklist handy to help keep you focused and remember everything. Your list may include details that are unique to your life, but here are some basic moving tips for retirees to get you started.

1. Time to downsize.

Moving boxes in a new house.

One of the best things about moving is that it allows you to get rid of possessions that you don’t need. Clutter is exhausting. Besides, starting a new era in your life means you probably don’t need the same things you did before. This is a great time to take stock of what you need and what you’re ready to let go. Be ruthless. You need room to live, not piles of stuff.

2. Plan where the furniture will go.

A modern living room with a sofa and other furniture.

To help you decide what furniture you should bring with you, create a plan for where you want to place your furniture. Get the dimensions of the rooms in your new home and draw out a sketch of where you want to put each piece. This will help you get a clear idea of what will fit, so you know what to keep.

3. Decide who gets the extra things.

A 55+ woman gifting a box of items to a younger relative.

Naturally, as you go through this process, you’ll end up with things you don’t need anymore. Clothes, kitchen supplies, furniture, and more will need to go. Offer them to family members, but you will probably find that you’ll still have several items to dispose of.

Consider donating your unneeded possessions, so they can help someone else. It can be hard to let go of things that have been a part of your life for a long time but try to stay focused on making room for the next part of your journey. Someone will be delighted to find the things you’ve let go.

4. Research moving companies.

Two young male movers in uniform placing a television in a home.

The fourth point on our list of moving tips for retirees is to get your team ready. If you have a team of family or friends who are ready to show up on moving day, that’s great. But you may need to rely on professional movers (they’ll probably complain less, anyway). It’s worth taking some time to find a moving company you can trust.

Ask for recommendations, read online reviews, and narrow your list to three options. Ask them for cost estimates, then pick the right one for you. Scheduling your move ahead of time will take a lot of worry off your shoulders. 

5. Order packing supplies.

A box knife and sticky transparent tape on a packing box.

You’ll need boxes, packing material, and tape. You can purchase these things if you like, which is probably the simplest way to get this done. However, you can also save money by checking local websites, such as NextDoor, to see if anyone wants to get rid of their boxes after a move. People will often pass on their packing supplies for free or at a low price, just to get them off their hands. Another money-saving tip is to use things like towels and bedding to cushion fragile items to reduce the packing materials you need to buy.

6. Complete the change-of-address form for the U.S. Post Office.

A 55+ homeowner filling out a change-of-address form.

To ensure that all your important correspondence reaches you in your new home, inform the local post office where they should forward your mail. If you’re waiting for a tax refund by mail, you should also let the IRS know where to find you. Otherwise, you can update your address with them the next time you file your taxes.

7. Order “we’ve moved” cards to stay in touch.

Close-up of a 55+ person putting a stack of letters in the mailbox.

You don’t want to miss out on holiday letters and birthday cards! Send your loved ones cards to announce your move, so they can stay connected. It’s also a great way to let people know about this exciting new change in your life.

8. Contact utility companies to schedule disconnecting services.

A 55+ woman adjusting the thermostat in her home.

Make sure the shut-off times won’t interrupt your move day. Give yourself a cushion of time, so you’re not carrying boxes in the dark!

9. Pack a “day of the move” box.

A 55+ couple with cardboard boxes in the kitchen on moving day.

By now, you’re ready to start packing. As you organize your boxes, be sure to set aside one box for items you’ll want on the day of your move. Include things like towels and bedding, so you’re not digging through boxes to make your bed that night. Toiletries and medications are also important things to keep on hand.

It’s a good idea to include some menus from local restaurants that deliver to your new home, so you don’t have to figure out where to find food at dinner time. Some people also make sure to include their coffee maker and coffee to make the next morning go smoothly.

You know best what you need, so give yourself the gift of ensuring those things are easy to find.

Let 55places Help You Find Your Dream Home!

Get help from the experts. It’s not on our list of moving tips for retirees, but probably should be. If you’re excited about experiencing the freedom that comes with living in a 55+ community, we would love to help you find the perfect place.

At 55places, we specialize in active adult communities, so we understand exactly what you’re looking for. Our network of real estate professionals can give you the information you need to make a great decision. Contact us today, and let’s get started on the future!

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We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

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