If you’re preparing to move into a senior living community, you’re probably experiencing a mix of emotions—from excitement to nervousness, it’s all to be expected! There are plenty of resources online and in your own community that can help make this move a little easier.

While the staff in your new community will be helpful, we’ve brought together some general tips and moving advice for seniors:

1. Start with Smart Planning

As you plan your move, there will be plenty of details that you will want to keep a record of. Dedicate a notebook to planning and organizing your move. In addition to creating to-do lists in your notebook, jot down the best tidbits you find as you gather moving advice for seniors. Your notebook will help you keep track of everything that needs to be done and the best ways to handle the tasks you’ve already completed.

2. Visit Your New Space

Senior Lifestyle recommends visiting your new home or apartment several times before your moving day. This is good advice because visits help you get acclimated to your new living space. You’ll also be able to judge how many of your things will fit well in your new rooms. Planning which items will go in which areas can help you prepare to pack efficiently.

3. Learn to Leave Things Behind

One piece of moving advice for seniors that may be difficult to accept is that this process requires a great deal of downsizing. Separate your belongings into piles for items you’re taking with you and those that can be sold or thrown away. Most things that don’t hold sentimental value can be left behind.

4. Create an Inventory as You Pack

Even if you’re not usually a meticulous person, it can be beneficial to be more detail-oriented as you pack. Each box should be labeled with its exact contents. It can also help to label each package for the room or area in which it should be placed. Finally, keep an inventory list in your notebook so you can easily find anything you may need as you unpack in your new home.

5. Find the Best Home for Your Pets

If you have pets, moving into a senior living community may include helping your animals find a new home. If you can’t provide for your dog or cat in this new space, ask family members about caring for them. 

6. Digitize Important Documents

Plan to digitally store important documents, such as medical records and service agreements. Scanning these documents into your computer or a cloud computing service will help you keep better track of them. In addition to ensuring these documents don’t get lost in the move, you’ll be able to access them easily when they’re stored digitally.

7. Pack an Overnight Bag

Before you start packing your belongings for the move, make sure you set aside a change of clothes, pajamas, hygiene products, and medication. These items should all go into an overnight bag that you will keep with you. If your movers make a mistake or you don’t get everything unpacked right away, you will have these necessities easily accessible, which can be a lifesaver.

Double Check Everything

One final piece of moving advice for seniors that often gets overlooked? Don’t forget to do a final inspection. Once everything has been moved out of your home, take one last look around to make sure you and your helpers didn’t forget anything.

You should also check your notebook to make sure you completed everything, including notifying your banking institutions, creditors, and subscription services of your change of address. Making these changes can help you reduce your risks for identity theft after you move.

Don’t rush yourself on your moving day. It’s okay to give yourself time to experience the feelings and concerns involved in the move. Even when moving into a senior living community is the best thing for you, leaving the home you’ve known for years could be difficult. Take a minute to say goodbye before you prepare for the future in your new community.