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February 15, 2018

Moving with a Disability: Being Organized is Key to Relocating into a New Home

Written by Patrick Young

Getting settled into the perfect home can be rewarding but it can also be stressful. For the one in five Americans living with a physical impairment or disability, this process can be even more of a challenge. If you live with a disability and plan to find a new home soon, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to stay on track during your move.

Find a Home That’s a Perfect Fit

That little adobe house may look like a dream in photos, but will it fit your lifestyle? Before you settle on a home, make sure you would be comfortable living everyday there. Check that you can reach all cabinets and operate all faucets and levers with ease. Look out for any ledges or uneven spots in the floor that could cause a fall. Accessibility in a home is essential for those living with a disability. If you find the perfect home but it needs some upgrades, know the adjustments needed to comfortably accommodate your life.

Accessibility outside of your home is essential as well. If you rely on public transportation, you’ll want to be sure there’s a bus stop near you. It’s also a good move to locate the nearest hospital and make sure you can get to any necessary medical offices. 

Tackle Your To-Do List

You found the perfect home that fits your lifestyle, so what’s next? Before you start packing boxes, take some time to organize a “to-do” list. Figure out which utilities you need to transfer and how to go about doing so. List the items you need to pack and the ones that should stay with you throughout the move. Think about any benefits you receive and how those may change with your move. Finally, don’t forget to change your address with the post office and any other important individuals and businesses.

Organize as You Pack

Now that you have your “to-do” list made, it’s time to start packing. Make sure you have enough moving boxes and packing tape. Try to pack one room at a time and organize your belongings into boxes so they are easy to take out and replace in your new home. Make sure boxes are not too heavy for you to safely lift on your own. Once boxes are full, label each one by room and even by section (i.e., Kitchen-Cabinet Above Stove). Taking a few extra measures while packing can save time and effort when it comes to unpacking in your new home.

Know When to Ask for Help

Packing and moving can be stressful but you don’t have to go it alone. Having friends and family help can ease the process but your best bet may be to hire professional movers. Moving companies can help with everything from packing to helping you setup your new home. Hiring reputable movers can save you time and stress and can save your furniture as well. Before the movers leave, confirm that all of your furniture and belongings are in the right place, especially if you cannot move items on your own. Before you go with any company, be sure to compare prices to ensure you don’t overpay.

Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself

You’ve been busy organizing, packing and getting to your new place, but make sure you are still taking the time to truly care for yourself. Take breaks when you feel overwhelmed or tired and be sure to get outside for some fresh air. Keep medications organized and easily accessible, and don’t forget to check in with your body from time to time. Meditation and deep breathing can be great relaxation tools when your mobility is limited or when you simply need to calm your mind. You are sure to enjoy your move more if take time to unwind during the process.

Moving can be stressful, especially if you have a disability, but it definitely doesn’t have to be. You can make sure your move is as carefree as possible by staying organized and prepared.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Patrick created AbleUSA to offer resources to people with disabilities and offer advice about navigating various aspect of life. 

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