While moving is an often stressful and irritating endeavor for most people, the task takes on a new level of challenge for people with disabilities. Simple tasks like taking a walkthrough of a potential new home, packing, lifting boxes, and unpacking/organizing are rendered somewhere between an annoyance and impossible if a physical disability is hampering your mobility and functionality. The end result of moving to a new place, however, can be exciting. For those with disabilities, executing the perfect move is all about preparation and knowing when (and how) to get some help. Here are some tips.
Finding the right property
When it comes to finding the right new home, there are basically two things you must figure out. First, what is my perfect property? And second, how do I find it once I know what I’m looking for?
Think about your disability. What limitations does it have? You may want to look for a one-story home if stairs give you trouble. You may want to buy a home that has a small yard, as keeping up with a large property could prove too taxing. Think about your financial situation. How much money do you have for repairs/renovations? The more money you have to spare, the less “complete” your new home has to be. You can modify your home to suit your particular disabilities. If you don’t want to spend a lot on home modifications, you’ll need to find a home that you can live in comfortably from day one.
Though physical walkthroughs can be taxing and difficult for those with disabilities, the internet lets us take virtual walkthroughs of most on-sale properties. Sites like Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia are great resources for you. Beyond that, look for your local real estate sites - they may be more detailed.
Consider financial help
Moving expenses add up - especially if you plan on hiring some help (which you should). There are organizations out there that provide financial assistance in the form of grants for some with disabilities preparing to move. These grants can cover the costs of movers, house cleaners, and packing specialists. National Institute on Life Planning for People with Disabilities and ADAPT are two such organizations to check out.
Packing and moving
Once you’ve found your new home and signed the paperwork, it’s time to think about your move. It’s daunting, yes, but it can be managed with a little help. The benefits of hiring a moving service are numerous. For one, you don’t have to risk injury. Also, professional movers can complete a job in a fraction of the time it would take you. Movers have experience transporting large and fragile items, so you’re actually less likely to wind up with broken and damaged possessions when you outsource the job.
Movers are a no-brainer, but so too are packers. Reputable packing services can smartly and efficiently box up your various belongings in much less time (and effort) than it would take you. We’re talking hours vs. weeks here. Just compare rates before going with a particular service.
Unpacking, organization, and settling in
If you think moving is daunting, wait until you get into your new home and have to unpack and organize everything! Here’s the golden rule: unpack one room at a time. You need a plan of action and it works better if you go at it in an organized manner. Complete an entire room before moving on to the next. If you need some help, ask friends and family. Take it slow. You have all the time you need.
If you take two things away from this, then let it be preparation and help. Take advantage of the many services available to assist you. Moving doesn’t have to be excruciating. In fact, moving into a new, more manageable home can give those with disabilities more freedom to live their lives independently.
Article contributed by
Patrick Young of Able USA