Creating a Stress-Free Move Day, as a Senior: Your Essential Checklist

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/clothes-and-assorted-things-in-a-suitcase-8212224/
A "go-bag" for moving day! A small suitcase is open on a brightly lit bed. It is packed neatly, everything has a place and is easy to find.

Moving day can be both exciting and stressful, especially for seniors who are downsizing to their new space. However, with proper planning and the assistance of a reliable senior moving company, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free moving experience.

Here is our essential checklist to help you stay organized and alleviate any moving day worries, tuned to the unique needs of senior clients. 

1. Research and Hire a Trusted Moving Company:

Start your moving journey by researching and hiring a reputable moving company that specializes in senior moving services. Look for experienced movers who understand the unique needs and concerns of seniors.  For example, Darling Solutions is dedicated to making senior moves as seamless as possible with our extensive experience and client-focused approach. Once you’ve selected a few moving companies, schedule an appointment to discuss your specific requirements and get an accurate estimate. 

2. Create a Moving Timeline:

To ensure a well-organized move, create a detailed moving timeline (your mover may do this for you, depending on what kind of services you are interested in).

Start by determining your moving date with your movers, and work backward to allocate time for packing, organizing, and other necessary tasks. Break down your timeline into manageable tasks for each day or week leading up to the move. This approach will help you stay on track and avoid any last-minute chaos.

(Note: manageable means manageable for you. If you know you won’t or can’t do 30-minutes of move preparations a day, try starting with just five minutes and see how you feel. You might surprise yourself!)

3. Declutter and Downsize:

Downsizing is an integral part of the moving process, especially for seniors moving to apartments or residences. Take this as an opportunity to declutter and let go of items you no longer need or have space for. We suggest sorting through your belongings room by room, and categorizing them into keep, donate, sell, or discard piles. Working in short time frames is less mentally exhausting when you are making a lot of choices – a short timer on your phone or alarm clock is a great tool for this!

If you feel overwhelmed, there are companies that can help with this process! Darling Solutions can assist by providing guidance and support to help you make informed decisions about your belongings, and then doing the physical work of packing and removing the items for dispersal. Out of sight, out of mind is a saying for a good reason!

4. Organize and Label Boxes:

As you pack your belongings, ensure that you stay organized by labeling each box with an idea of its contents, and the room it belongs to. You don’t have to list each item, but you need to have an idea of what’s in the box. This step will make unpacking much more manageable.

Additionally, consider creating a “priority box” containing essentials like medications, toiletries, bedding, and a few kitchen essentials. Label it very clearly (you could tape a sticky-note-to the box, or some other obvious markings), and ensure it’s put into either your personal vehicle, or is amongst the last items onto the moving truck. This box will help you settle in unbelievably quickly upon arrival at your new home, especially if you are unpacking yourself.

(Snacks and celebratory drinks are a nice touch too, in our opinion – give yourself a treat once the move is over!)

5. Notify Relevant Parties:

Be proactive about your change of address – remember to inform important parties promptly. Notify your utilities, healthcare professionals, financial institutions, and any other relevant parties well in advance of your move. This  will help ensure a seamless transition without any disruption to essential services.

If you’re in Ottawa, you can pay Canada Post to forward your mail to your new address while you get everything sorted out – it’s worth looking into!

6. Coordinate with the Moving Company Before Move Day:

Doing this in advance makes sense, right? Everyone needs to be on the same page for moving day to be as stress-free as possible! Communicate with your chosen moving company to finalize logistics before moving day – confirm the services they’ll provide, the address they will arrive to, and the time of arrival. 

You should also provide them with detailed instructions about your new home, including any access restrictions or special considerations like elevators, stair lifts, and parking restrictions. Some companies (like us!) will look after making those reservations for you, but it’s not the kind of detail that you want to work out on the big day.

7. Take Care of Yourself:

Moving day can be physically and emotionally draining, so make sure to prioritize self-care. Stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and have a nutritious meal to maintain your energy levels. If possible, consider asking a friend or family member to be with you during the moving process for support and companionship.

You should also make sure you have a “go-bag” for moving day with your essentials. This would be your wallet, keys (to both dwellings!), medications, glasses, hearing aids and other medical assistive devices, chequebook, passport and other ID, sensitive documents, and your cell phone and charger.

By following this essential checklist and entrusting reputable senior moving services with your move, you can start your new chapter on a positive note. Remember to plan ahead, stay organized, and take care of yourself throughout the process. Happy moving!

If this all sounds like a lot of planning, we’ve got you covered. Let us take the lead – we’ve been planning senior moves all over Ottawa for more than 10 years running, and our reputation is stellar! Click here to contact us for more information. 

Darling Solutions branded moving truck, backed into a long driveway with a ramp leading to the ground. The grass is a vibrant green.
What your friends Say


Dave Tod
Positive: Professionalism
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We used Darling to move my parents into the Redwoods September 1, 2020. The pre move consultation went smoothly as did the prepacking and on moving day the guys showed up on time and finished on time. I was greeted by name so that was a nice bonus. The team wore uniforms – a nice touch of professionalism.

The team knew where to park and the layout of both buildings – again good research. And although I was not present for the off loading it went smoothly as well. All of the team showed expertise and an understanding of the complexities of dealing with elderly people and their families.

We would definitely recommend them!
Pierre Sabourin
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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What a fantastic group of Professionals I have nothing but amazing things to say. They helped keep my parents positive in this huge transition into their new home.

This in my opinion is service the way it’s supposed to be. I love you all thank you so so much
Janet Smith
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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I have dealt with Darling Solutions to move my Dad from his home to a retirement residence twice and now as an estate move. All the staff are very helpful and professional. The first move I decided to do the unpacking myself but the second time I had them do the unpacking and placing of everything. They did a phenomenal job at placing the furniture, hanging pictures etc. The last move they delivered furniture donations to Mathew House for me also took things to Value Village and disposed of anything of no value and delivered what was coming to my home. They even moved a piece of furniture from my den to my basement as it was being replaced by a desk from my Dad.

I would definitely recommend Darling Solutions for your moving needs.
G Green
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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We are deeply appreciative of the work done by the Darling team, during a stressful time. Prospective clients can have full confidence in their services, from first contact, to final billing. We especially enjoyed working with the packers (who also set up and help to stage at the destination) and the movers. They were fast, friendly, and very good at their jobs. Big thanks to Julie, Kelly H, Dan, and Yan.
John O'Halloran
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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After 37 years military service and countless moves my recent move with Darling Solutions was the most professional, efficient, cost effective, caring and competent moving company I encountered. Darling handled my furniture and effects as if it were their own. Paul and Aimee were most efficient and careful packers. The entire team, under Paul as Team Leader, were so proficient, friendly and professional that my son gave them all a tip. I had a fantastic downsizing move. Customer service was top drawer. My move with Darling was painless. Darling looked after all my moving requirements in the most professional and caring manner. I was not disappointed when I selected Darling Solutions as my mover. John F. O'Halloran
Sarah Boyd
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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I appreciate the overall care and attention Darling Solutions gave to my mother's move from her house to a retirement home. They provided their services for the initial move to the retirement home, staging when her house went up for sale and removal and dispersement services when her house sold. Communication with staff was always polite and courteous.In addition, Darling Solutions pricing is very reasonable. I am so thankful we had the good fortune of finding them. I can't recommend them more highly!
Ellen Garmaise
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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Darling Solutions handled our large move faultlessly, from decluttering to packing to moving to unpacking. Everything that was promised was delivered. Over six days we got to know many of the staff members, and appreciated their support and suggestions. They were always good humoured with us and with each other. The office staff was unfailingly available, reliable and helpful. We were delighted with the service and would recommend them without hesitation to anyone.
Margot Laporte
Positive: Professionalism, Responsiveness
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We used Darling Solutions to pack up and move my elderly parents from their home of 35 years to live with family 3 hours away. They customized their services to meet our particular needs. Every aspect of the service provided was fantastic. All the involved staff were so professional and efficient. They made what was expected to be a stressful time so much easier. Highly recommend this company.
Flora Knight
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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I used Darling Solutions for my move which required downsizing from a house to an apartment. They did a fantastic job and relieved me of all the stress involved in such a move. They also moved and setup my personal belongings and other items into my new apartment. I highly recommend Darling Solutions for your next move.
Shawn Ladd
Positive: Professionalism, Responsiveness
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Kelly Darling and her crew have moved my aging parents twice now. They are discreet, considerate, careful, and do complete work.
Andre Cousineau
Positive: Professionalism, Value
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Best movers we ever had. Ian, Colton, Tim, and Yan, did a great job. Every piece of furniture was carefully wrapped and unwrapped when we reached our destination. First time we move and not a stick of furniture was damaged. Great job guys!
Clarissa Brocklehurst
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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We were so, so pleased with the services of the Darling moving team. Liam and Jon were efficient, kind, polite and caring. They were a pleasure to have in the house and quickly put our minds at rest about the move – they got everything done and were unfailingly cheerful and positive.
Kimberly Irwin
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Darling Solutions made a very difficult life transition for our family as smooth as could be hoped for. With 3 siblings, a dad with severe dementia and a mother not wanting to leave the home we grew up in and all the memories that were so hard to let go - it took a special person to navigate this.

Kelly's team displayed the same mindfulness, caring and compassion on the job as she did during the initial consult. We are grateful to your company for helping us through this. Thank you
Chris Jackson
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The best moving company I have ever dealt with, all their crew is very professional, friendly and very hard working.

I highly recommend Darling Solutions to anyone.
Robert Cope
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My wife and I have moved more than a dozen times over the years – this was the very best! Very professional, efficient and capable. Despite some challenges at move-in including a torrential downpour, the crew (Kelly (the boss herself), Ian, Rob, Julie, Susan and David were upbeat, considerate and responsive. Special mention to Susan – a human dynamo – involved from beginning to end including making up our bed! Charges were in line with the estimate
Bill Tomes
Positive: Responsiveness
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I recently moved my mother to an assisted living facility and was recommended Darling Solutions for the move. Their name should be Guardian Angels. They took care of all needs and made my life so much easier. I live in Toronto and was managing this move in Ottawa. I had to rely on trust and reputation. Boy did they come through for me. Every service I needed they provided. The entire process from start to finish was done with accuracy and professionalism not to mention with heart when dealing with someone with dementia. I will definitely recommend Darling Solutions for any move involving an elderly person if you want a team that gets the job done with compassion!
Brendan Gleeson
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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Darling Solutions ensured that our whole move process was completed thoughtfully, professionally and at a very reasonable price. From the assessor to the movers themselves, it was obvious that this whole company believed in excellent customer service. I would refer them to anyone who needed good and reliable moving services.
Marjorie Harvey
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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Ten years ago, Kelly, Founder and Director of Darling Solutions, helped us move from our house to a condo with the help of a very small team. We could not have done it without them. We are delighted to see how Kelly’s business and team have grown into a sizable organization. We did not hesitate to ask her to help us with our recent move, from condo to retirement residence.

Again, we could not have done it without them! From decluttering and packing our condo to moving and setting us up in our new home, every member of the team was hardworking, helpful, warm and extremely competent. Their attention to detail in setting up our new place was remarkable. Honourable mention to the whole team: Kelly, Shawn, Ian, Phyllis, Barb M., Barb Y. Jack, Susan, Glen and Paul. Barb M., our team leader, and Ruth, in the office, were particularly good at calming a nervous client.

We recommend Darling Solutions without reservation. We can’t thank them enough.

Marj and Weldon
Susanne Cork
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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We recently engaged Darling Movers to move my Mother from one Senior's residence to another. This move also required a secondary stop to pick up some additional items and then move everything into her new home. I cannot say enough about the professionalism of the Darling team. Right from the first phone call, we knew we were in good hands. The team was so gracious handling my Mother's questions and anxiety about making a move at 93! The quotation we received was very reasonable with no surprises or hidden charges along the way, and everything was accomplished with great efficiency and care. I will be recommending Darling Movers without reservation, to my family, friends and colleagues - this was by far the most worry free move we have made, and we will certainly be engaging them again.
Paul Saker
Recommend? Yes
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My in laws were recently given an opprtunity to move into a retirement facility. This was very much smaller than the home they had been living in for the past 40 years.
Adding COVID into the mix it was almost paralysing to think about. After a recommendation to Contact Darling most of that fear went away.
Professional, competent and most importantly Caring.
They made this move so smooth for my wife and her parents.
On moving day they left their old home and at the end of the day arrived in a new home with all their belongings unpacked and arranged. Completely stress and back pain free. The next day Darling took care of removing items targeted for donation and all remaining items for waste.
I cannot recommend this service enough.
Thank you so much.
Jennifer Perry
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I wanted to thank you so much for all of your help with my parents move.

Frankly thank-you does not even cover it. Your team, led by Julie, was absolutely incredible from the first moment we met down to the beautiful new plant for my mom and our goodbyes at the door.

They were so organized, thoughtful, friendly and polite. It was a sincere pleasure to work with all of them. I enjoyed the experience so much I am almost sad that the move is finished but happy that we will meet again when my parents are ready to hang their many pictures.

Again, I am in awe and am telling anyone with ears about Darling Solutions so they will hopefully in turn tell their friends and family.

Very best regards and please send our thanks once again to your team.