So you’ve decided to begin retirement living at Nanaimo? You’re probably feeling many emotions – excitement, worry, nervousness – and these are all normal! Moving is a big deal and can often be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. With proper planning, your move to a VRS Communities Retirement Home can be seamless and enjoyable.
Here are some basic things to keep in mind to ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible. We’ve organized them into stages to help with your move!
The Planning Stage – 8+ weeks (2 months) before your move
In this stage, you want to begin any “administrative” tasks associated with your move. Something that often gets overlooked and becomes a headache is remembering to change your address! Many aspects will need to be updated with your new address, including your driver’s licence, vehicle registration, voter registration, pharmacy prescription transfers, health card/insurance, internet/landline/cable provider(s), bank, and accountant. It would also be helpful to set up mail forwarding with your past home to ensure you don’t miss anything.
If you have pets, you will want to take them to their vet during this stage to complete a check-up and collect their immunisation records and health certificates. Depending on how far you are moving, you may need to find a new vet clinic. Ensure you have a moving plan for your furry friend – moving is stressful for them as well!
Take this time to explore your new neighbourhood of Nanaimo, either in person or online. It can be helpful to look into what grocery stores, pharmacies, shopping centres, restaurants, and hospitals are near your new home. Explore nearby parks, walking trails, or community programs so you get a taste of what life will be like at your new home!
Come visit Nanaimo during this stage! We’d love to show you around and introduce you to our current residents so you will already know some friendly faces when you move in. You can also use this time to talk with our team and perhaps see a suite that will be similar to yours, allowing you to plan out furniture and storage.
If you’re a sentimental person, we recommend starting the sorting and packing process around two months before your move. This will give you time to properly go through all of your belongings, reminisce, and coordinate what you will keep, sell, give away, and send to the junkyard. We accumulate more items than we realise, and, unfortunately, it won’t all fit when we downsize.
The Early Packing Stage – 3-8 weeks before your move
Packing can be overwhelming – but don’t worry! You’ve got this. Our three biggest tips? Give yourself plenty of time, start with the biggest tasks first, get moving boxes that have handles because they are easier to move.
When in this stage, you can’t pack everything, because you still need to live in your current home! But you can begin tackling big jobs, like spare bedrooms, extra kitchenware, and storage rooms. These are the rooms that typically accumulate the most items, making them the most overwhelming to pack up and sort. When sorting your items, keep in mind that you will have less space in your new home, so won’t be able to bring everything. We encourage our residents to fully personalise their suites (photos, souvenirs, furniture, and personal decoration are strongly recommended!), but want to ensure you are not panicking when you arrive, realising your belongings won’t fit in your new home.
Parting with belongings can be sad, so give yourself time to reminisce! Memories are wonderful and shouldn’t be brushed aside. We encourage you to take your time packing up, using rationality when deciding what to keep. A great idea some of our residents have done is take pictures of special items that they are unable to bring with them, such as artwork from their grandchildren. This is a great way to keep the memory with you while saving space – it also makes it easier to show others!
Gift any sentimental items you are unable to keep to family and friends who would enjoy them. If you have items that are worth a decent amount of money, consider selling them through a yard sale or on an online marketplace (Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Kijiji). You should also plan time to take a few loads to a consignment store or the junkyard.
When you begin putting items that you have decided to keep in boxes, we recommend labelling them with the room they are supposed to go in, along with the contents, so that you can easily locate your belongings in the unpacking process!
If you are planning to use a moving company, book one now. Connect with Nanaimo to see if you can book the elevator as well, to make your move as easy as possible. If we know when you are planning to move in, we will be able to help make it seamless! These two steps will give you such an ease of mind when it comes time to move.
The Final Packing Stage – Less than 3 weeks before your move
You’re almost ready to move! At this stage, you should have sorted through your belongings, getting rid of anything you are able to. Continue packing items into boxes, placing them in a spot out-of the way, but easy to remove when moving-day comes.
Before moving, you should fill any prescriptions you have, so you don’t need to worry about it while you are settling into your new home. This will give you more time to get situated before having to run errands.
Around two weeks before you move, residents have found it helpful to start planning where everything is going to go in your new home! Using the layout provided by VRS Communities, plan where each piece of furniture will be. We recommend placing furniture and personal items similar to how they were in your previous living space to avoid feeling disoriented.
Remember that packing usually takes double the amount of time you expect it to take (sometimes more!). So don’t leave too much for the last week. One to two weeks before your move, pack up as much as you can, leaving only the bare essentials – items like a towel, your bedding, a water bottle, a few items to eat with, and a couple of outfits. These items you will pack the day before your move, becoming your “first day essentials”.
You did it! Today is the day you get to move to your amazing new home. We are so excited to have you join the Nanaimo community.
Pack up your essentials and keep them with you so you can easily access them when you arrive at your new home. Your suite will be cleaned and ready for you, so feel free to move items in as soon as you arrive! Depending on how you packed, you may need to wait before you can access your large items. Keep this in mind when unpacking, making sure you have a clear path to put the large items in when you can (such as couches, tables, beds, and dressers).
Once you are able to get the large items into place, positioning them similar to how they were in your previous home. You can now start putting your smaller items away! Start with the items you will need to use most and the things that are very simple to put away. This will give you a sense of progress and ensure you have everything you need ensuring your unpacking stage will be enjoyable.
A bonus you will experience living at Nanaimo is that you have three home-cooked meals provided for you each day, reducing the number of things you will need to worry about when settling into your home. We recommend that you take time away from unpacking to attend social events. Getting to know people and making friends will make the transition into Nanaimo much more enjoyable!
We are so excited to have you join us at Nanaimo! We are sure you’ll love it here and feel right at home in no time.