There are nearly 40 million Americans who live with a disability– that’s 12.6 percent of the civilian, non-institutionalized population. House hunting and moving are long and arduous processes for everyone, but for those with disabilities, the challenges are even greater. Not only do they need to hunt for homes with existing accessibility features or room for costly renovations, but they also have additional difficulties when it comes to packing and finally moving to their new place. The following tips are specifically for those who live with disabilities who are about to embark on house-hunting and moving journeys.
The less you have to move, the easier it is. While some people wait until the last minute to downsize their belongings before moving, the earlier you start this process, the more options you’ll have. For instance, if your mattress hasn’t been replaced in seven to 10 years, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement. However, you can’t just throw an old mattress in the trash. Giving yourself plenty of time to dispose of it properly allows you the opportunity to weigh your options before your move-out date. If it’s in pretty good condition, you can donate it or even sell it for a marginal amount, or you can contact a local recycling center and ask about their mattress pickup services. Certain mattresses can even be disassembled and used for compost. From your mattress to your kitchen wares, the more time you provide for yourself, the better you’ll be able to make downsizing decisions that fit your needs, so start the process before you even begin house hunting to be safe.
House hunting and moving are both a ton of work. You may find yourself looking for ways to cut corners and save time– for instance, setting your pup up with an automatic food dispenser that makes sure Fido gets his kibble when you’re out looking at properties. However, you don’t have to do everything on your own. There are programs specifically for people with disabilities looking to buy a house, many of them specific to your area. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development also supplies plenty of resources for those with disabilities looking for a new home. With these programs on your side, not only will you have an easier time finding the property that fits your needs, but they can also help with funding and grants that can help you buy a home.
Picking a Moving Company
You’ve pared down belongings and found the best property for you– now, it’s finally time to actually move! Choosing the right moving company can mean the difference between a smooth transition and a living nightmare. As a person living with a disability, it’s important to do diligent research on the companies available– including checking out their online reviews— and ask them questions pertaining to your situation.
- Do they offer packing and
unpacking services, or are you expected to box and unbox everything yourself?
- Can they provide an in-home
estimate where they visit your home and give an accurate number based on the
belongings you have?
- Do they have experience moving
important medical equipment or accessibility items?
- Are there any discounts available for clients living with disabilities?
These questions are a great jumping off point for anyone with a disability who is facing the challenge of moving, but don’t hesitate to offer specifics about your situation and belongings if you are comfortable with that. The more you communicate with your moving company (and vice versa), the better the process will go.
House hunting and moving are never easy, but Americans living with disabilities face even more challenges than those without them– and it’s not just about finding a house with accessibility features. Tasks like downsizing belongings take more time for the disabled, so planning and timing are imperative. Look for resources that not only help with house hunting, but also with financing your new home. Finally, do diligent research to find a moving company that has experience working with people who live with disabilities as well as their important medical equipment and accessibility items.