7 Moving Tips for Those with Disabilities

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Moving can turn anyone’s world upside down, even when it’s a positive move. For anyone with disabilities, the challenges can be even greater. The key is to have strategies that will make your move as stress-free as possible. Here are seven moving tips especially helpful for people with disabilities, from looking at potential properties to the big moving day.


  1. Finding Your Home Sweet Home

Depending upon your specific situation, it’s helpful to make a checklist of your specific needs, such as:  

  • Is the lot relatively flat, including paved walkways from where your car will be parked?

  • Is there a ground-level entrance or an area where a ramp could be installed?

  • Are doorways and hallways wide enough for a wheelchair?

  • Is there at least one bathroom that will accommodate your needs?

  • Do the countertop heights work for you?

  • Is public transportation convenient?

  • Is it conveniently located to shopping areas?


According to the Department of Justice, the Fair Housing Act protects you from any discrimination by landlords, realtors, lending institutions, and homeowners insurance companies. Anyone implicated by this may file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).


Regardless of abilities, it’s always beneficial to check the crime reports in neighborhoods you’re interested in.  


  1. Select New Healthcare Services

If you’re moving out of your current area, you’ll need to find a new primary care physician and locate all the services you may need, including the nearest emergency care facilities. Ask your current doctor for referrals, refill any prescriptions before you move, and schedule appointments with your new healthcare providers. Make arrangements to have all your medical records transferred to your new healthcare facility too.


  1. Change Your Address

If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance, be sure to let them know your new address. Of course, you’ll also need to change your address with the USPS, selecting the date you’d like your mail to start going to your new address.  

  1. Go for the Pros
    The best tip for a stress-free move is to hire a moving company. Consider using Hireahelper’s moving calculator when budgeting for a move. Then, look for a company that has experience moving people with disabilities; be sure to ask for references. A good mover will pack and unpack for you, and they’ll ensure that your belongings are organized in a way that will make settling into your new home as easy as possible. If moving costs are outside of your budget, consider applying for financial assistance. There are grants available from the Federal Government as well as ones from non-profit organizations such as Modest Needs.


  2. Downsize!
    Do yourself a favor and don’t pack, move, and then unpack stuff you don’t need. Take the advice of famous designer William Morris who said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Prepare three bags or boxes and label them “Keep,” “Toss,” and “Sell/Donate.” Only pack the “Keep” items!


  3. Make Arrangements for Pets or Service Animals
    If relocating with a pet, make arrangements for their travel as well as special care on moving day. If you have a service or emotional support animal, you’ll want to keep him with you during all phases of the move, so make sure you have a plan to keep him safe during the transition.


  4. Pack a Moving Day/Night Survival Kit  
    Be sure to pack a personal bag or box for yourself that includes all the essentials you’ll need such as medication, any charging cords for wheelchairs or other equipment, a comfortable change of clothing, your sleepwear and toiletries, and even a roll of toilet paper.

Never lose sight of your first priority -- your health, safety, and well-being. By following the tips above, you’ll save yourself from a lot of stress and confusion. As you open the doors to your new house the day of your move, you can heave a sigh of relief that you’re almost done! Soon this house will be your home, and you’ll be making new memories that will make all the moving hassles more than worth it.


Written by guest author Patrick Young, patrick@ableusa.info