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A Guide to Moving for People with Disabilities

By Paul Denikin



Moving is a stressful process for everyone. It can be more intimidating when you are living with a disability. However, planning and the help of professional movers make it more manageable.  This article offers you tips on planning, finding the right property, packing and unpacking, and finding movers.

A picture of moving boxes in front of a twonhome.

Create a budget and plan your finances

The cost of buying or renting a home will be the highest expenditure on your moving budget. Factor in the expense of hiring a moving company, modifications, moving insurance, and the cost of purchasing packing materials, and equipment such as bubble wrap, boxes, and tapes.

If buying, consider taking up amortgage plan. If renting, start saving up early to be able to meet all the new tenancy costs such as two month’s rent deposit, pet deposit, and security deposits. You can access financial assistance through programs such as the supplemental security income, Home Ownership Voucher Program, Fannie Mae Home Choice Program, and National Organization on Disability.

Finding the right property

TheFair Housing Act is put in place to protect you against discrimination by real estate agents and landlords when buying or renting a home. While you may choose to house hunt on your own, real estate agents have a network that they can tap into to help you find you a suitable house fast. Besides, you can seek the services of aHUD housing counselor to assist you in the process of buying a home.

The US government requires HUD home counselors to offer their services at little to no cost if they determine you cannot afford the counseling services. They help you with creating a budget, researching resources and accessing them, determining the best housing option for you, accessing mortgages and overseeing the entire buying process.

You want a home that is accessible and adaptable. If your disability limits your mobility, go for a house that has wide doorways, wide paths and sidewalks, and ramps in place of stairs. Or, you could settle for a regular house and make changes accordingly. When renting, check in with your prospective landlord on the kind of modifications that you can make. For instance, if the kitchen counters are built high, adjust them to a lower level.

Create a pre-moving checklist

A pre-moving checklist outlines all the key steps you need to undertake. Organize them sequentially and track each as it is completed. Some activities to include on your list include: create a moving timeline, hire a professional moving company, notify relevant institutions and individuals of your change of address and turn off your utilities.

Find a moving company that works with people with disability

A reputable moving company will take care of the bulk of the physical work involved in moving including loading and unloading, packing and unpacking and assembling items. Whenprospecting for movers, it is best to recruit a company that offers specialized services to people with disability.

Packing, unpacking, and moving

Focus on packing and unpacking the light, personal and sentimental items and leave the rest to the movers. Ask a friend or a relative to help you oversee the move. Dispose of or donate items that you no longer use.

Work with the movers to start packing early. Begin to pack a week or two before the moving day.  Have all the boxes labeled either by the items they contain or the respective rooms where the items are usually placed.

On the moving day, the movers will bring trucks and vans to ferry your items. If you are moving overseas, let them take care of logistics involved in cargo transportation. At the new home, instruct the movers to offload each box to its respective room. Ensure they unpack, reassemble and organize all items before they leave.

With adequate preparation, right resources, appropriate personnel, and equipment, your move will be bearable. Do your due diligence beforehand to find the right home, a reputable moving company, and access the necessary resources.

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