Storing Your Things Safely

Tips For Moving With A Developmentally Disabled Family Member

Moving is stressful for everyone in the family, but it can be even more difficult if you have a developmentally disabled child or adult in your household. The following tips can help you make the move easier for everyone involved.

Tip #1: Prepare them for the move

It can be hard to fully grasp a move if the person has never moved before. Try and find a way to address what a move is and what it entails. This could include watching children's cartoons about moving, reading books about moving, or simply explaining what moving means. If they seem nervous, ask what part of the move is making them scared. Sometimes it is something simple, like fear of losing an item. Work together to come up with a plan to prevent the fear from occurring or to otherwise set them at ease. This helps them feel more empowered during the move.

Tip #2: Involve them in the process

It's not uncommon to have movers come in and pack everything for you, but this may make your loved one nervous. If this is the case, then help them pack their own belongings. This increases the feelings of control, which may set them at ease. If this isn't possible, then take a few minutes to introduce the packing crew to them. They may not be as nervous if they don't perceive the packers as strangers.

Tip #3: Keep some things on hand

Even if you are moving nearby, you will still want to take a few items over to the house yourself. Some of these items need to be comfort items for your loved one. Some developmental disabilities make accepting or adjusting to change very difficult. Being able to quickly set up a bed with their favorite sheets, in a room that has a few of their prized belongings, can make them feel more at ease and possibly prevent meltdowns. If appropriate, consider having them help you set things up, since this will help provide some ownership over their new home. 

Tip #4: Be positive and upbeat

The way you behave can be contagious. Be positive about the new home and about the moving process. Explain the situation to your moving crew privately in advance. Then, greet the moving crew and introduce them to your loved one. Encourage your loved one to ask the movers (such as  those from​) any questions they may have. A feeling of positivity can help smooth over any remaining nervousness your loved one may feel, and the more comfortable they are the easier the move will be for them.