Helping Seniors through the Life Transition of Moving & Downsizing
When I work with people that are moving and downsizing, especially seniors, what they take with them and that they feel in control is very important.
I encourage spouses, children and other family members that want to help in the downsizing and moving process to be involved. I leave those tasks for family members who are helping along with tips and information to help them complete the work.
4 Top Moving Considerations are:
1. Time frame
2. Family involvement
4. The person’s ability or desire to be involved.
Each move is different so I create
a plan specific to the individual’s needs.
In this story, the gentleman’s wife passed away a year ago. He decided that he would move to where his children lived in Cornwall, Ontario.
First, we needed to get the home ready for sale. In this case the home showed well on the interior so it needed little work. It was thoroughly cleaned for the viewings. The garage and the outdoors needed some help so we went to work to get that work done.
The garage was full. The doors needed painting. Property maintenance – a large pile of brush needed to be removed plus general yard clean up and maintenance complete. And of course, the Junk removal. I contracted in the necessary folks.
The house sold quickly and then
the call came to prepare for the move.
We went through the entire home downsizing everything including the furniture. He was moving from 2800 square feet to a 1000 square foot apartment without storage or a garage. Almost 1/3 of the space.
I arranged for the sale of the excess furnishings. All items were sold to a local company who arrived with their crew and truck. Everything agreed upon was removed from the home and the client was paid cash before the truck left the yard.
I purged, taking good items to local charities. All the hazardous waste materials were taken to the appropriate site. Recyclable items were placed in the bins and dragged to the curb.
Expired food tossed. Good food items were packed and donated to the food bank.
Frank wanted to be somewhat involved but wasn’t sure what he might do to help.
I had him sort through his personal documents and shred and recycle those no longer needed. Often I do this part of the process with my clients. However this gentleman knew what was needed and what was not and he was ready to let go.
With the master list of furnishings to sell he tagged those items. These were things he could do easily while I packed all the other household items for the moving truck.
I arranged for 3 moving companies to give quotes. All 3 companies were very good but I do coach my clients through this process. In this case he had artefacts from around the world in which he and his wife collected and created memories. The stories he shared of their life and travels together were captivating.
It was essential that all items
receive the best care possible.
The first company was extremely thorough in their estimate. Frank felt confident that they were the one. The second company came in significantly less (less than half). This quote made Frank uncomfortable. To the point it made his hair stand on the back of his neck. The third company was very good in their estimate and there price was 15% less than the first company. Frank would have lunch with his friend and make his decision.
Over lunch with his friend he discussed the process and prices. The friend said to him ” what can they possibly do, it’s just stuff.” Frank could go back to India and re-purchase the items. Money was not the issue; however, he could never re-create the memories of sitting with his wife Andrea in front of the Taj Mahal.
I get to know my clients, listen to their stories and I guide them through a process of decision making in this life transition of downsizing and moving.
I went to work here encouraging and reminding Frank how confident he felt about the first moving company. He agreed they were the one.
The task for me now was to ask if they would match the other company’s price or at least reduce their quote. They matched the other company!
And finally the house sale closed. In this case I had to return the keys to the lawyer before the house closing. I arranged for the cleaners to go in and give the house a thorough clean for the new home owners. I had the cleaning company take some photos that I could send to the client to show that they delivered on their promise. I checked the house, locked it up and then went to the lawyer’s office.
As it was a long distant move I did not unpack and re-settle the new home.
The furnishings were received by Frank’s family before his arrival.
Due to the organization of the pack, the un-pack
and resetting of the new home went off without any hiccups.
“Thank you very much for your professional approach to this massive task, and I have no hesitation at all about recommending your services to anyone planning a large move.” Cliff Cassidy, Cornwall Ontario
There are many considerations involved and much work to be done when moving and downsizing. I’m a big believer that the cheapest price is not always the best solution. Check out Market Place’s episode Moving Day Show Down for a great education on selecting a reputable moving company.