“Wow, I can’t wait to move!” No, that’s not what we usually hear.
Moving is stressful, no matter who you are. Add to that the worry about downsizing years of accumulated belongings (“What am I going to do with all my stuff?”) and it is understandable why so many seniors are overwhelmed at even the thought of moving.
Don’t worry, help is out there!
Peace of Mind
In the past 15 years or so, an industry of professionals has arisen to lighten the burden for seniors and their families. They’re called senior move managers. Senior move managers provide move planning and coordination, space planning (so you know what will fit into the new place), sorting, packing, unpacking, settling in, arranging for the disposition of belongings not making the move, even recommending a local realtor and helping get the home ready for sale. This affords the senior and their family the flexibility to be as involved as they wish, while also giving them the much needed peace of mind that everything will go smoothly and according to plan.
Leave the Packing (and Unpacking) to Senior Move Managers
Alleviating the mental and emotional stress that goes along with a move is important, but it is not the only benefit of hiring a senior move manager. It can be a question of safety as well. Often times, packing up an entire house is well beyond the means of one or two people, no matter how capable they are, and it may take them days or even weeks to finish. Their time would be better spent deciding what will go with them to the new place. While a traditional mover is great on transporting items, most don’t have the experience and patience to understand that only a subset of the belongings are making the move.
Not only can the senior move managers help with the pre-move sorting, often, a senior move management team can pack up a senior’s belongings the day before the move, allow them to sleep in their own bed overnight, oversee the move the next morning, and unpack and settle them in that afternoon. There is no week-long accumulation of boxes leading up to the move – which can be as much an eye-sore as it is a safety hazard. There are no mountains of boxes to be unpacked over the coming days and weeks at the other end. There is nothing left to do but sit back, relax and enjoy your new home. This quick transition into the new residence will also allow the senior to jump right into the activities and social events in their new community, as opposed to spending their first days and weeks unpacking and getting settled.
Taking the Burden Off Family
So many times, the senior planning to move doesn’t want to burden their family–adult children may have families of their own (sandwich generation), or full-time jobs, or live out of the area, or all three! Some- times the stress of moving out of a family home is hard on the adult children too–it’s where they grew up! Having someone experienced, and objective, to help can ease the stress on everyone.
What about the times when a senior is moving from one state to another? A Senior Move Manager can help with that too! The National Association of Senior Move Managers makes it easy for Senior Move Managers to coordinate with one another on both ends of the move. In fact, there are currently more than 800 members of NASMM in the United States and Canada, so lining up help on the other end is no problem.
Getting the Home Ready for Sale
Another way a senior move Manager can help in the move process is by helping the senior and their family get their home ready for sale. Realtors will often tell you to “de-clutter” and “de-personalize”. However, that does not mean that everything should be placed in a storage unit. Why spend the time, energy and money on putting items in storage if you don’t have to? It makes more sense to develop a floor plan which shows what you have room for in the new home, which will help you make sound decisions about what to take. The rest can go to family, get sold, donated or removed.
Disposition of Contents
So what does happen to the items that don’t make the move? There are many options for the disposition of contents not wanted or needed by family. These include lining up help on auction, “tag” sales, liquidators, and local charities. Move managers can help with finding the solution that matches the family’s needs.
A move takes planning. And experience. And the skill and energy to get the work done. And, when clients tell a senior move manager they feel better just knowing they have them to help, part of the peace of mind has begun.
And when we get hugs and thank you notes at the end of a move, we know again why we chose the work we do–helping people by doing something we love to do.
by Donna Willmann president and owner of Byron Home, a senior move management company located in South Jersey for the past 16 years, and a founding member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers. Visit: www.byronhome.com or call 856-573-7840