Archive for the ‘concierge service’ Tag

Do you have an accident waiting to happen at your parents house?

Are your parents climbing ladders and step stools because they feel they can do things themselves? Climbing the ladder to clean out the gutters or touching up the paint is something they always did and still feel capable still doing. Years ago that wasn’t a problem; they were a lot younger and much more agile and steady. But things are changing.

How can you stop them from doing this before they have that accident which could put them out of commission permanently?  Whether it is fixing the dripping kitchen faucet, changing a filter or light bulb, putting in the screens, or anything else that needs fixing.  What peace of mind would you have knowing that Dad and Mom are not climbing ladders or step stools, crawling under sinks, or make many trips down the basement stairs which are all possibilities for accidents.

There are plenty of small businesses that can help you help your parents.   Some of them you and set them up on a monthly retainer, and they will stop by your parents home on a regular basis throughout the month and take care of things that need fixing.  You know all the little (and not so little) do it yourself projects that you don’t have time to do for your parents. Arrange to have everything done without anyone in the family climbing a ladder and taking unnecessary risks.

All you need to do is keep a perpetual “honey do” list and once a month, as regular as clock work; this company would come in and do what is on the list. If the job was too big or more involved then they may need to schedule more time, but for the most part routine maintenance and repair projects that Dad or Mom want or need done are finished and scratched off the list.

Consider this type of service as a gift for the entire family!

 

Some Times I Wonder!

There are times when I really have to stop, think, and rethink what I am about to say.   I really wonder at times what people think about when they hand out advice, and get paid to do it.

Case in point is an 85 year old woman who just moved into a very nice, but expensive, retirement community.   I was called in to do a complete unpack and set up in the new apartment.   However when I arrived the morning after the move I walked into to a wall of boxes and furniture, and the woman I came to help was so confused and disoriented it was sad.

The community where she moved to employs a ‘move in coordinator’, who visited my client prior to the moving.   The purpose of the visit was to make sure that the items that were being moved would fit into her new apartment.  My client was moving from approximately 2000 sq ft to about 1400 sq ft.   Six hundred square feet makes a big difference.  However my client was told she could bring everything, and she did!

The bigger pieces of furniture fit, and were placed in the new apartment according to the floor plan produced by the move in coordinator.  What wasn’t taken into consideration and should have been were the closet and storage spaces between the old and the new apartment and no downsizing and decluttering took place prior to moving.  As a result, when the movers were told to pack everything, they did.

After 4 days of working to find appropriate ‘homes’ for all the items it was necessary to sit down and really have a focused (as much as possible) heart to heart discussion with my client.  I explained that there just was no more room for my team to put anything else.   There were still several cartons of ‘stuff’ that we needed to decide where to put them.     Eventually, with my client sitting on a folding chair in the storage room area, we pulled out several cartons that she had absolutely no idea what was in them.  They were old greeting cards, letter, etc., that had not been unpacked from a previous move years ago.

I cannot understand how someone could tell my client that she could bring everything and it would fit.  Of course my client relied on this advice.   I only wish that I could have been with the client on both ends of the move.   Because decluttering and downsizing prior to the move, would have saved time and money, because time is money.    But it also would have saved unnecessary stress and aggravation for the client.

My advice to Retirement Community move in coordinators, think about what you are telling your future residents about what they should and should not bring, and offer to find them some assistance.   This will be less frustrating on everyone involved in the move, from the mover, the family, and most importantly your new resident.

Go Fly A Kite!

Go Fly A Kite!.

Now That The Funeral Is Over, Now What?

The funeral is over and finally the last person has left the house, the last of the food  stored in the refrigerator, and everyone sits down around the dining room table and looked at each other and said, “Now what?”

For the past several days, actually several months, this family the moment on the moment and that was just dealing with todays problems, situations, and concerns.  With the death of their parent their primary focus then shifted to just getting through the funeral.

This family has several Now What questions to deal with immediately, because there is a surviving parent that has some concerns and issues that need consideration.  So before all the family members start to scatter back to their ‘normal’ life; work, family, soccer games, PTA, etc., it is time to focus on the ‘Now What?’ questions.

Everyone needs some down time, particularly after what they have dealt with, but first question and most pressing one now is:  Can Mom (or Dad) stay in the family home alone, or would it be better for her to go home with someone?  Once decided then you can move on from their.   Whether Mom stays at home or temporarily goes with one of the children the rest of the Now What’s will wait for another day.

Next Week, May 8-14th, declared National Senior Move Managers Week – Find Out How I Am Celebrating!

As a Senior Move Manager, I work with older adults making a transition. Most of these older adults have not moved in 30, 40 or 50 years and need to downsize considerably and the organizational and physical tasks associated with planning and implementing a move can be overwhelming. It’s so much more than just a move when I am helping my clients transition to a new home I work to reduce their stress and trauma that they may be experiencing during the transition.

Mary Kay Buysse, Executive Director of NASMM points out, “Family and friends often want to help, but there may be barriers. Adult children may be sandwiched between their parents, their careers and their own family obligations. For family members living far away, the barriers may be geographic. Some seniors have no surviving children, or their children are seniors themselves. If illness or death precipitated the move, the family may already be drained both emotionally and physically. Senior Move Management has emerged to fill the gaps and to make transitions easier for everyone involved.”

Next week, during National Senior Move Managers Week I will be promoting the value of senior move management and senior move managers’ commitment to assisting older adults and their families, not only the actual moving experience, but with the emotional and physical aspects of sorting through and downsizing a lifetime of memories in the move process.   I have five 2 hour blocks of time to meet with a senior or their family to them develop a strategic transition plan.  If you know of someone who would benefit from this session please let me know — first come first serve.  There is absolutely no obligation!

Organizing Lessons From Ernest and Frank

Frank & Ernest

How many times have we written things down on small scraps of paper and never remember where we put it.  

This is a common complaint as we get older; we have to write things down to remember and then we forget where it is and what we wrote.  How does anyone expect to get organized?

Three tips not to become like Ernest and Frank:

  1. Carry a small note pad and a pen at all time; leave one on the night stand, and  next to all telephones
  2. Only write notes in this note pad; put the date you write the note and put down all important information like: date, time, address and phone number.
  3. When you have time transfer information from note pad to your calendar.

Ernest and Frank’s cartoon is funny but the message is not.  Too many important things are forgotten because we do not take the time to properly write things down in order to remember.

The Anatomy Of A Move #2

Day two of my 30 day blog quest.  Yesterday I briefly touched upon 3 things you should consider when looking and engaging a professional mover to handle the “heavy lifting” that takes place during a move.

Today I want to back up a bit, and talk about the time line of  what and when things need to be started and completed.   Many people feel that selling the house and finding a new place to live is the very first item that needs to be started and completed.   Once that is done everything else just falls into place, right?   If you were taking a true/false quiz the answer I would mark as correct would be false!   Why, because once you decide you want to sell and move that is when you need to start organizing, de-cluttering and downsizing process.  An organized and uncluttered home will show and sell better.  

Depending on the size of your home, how long you have lived in the house, and its condition organizing and uncluttering could take a weekend of dedicated work or several weeks of work as time permits.  This is before even listing for sale.   Once this is done and the house in on the market, it could sell quickly or it could take weeks or months depending on the Real Estate market in your area.   So for starters the timeline begins as soon as you decide to move.  

Then once you have a signed purchase and sale agreement and everything is done, all you have to do is sit back and wait for moving day!   Wrong, you are given a certain date when you need to pass papers on the house and usually you need to be moved out completely by that date.   It ranges from a week to thirty days, and if you’re lucky it could be six weeks.   This is when the true move timeline is important in order to meet all the necessary deadlines.  

Stay tuned as we follow the timeline throughout the thirty days.

The Anatomy Of A Move — #1

Over the next 30 days I am committed to writing and posting to my blog once a day.   I am following in the footsteps of my business coach, Elizabeth Hagen of SuccessPlus Coaching .  So in order to make my commitment happen, I am planning to  dissect and explore the steps, processes, and tips in organizing, preparing and completing a move.  OR The Anatomy of a Move! 

It has been said that moving is one of the top 5 most stressful things you will do in your life.   If you have every moved you will probably agree.   So whether you are moving yourself, helping a friend or relative, be prepared to have some stress for at least 4 weeks, probably more, before move day and a couple of weeks after move day.   Over the remaining 29 days to show you why it may be beneficial to have professional assistance of amove  manager and mover.

The time of year you choose to move can add to the stress of the move.  Summer time is usually when most people plan to move, so consequently that is when the professional movers are the busiest.   Mover’s are usually very busy, frequently over booked, and understaffed.  This is a recipe for the perfect moving become a horror story. 

To help to prevent this from happening you should remember three key points:

  • You can always find someone with a truck and a couple of strong burly men to help you move.   However the old saying: “You get what you pay for.”; is true.    What you pay for a move is very important and my company always recommends obtaining 2-3 estimates of reputable, qualified, and experienced movers.  When you do this, you are most likely to be comparing “apples to apples instead of apples to oranges”.  
  • Again price isn’t everything!  Choose the mover who can: accommodate your schedule and do you need to rearrange your life to accommodate them?   During the summer, the moving industries peak season, movers tend to over commit and their schedules can, and at times do, become back logged.   This can create horror stories – mover’s loading the van at 9 PM using headlights and flashlights to see what they are doing. 
  • Understand that Murphy’s Law can always come into play when you are planning a move.   Remember that house closings can be postponed or delayed!  To prevent this from happening you should arrange to move out of your old home the day before a scheduled closing and move in the day after closing on the new home.   Also remember you cannot schedule always schedule your move only on sunny days!  Be prepared to move in the rain, snow, or blistering heat! 

There are many things that need to be considered and if you follow my blog over the next 29 days, I will give you some food for thought and breakdown the The Anatomy of a Move for you.

Is This Your Life? Three Suggestions Could Make A Difference!

There was an old TV show called This Is Your Life!  Is this your life?

Are you a Baby Boomer, with a spouse and children, work full-time, or have parents and older relatives you are care for?
Are you frustrated that you have too little time to spend with your family?
Are you afraid to take time off from work to deal with personal and family issues?
If these scenarios resemble parts of your life it does not have too!

Many of us of juggling many balls each and every day between work, family and trying to have a life.    When all the balls stay up in the air and in proper sequence then life is wonderful, and we feel invisible.  However, when one ball spins out of control and it drops to the floor, this is when the day starts in a downward spiral.   This is when you could use someone to run those errands that you were planning on doing, but now you have to work late on that special project.
  1. Investigate whether you could work from home 1 or 2 days a week.
  2. Many employers are amenable to 4 day work weeks.
  3. If all else fails investigate Concierge Services in your area, the cost of the service could be less than you think and will relieve a good deal of stress you are feeling.

These three options could reduce some of the stress and frustration you are having.




Three Suggestions for Baby Boomer’s to Downsizing Parents Home.

For years, with both happiness and sadness, parents have sent their children off to college and the children leave a lot of their “STUFF” behind.  This “STUFF” has a tendency to “hang out” at the house for a long time.  Somehow this gives parents the feeling that “The children will be back because they want their “STUFF”
In a lot of cases, parents whose children left the family home years ago – for college, pursuing a career, or for marriage, left behind “STUFF” that is still hanging around in the basement and attic.  When I work with clients I find and I am told; “Oh that belongs to Suzie (or Dick), I have it until they have room.”

Fall is when many of us are thinking of clearing out our gardens and preparing them for winter.  This would also be a perfect time to start weeding out all the stuff that has been hanging around your parent’s homes that you left behind when you moved on with your lives.

Three suggestions on how to begin to help your parents to organize and downsize and get rid of the trash you or your siblings left behind.

  1. Send a friendly little email to your siblings, telling them what you plan and when you are planning to do it.
  2. Give them a specific date that if they want anything they left behind to come and take it away.
  3. Stick to the plan.  When the deadline comes and goes, start the clean out process, and donate, sell, or throw out all items that you do not want or need.
You will feel so much better for having done this and so will your parents.  Remember this will need to be done sooner or later and NOW is a perfect time to start.

%d bloggers like this: