Archive for the ‘Relocation’ Tag

Attic Treasure Hunting

The value of any treasure discovered is always dependent on the quality, uniqueness, and scarcity of the particular items. Attics have always been the source of great treasure hunts for years, as well as the source of great agony.

For families who have to clear out and dispose of their valued treasures, it is difficult. Time and patience is a valuable commodity when sorting and clearing attic treasures. Care and concern should be given with all items as there may be items that have both monetary and sentimental value, or NOT. If you are fortunate enough to find one or two pieces in that category, then you need to decide what to do with them. Even finding a piece or two with sentimental value only – something you had long forgotten about it — will be a wonderful discovery.

Once the Treasure Hunt is complete and the “stuff” has been categorized what happens now?  For the items you have decided to keep, it depends on the situation you and the family are in; you might be moving so will these items move to new location or will you be taking them to your home? Or you may be staying for a while longer so that will require repacking and labeling the contents of the carton or bin. Be sure to put a date on the bin so you know how long ago you last viewed the contents. Put these repacked and organized containers neatly in a designated space for future access.

Now, you need to take away the items designated as trash, donation, give to family, or sell.

  • Move the trash, if possible, directly out to the curb, a dumpster or at least to the garage to wait for trash day.
  • If you have not already scheduled a donation pick up; do it now.   Move the donation items down to the garage clearly marking them as donations – not to be mistaken for trash.   Resist the temptation of second guessing your decisions.
  • Items marked ‘give to family’, bring them down to an area that can be designated staging area; put all items in here clearly marked with the designated family member’s name. Make a call and schedule a time for      things to be picked up. You may need to make several calls, and then  finally say; “If you don’t come by Sunday, I will be putting them in the trash on Monday.”
  • Put all items for sale in one spot (either leave them in the attic or garage marked sale items). Then determine what type of sale to have.  Arrange for  an appraisal, if necessary. Set a date, even if it is weeks or months away, it will help motivate you to complete the project.

For items that you truly feel have monetary value but you don’t know what it is, I recommend strongly that you pay for an appraisal from a qualified independent appraiser, who knows furniture or artwork. By having an appraisal of the pieces in question, you will be able to make an educated and informed decision on what you want to do with the pieces in question. You won’t walk into a store someday and see your piece (or something very similar) for sale for hundreds of dollars and you sold it for $5 at a moving sale!

Patience, persistence, and many helping hands are the basic elements needed to complete this project. It could take days, weeks, or even months, depending on the level of all available elements at any point in time.

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.

Preparing to Downsize When it Triple HHH Outside

Summer is here and so are the triple HHH’s — Hot, Hazy and Humid, and you are in the middle of preparing to downsize, declutter, and move.   You need to keep moving along with this project so when your home is sold you are on target to finish everything and move without going into total panic and melt down mode.   So what can you do and not become too hot and sticky?

Okay, crank the A/C and put on the ceiling fan in your bedroom.   Pull up a comfortable chair, and pull out and empty a dresser drawer onto your bed.    All you need for supplies are;

  • Trash bags,
  • Dust cloth, and
  • Various size baggies.

One drawer at a time, sort through all the items in the drawer.   Throw out everything that you don’t need or have not used in past 6 months.  Especially the old cosmetics that have been opened and starting to dry out, as well as the gardenia scented talcum powder, and the bobby pins.   For the smaller items that you want and need to keep, use the baggies for the cuff links, the costume jewelry, and other smaller easy to misplace items.  As you empty the drawer, take your dust cloth and clean the drawer.  If you have tissue paper and want to, reline the drawer.  Then you can put back the items you plan on keeping.

If you do this for 60-90 minutes at a time, you will probably be able to cleanout and organize 2 drawers a day.   It’s a great way to sort through all the ‘unmentionables’ that are worn out and should be tossed. However, you keep on wearing them just because!   Only keep the good items that you will use and toss the others.   Donate only good serviceable items, it’s  not a donation if the charity spends money to throw them away.

Again this is a job that you can do in the heat of the summer, sitting comfortably on a chair, and never really become hot and sticky.   Take advantage of this time, and don’t lose your momentum.   Turn the hot, hazy, and humid days of summer to your advantage!

LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP!

Are you or someone you know . . .?

  • Preparing to enter the spring real estate market?
  • Overwhelmed with all that needs to be done to get ready?
  • Has limited time or energy to do everything?
  • That needs help on where to begin, who to call, or how much time this process will take?

If you do, I can help!

During February, I have an extra day to help you!
Schedule your complimentary Strategy Session
to review your plans, objectives, and goals; and I will answer
your Where, Who, and How questions, on beginning
 to downsize and preparing for the move.

CALL TODAY, 508-285-4802, to schedule your
 LEAP YEAR strategy session, and receive:

  • A written summary of primary action areas and dates to meet to complete project on time.
    AND HAVE:
  • An Opportunity to save $75.00 or more* on a WITTZ END service package IF booked during your Strategy Session!                

 

*Save $75.00 or more on a WITTZ END service package (depending on package size), when booked during your  strategy session.  Everyone receives the written summary just for booking strategy session.

 

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 Chapter

Two years ago I helped a family move their Mom from the family home out-of-state, to a very lovely Assisted Living.   They wanted to have their Mother living closer to them because health issues were causing more and more of a problems.   Mom and I hit it off great, and we had several nice moments during our time together.

Fast forward to two years, and I received a call from the same family and things are not going well.   Mom is having increasing amounts of issues and they are having to move her again, to a completely new and different environment.

I am happy that they thought of me to help them begin this next chapter in their Mother’s life.   I am sad that in just two years she declined so much, but I know that I am helping the family cope with the stress as they move into what could be the last chapter.

Winter Is Coming, Is It Time To Close The Window?

NO!  I’m not ready yet! All summer and even through the cool fall nights I keep the  window open. You never know what fresh and invigorating thoughts and ideas will  come floating through the open window and I want them to have a clear pathway to me.

We are preparing to button down for the winter. We have always been able to do
these things and we just take them for granted. However some of us have older
relatives who are becoming or are frail and may not be able to do the usual
fall preparations. Like outside the:

  • leaves need to be raked
  • the gutters need to be cleaned, and
  • The garden needs to be prepared to with stand a killing frost.

Inside the house there are also plenty of things that need to be done before winter
sets in:

  • Pull out the winter clothes; and put away clean summer clothing
  • Donate old, but in good condition, winter coats and other clothing
  • Clear away items that may be blocking the heat ducts, and dust and clean the ceiling fans

Ladders and step stools are not something our older friends and relatives should be
using. They will argue and insist that they are fine, but deep down they are
probably looking for someone to come and give them a hand with these items.

If you cannot help, maybe there is a scout troop or a youth service group at a
local church that would be willing to take on a community service project. I am
willing to wager that the young people will benefit from such a project as the
older people they are helping.

Let’s keep an eye out for our older neighbors, friends and relatives this fall and
winter and give them a helping hand whenever possible.

Are You Ready To Move To A Smaller Home?

  Yeah, my new e-booklet is ready!  ARE YOU READY TO MOVE TO A SMALLER HOME? is just the first of a series of e-booklets. My friend,Fran Fahey of Fran’s Fine Editing my favorite and only copy editor, worked on the booklet and turned it around in “jig” time.

ARE YOU READY TO MOVE TO A SMALLER HOME? is for families with seniors or baby boomers who might be starting to think about downsizing or may have some doubts and concerns if they are ready.  If they are not sure what to  do, there is a quiz and seven helpful tips to get them thinking and started with the process. It is also a great tool and resource for all sales and marketing people in Assisted Living or Home Health Care.

I would like to send you a complimentary copy of this e-booklet for your review and information.   PIease email me at; Claire@AtWittzEnd.com and I will forward the link to you.  If you would like to purchase a print version, which can be customized; i.e.: “Compliments of: XYZ Assisted Living ” please let me know and will forward pricing information.

Is It Time To Hold or Fold?

Just like playing cards, there are times in your life when you need to either hold on or fold when deciding to ‘age in place’ or downsize and move.   Making these decisions are often difficult and can cause people, particular older or elderly people, stress and anxiety.   There are reasons on post sides of the pro and con list to either hold or fold.

One way to decide is to find the pain.  Are you:

  • Overwhelmed doing your everyday tasks?
  • Are you tired going up and down the stairs several times a day?
  • Have you fallen and hurt yourself?
  • Do you need help taking care of personal and household needs?

These and other issues are things older people are dealing with.

Some or all of these situations can handled to allow the family member to stay in the family home with a few changes.  Such as:

  1. Make one of the downstairs rooms into a bedroom.
  2. Renovate or modify the downstairs bathroom.
  3. Hire a homemaker, aide, or a companion to help with routine non-medical household and personal tasks.

However these or other solutions may not take care of the situation or the cost and management of the services may far exceed the peace of mind of moving a loved one to a safe and smaller home situation.   One where they will received the amenities and services they need now.

There is not right or wrong answers, only whatever is correct for the person and their family.   Whether you are holding or folding, be sure to research and educate yourself to make sound and thoughtful decisions.

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!

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