Seniors and Downsizing II: The Right Word is Right-sizing – 9 Services that can help
Most older Americans say they want to remain in their homes as they age. Never mind that they may no longer be able to physically keep the house clean and in good repair or even be healthy enough to live alone. It’s what we in the senior move management industry call “possession paralysis.” Just the thought of going through a lifetime of stuff and deciding what to do with it can be too overwhelming to even begin.
Let’s be clear: the word “down-sizing” doesn’t help. As we age, down is not the direction we want to go. As a concept, down-sizing stops good decision-making in its tracks. It cheats those of us who would be more comfortable, happier and safer in a smaller home from thinking of the move as a blessing and a well-earned escape from the expense and rigors of big home living. From here on, say “right-sizing for a new lifestyle” out loud and see if that doesn’t put a whole new spin on the adventure of making an efficient, worry-free and comfortable move.
As we have come to live longer and healthier, residential options for older adults have expanded greatly. Alternatives to solitary living in a home that is more than one can or wants to manage span the gamut of locations, styles, options and costs. Services to support these community lifestyles have grown and improved, providing energetic older adults with new perspectives on healthy living, new friends and renewed interest in activities once vigorously enjoyed. Programs of support and care for more fragile elders provide a wide spectrum of approaches to ensure seniors the care, respect and dignity they deserve.
This is where Senior Move Management comes in for adults in transition. Increasingly, senior move managers are helping older adults and their families with the process of right-sizing for a new lifestyle and moving to a new home. As a profession, we came into being with the new millennium. Individuals and small companies around the country were quietly already helping older adults make residential moves. We found each other online, and by 2002, our “founding mothers” (yes, we are overwhelming woman-owned businesses) got together to give us a name, define our mission, articulate our vision of service and set the professional standards of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).
It was in Houston in 2010, newly relieved of my job marketing the natural gas industry and in no way ready to retire, that I first heard about this dynamic, exciting and growing industry. I was ready for a fresh start and the opportunity to combine my background in human services and flair for interior decorating into work that would make a real difference in people’s lives. My second stroke of good luck was my friend and neighbor, Lil, a born entrepreneur, who knew exactly who to see and what to do for turning my skills and passion into a business. “Just give it a name and do it,” she said. Her encouragement inspired me to launch Comfort Moves.
Over the last several years, we have developed a number of services to help you, a client or parent transition from more to less. All our coordinators are trained Senior Move Managers and stand ready to assist with services tailored to the client’s needs. Here’s how Comfort Moves helps:
- We Make a Move Plan – so you will know everything that needs to be done for a worry-free and comfortable move.
- We Make a Floor Plan – customized for your new home so you will know what will fit – and where – before you have to start making decisions.
- Sort and Right-size – to help you decide what to give to family and friends, what to sell, donate or trash.
- Pack to Unpack – Our trained senior move specialists pack and label for where things will be in your new home.
- Direct the Movers – We coordinate with your mover; supervise loading and unloading the van on Move Day.
- Prepare for Move-In – Line the shelves, hang the drapes, stock the fridge… whatever you need for a worry-free, comfortable entry.
- Arrange your New Home – Everything in place, ready to live in before we leave – just as you hoped for and planned it to be.
- Sales, Donations & Trash – We will manage the disposition of items not moving with you so you don’t have to worry.
- Special Requests – Library cataloging, shipping, shopping, staging the home for sale, decorating and picture hanging, stocking refrigerator or cabinets.
Whether you are an older adult anticipating a move to a smaller, more commodious home or the adult son or daughter helping Mom or Dad to move, you can find a certified (trained, insured and bonded) senior move manager® by visiting the NASMM website at www.nassm.org. You may also visit our website, www.comfortmoves.com or call me, MaryLynne Cappelletti, at 832-579-4363.