Where Are You Moving To?

Since 2009, we have been managing senior moves, making each relocation as stress free as possible. We have learned the ins and outs of what to be mindful of, depending on what type of housing our client is moving into. Many families hire us because they live far away or their work responsibilities make it difficult to take time off to sort, pack, move, unpack, and then dispose of unwanted belongings. They need to get the house on the market quickly. Families rely upon us and our network of professionals to coordinate the move so each phase of the process is as efficient as possible.

Check out these destinations to see how we might be of service. Moving to:

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Single-family home, townhouse, condo, or apartment

These moves usually involve selling the family home and significant downsizing. It can be very emotional, especially around the downsizing. This type of move often occurs after the death of a spouse, which makes leaving the family home especially difficult.

Downsizing sensitivity
We understand that a client’s belongings can have special meaning no matter what the item is. We honor that by making sure their possessions go to a good home—a place where they will be appreciated. It helps our clients tremendously. We also find creative ways to keep the best and most meaningful items and create space-saving mementos of the rest. (For example, keeping three favorite teapots on display in the new home while creating and hanging a photo montage of the rest of the collection.)

A quick and efficient move
For some clients, downsizing is a way to reduce their responsibilities so they can travel. They often like to do much of the relocation planning and management themselves, but call us in for packing or dealing with the liquidation and donation of items left behind. We make sure the home is clean and ready to be put on the market so clients can get out the door quickly for their next trip!

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55 community or continuing care retirement community (CCRC)

Clients who are still able to live independently are moving to these communities for the social benefits and the amenities (pickleball, golf course, swimming pool, etc.). In addition to downsizing and moving, getting the house ready for market is critical, as funds are needed to buy into the new home in the community.

Selling the “family home”
When we manage all aspects of the move, as well as the liquidation and cleanout, our clients are freed up to work with their realtor almost simultaneously. Once decisions have been made about what to keep and move, the client can concentrate on the tasks and activities associated with selling the house and with the real estate transaction.

Custom floor plan
We have been working for years with Metro Charlotte retirement communities, so we are familiar with their grounds, floor plans, and the kinds of belongings people tend to need and not need in this next chapter of life (out with the mower, in with pickleball rackets!). By creating a scaled floorplan and measuring favorite furniture pieces, we can show clients exactly where their furniture will work out best in their new residence. We help clients with sorting their belongings and give them a leg up in terms of planning and what to expect as they embark on this new lifestyle adventure.

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Assisted living community

Again, we know these communities well and work regularly with their move-in coordinators.

Quick move-ins
A move to an assisted living community often happens very quickly. The client may have fallen and broken a hip or had a stroke, and it has been determined they are unable to live safely on their own. Families often call when a loved one is getting discharged from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility. It’s at that time they learn they will have to find a new housing arrangement for their loved one, before the discharge from rehab.

Creating a smaller version of home
While this move does not involve a lot of furniture—the apartments are on the small side—it’s a delicate move. The hope is to create a smaller version of home that the client recognizes and feels good about, with as little stress as possible. The client’s time and energy can be put toward adjusting to community living, making friendly connections with residents and caregivers, and attending to the health challenges that had precipitated the need to move.

Decorating advice
Sometimes shopping is involved in a move to assisted living, because family lives far away or can’t dedicate much time on short notice. We might suggest new or smaller furnishings to accommodate smaller spaces (for example, a drop-leaf table with two chairs to replace the original set that had four chairs), or we may suggest purchasing a comfy recliner for television time and elevating feet. This is where our keen eye for space planning and decorating comes into play. We create a floor plan; bring in photos, artwork, and memorabilia; and order furniture as needed and position it in time for the move-in.

Facilitating the sale of the previous home
After we have moved and settled our client, it’s time to clean out the previous home. If needed, we can refer our clients to a realtor who specializes in senior real estate situations and then coordinate all the necessary activities to clean out the home quickly and efficiently. We will evaluate belongings and make recommendations for how to sell them for maximum profit. For items deemed appropriate for donation, we have an extensive list of charitable organizations that will prioritize belongings for pickup. No matter what, some remaining trash will need to be dealt with, and we handle that too. Once the house is emptied, we provide a move-out, top-to-bottom cleaning service.

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Memory care

As with assisted living, a move to memory care often requires a quick turnaround and a lot of sensitivity for our client and family. Frequently, a primary caregiver suddenly has to stop providing support, perhaps because of a hospitalization or their own health challenges. Again, knowing the communities, the floor plans, and the move-in coordinators gives us a jump on the situation.

A coordinated move for those with dementia
A memory care move is different. Sometimes we have to get everything moved out and set up again in the course of a morning. We call it a “covert operation.”

Odd as it may sound, it is more anxiety producing for people with moderate to advanced dementia to know a change is coming. The transition is much smoother for the client if they go out for a morning activity and lunch with their family caregiver. When they arrive at the memory care community, our team will have packed, moved, and unpacked everything from the client’s house that morning. Family photos and meaningful pictures of past events will be in view. The bed has been made with their own bedspread and pillow from home, and their clothes and shoes have been organized in the closet. Instant home! When it comes time for family members to leave, the move-in coordinator arranges distractions so loved ones can say good-bye and slip out with minimal distress.

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