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Why You Should Hire a Senior Move Manager

There is a new and growing service industry that you probably have never heard of before. Senior move management companies are part of a new industry that has emerged to meet the needs of an aging population.

Senior move managers (SMMs) offer services to help with multiple aspects of a senior move, far beyond what moving companies typically offer. They help with downsizing tasks such as sorting, decluttering, and packing boxes. They help find the right places to rehome your belongings, take measurements to ensure furniture will fit in your new space, and coordinate timing and schedules. Senior move managers combine the nitty-gritty skills of project management with the emotional support needed during a senior move.

If you are facing the prospect of a senior move, for yourself or for a senior relative, you may want to look into hiring a certified senior move manager. Consider some of the benefits listed here before navigating this unfamiliar terrain on your own.

Protecting Family Relationships

Let’s face it. We don’t all have ideal relationships with our parents or our children. Even in the most loving relationships, there are issues and emotional baggage that stress can amplify. Downsizing a home that has decades’ worth of accumulated possessions is sure to put everyone involved under a fair amount of stress. Senior move managers can ease stress and support family relationships.

It’s an uncomfortable reality that the roles of parent and child slowly change as the parent ages. When adult children help their parents with a move, they often find themselves playing the role of the bad guy. The parent wants to hold onto things that hold memories, and the children, knowing there will be limited space in the new place, find themselves constantly saying no—similar to role they play with their children. Having these conversations over and over can be a constant reminder to the parent that they are becoming more dependent on their children. It’s a recipe for quite a lot of family arguments.

When senior move managers are involved, some of that friction goes away. The onus of being the bad guy is lifted from the adult children, and they can get back to being supportive of their parents. Parents are often more likely to say yes to an SMM than to their children (and to be happy with the results).

The Emotional Aspects of Downsizing

The senior move management industry formed their trade organization, National Association of Senior Move Managers, because they recognized that senior moving was a different experience than other kinds of moves. These weren’t moves that were inspired by relocating for work or needing more space for a growing family. The experience of leaving behind a home that took decades to create is an extremely emotional one.

Many people facing a senior move have likely experienced a great deal of loss at this point in their lives. The people connected with many of their possessions may be gone. The children whose drawings are collected in boxes are now grown and possibly far away. Parting with family mementos is tremendously difficult for many seniors, and senior move managers offer emotional support during the process.

Senior move management companies that are NASMM-certified operate by a code of ethics that includes patience, acceptance, and respecting the decisions of the client. While working with a client, managers are allowed into a client’s private life via photos, documents, letters and more. Senior move managers view that access as a privilege and demonstrate compassion and understanding for their clients throughout their transition.

Lightening the Workload

Moving is intensely physical, something that can be difficult for seniors. Senior move managers help with all aspects of the process. They help with:

  • Sorting items into boxes for keeping, donating, or selling
  • Keeping track of donations and sales of items for tax purposes
  • Packing and coordinating with the moving company
  • Arranging estate sales or online auctions or liquidators
  • Removing trash
  • Taking measurements of furniture to ensure items will fit in the new space
  • Cataloging items and sharing digitally with family members who might want certain pieces
  • Unpacking boxes in the new space

Senior move managers can also help with finding the best places for unwanted items. Whether it’s local charities, auctions, or even arranging for household hazardous waste disposal, they have done it all.

Senior move managers remove unwanted items from your home as soon as possible. Very often they will remove a few boxes during each of their appointments so you can see progress being made.

Keeping Up an Efficient Pace

Sometimes a senior move either takes too long or goes too quickly. If family members need to travel to help with the move, it’s likely they’ll be rushing to get as much done as possible during their stay. This can be overwhelming for the person being moved and, again, can strain family relationships.

On the other hand, families sometimes spend a year or more preparing to sell a home. Adult children who live locally may finding that helping only on weekends just isn’t enough time. If the person moving has a problem with hoarding, all that weekend work could be undone by the next session.

Senior move managers find the sweet spot—not rushing the move and not having too much lag time between sessions. They know the right questions to ask to help people get through the process efficiently.

Getting You Settled in Your New Home

Senior move managers earn their acclaim as “heaven sent” by going above and beyond what you might expect. They want their clients to truly love their new homes, and they do whatever is necessary to make that happen.

In one example, senior mover manager, Laura Armbruster, once worked with a couple moving from a large home in Michigan. They were relocating to a 2-bedroom apartment in a senior living facility near their children in Cleveland. The move was difficult emotionally, as they loved the home they were leaving behind. They wife had a collection of over 35 wall-mounted clocks. It was very important to her that her clocks be displayed in her new home the same way they had been in her old home.

Armbruster coordinated with their SMM in Michigan on the move. The SMM in Michigan took photos of the clock display, carefully removed the chimes and batteries from each clock, labelled and packed them. Armbruster’s team in Cleveland met the moving truck at the couple’s new home to help them unpack. They immediately hung the clocks on the main wall of their living room, using the photos as a guide. The clocks worked as the focal point in the new space, and the couple felt instantly at home.

These are just some of the benefits to hiring a senior move manager. If you’re ready to find your own SMM, ask for references from friends, the local senior center, or check out the NASMM website. You can even ask your primary care physician. Senior move managers will make your move easier, more efficient, and less stressful for everyone involved.

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The Best Way to Rehome Your Stuff When You Rightsize

We’ve all been there. In the middle of boxing and bagging your possessions for a big move, you look around and think: What am I going to do with all this STUFF? 

Decades of memories can add up to a lot of time sorting and agonizing about what to do with beloved possessions. It’s hard to let go of the things that have mattered to us over the years. The good news is that there are a lot of options when it comes to finding new homes for your things. 

Give to People You Know

Most organizing gurus will tell you that when you clear out clutter it’s helpful to have four separate bins on hand. One bin for items to keep, another for donations, another for selling, and another for trash. Before you even start that process, though, you may want to ask your circle of friends and family to see who might enjoy having some of your things. 

Hand off your lawn mower and garden tools to the young family next door. Know a young person moving into their first apartment? You may be able to find a home for a whole host of furniture and kitchen items. A special collection, such as sports memorabilia or art materials, can be passed along to a young person who shares your interest. 

Seeing your belongings given new life with people you care for can make letting go of them much easier.   Once you have some items cleared out, you’ll have more space to pull out those four bins and begin the next phase of clearing out. 

Donate or Sell?

A stumbling block for many people is deciding whether to sell or donate items. There are plenty of options for both, but consider carefully how much time you want to spend on rehoming your items. In most cases, it is much easier and faster to donate items than it is to sell them. 

When you sell your items, you usually get a fraction of what the item is worth. When you donate, you can set the value of the item and claim the donation on your taxes. You may even be able to schedule a donation pick up at your home, saving you the time and trouble of making an extra trip.

Where to Donate

There are many reputable organizations in the Cleveland area that accept donations of household items, furniture, clothing, children’s toys, and books and DVDs. Here are a few to consider.

The Gathering Place, a local organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families whose lives have been touched by cancer. They offer free programs and services to address a range of needs for patients and caregivers.

The Gathering Place accepts gently used household items, furniture, art, dishware, and more for their warehousewhich is open roughly once a month. Proceeds from warehouse sales benefit their free programs. Give them a call at 216-595-9546 to arrange for a preview of your items and to schedule a donation pick up. 

Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity is another worthwhile organization to keep on your donation list. Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to realize “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” They raise money and organize volunteers to help families build and renovate affordable homes. Donations to Cleveland Habitat go to their ReStore Facility, where items are sold at a discount to the Greater Cleveland community.

When you’ve made some progress and are really ready to make some traction on your moving preparations, get in touch with Cleveland Habitat. They have an extensive list of items they take (as well as ones they don’t) that go beyond regular household items. The ReStore takes all kinds of building materials—flooring, bathtubs, kitchen cabinets, lumber—and all kinds of gently used furniture. If you want to know what they accept, check out their list here.

A Word About Textiles

Before you toss your old clothes or shoes in the trash, thinking they are too worn out to have value to anyone, stop. In the past, donation centers such as Savers and Goodwill only wanted items in good shape. They didn’t want to bother with stained or ripped clothing that wouldn’t sell because they would have to pay to dispose of the unwanted items. Now non-profit organizations partner with textile recovery companies who encourage donations of any type of textile, even if it’s ripped or stained. They take towels, stuffed animals, pillows, and even underwear, as long as items are clean, dry, and not soaked in oil.

Textile recovery businesses work with charitable organizations to sort donation by quality. Items in good shape are marked for sale, and items that aren’t get shredded and repurposed for industrial uses like furniture stuffing and building insulation. Organizations then earn money for every pound of textiles that are collected. Check out Cuyahoga Recycles for more information.

Selling Your Stuff on Your Own

If you are willing to commit some time to selling your unwanted items, there are certainly a lot of options. You could hold a couple of yard sales or moving sales. It may take most of your weekend, but people sometimes make upwards of $1000 from a well-staged yard sale.  

There are several apps and web options that can help you sell your stuff. If the transaction requires a face-to-face meeting, always use caution when meeting with strangers. Many police stations have a dedicated spot for such transactions. 

Facebook has a marketplace for selling items and most cities and towns have page dedicated to selling items amongst community members. These local pages can actually be a lot of fun—you’ll meet a friend of friend more often than not—and a great way to connect with others in your community. Just don’t get tempted to buy the stuff other people are selling! 

One of the most popular “letting go” apps is LetGo. LetGo requires meeting face-to-face, so again use caution when making your transaction. You can sell anything from clothes to cars, so it’s worth a look. Mercari is another app where you can sell just about anything. Mercari has the added benefit of having a UPS partnership, taking some of the hassle out of shipping items once you sell them and avoiding face-to-face meetups. 

If you have high-end items, such as fine art (with documentation) or antiques, many appraisers will come to you to give you a price. Cowan’s auctions in Cleveland is a reputable establishment that will come to your home and give a quick opinion on your items.

Do-It-Yourself or Hire a Pro?

Yes, you can do all of this yourself to find the best homes for all of your things. Moving, though, is considered a highly stressful life event by medical professionals—on par with losing a loved one, or having a baby. So, you just may want someone in your corner who can help navigate all the steps of gifting, donating, and selling your items. If so, a professional senior move manager can handle many of these tasks for you, as well as measuring and planning for your new living space.  

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5 Questions to Ask Before Right-Sizing Your Home in Retirement

Empty-nesters and retirees know the feeling well. Your life, which was filled with responsibilities, schedules, and people that relied upon you, has suddenly changed. Maybe you’ve retired and now have forty hours per week all to yourself. Maybe you last child living at home has finally sprouted their wings and made their own nest. You look around and think, “Now what?”  

If you are like a lot of people at this stage of life, you wonder whether it’s time to start down-sizing your living arrangements. There’s a lot to consider—how much you like your current home, financial circumstances, whether another location would be better suited to your life. 

It may be time to ask yourself whether your home meets your needs and desires. It’s an emotional process that many people find very difficult. Here are some questions to consider that may make your decision-making process a bit easier.

How Do You Spend Your Time?

Oprah Winfrey has been quoted as saying, “How you spend your time defines who you are.”  How you spend your time can also help determine what you need from your living space. Use your monthly calendar to do a little detective work. See how often you are home and how often you entertain. When you are home, what do you do in your free time?

 If you enjoy hosting gatherings once or twice a month, then having extra seating is important. If you build custom furniture in your spare time, you probably need some place to serve as a workshop—one that’s preferably not in your living room. If you don’t have people over often, or tend to enjoy a lot of quiet time to yourself, an extra dining space may no longer be necessary. 

Instead of a monthly calendar, you can keep an informal log and track your activities for a couple of weeks. Looking at how you spend your time can give you insight on what’s really important to you.

Are You Using All of Your Space?

As we go through different phases of life, the way we use our living space changes. Because these changes don’t tend to happen all at once, you may not notice that it’s happened at all. Think about whether you use all of the bedrooms you have—maybe for a hobby room or out-of-town guests—or whether you only go in them to clean. Have you tapered off from hosting large holidays or do you still enjoy a house full of people?  Your answers may help determine whether you value having a separate dining room, an extra bedroom, or a large kitchen or not. 

It can be hard, though, to be objective about how much of your living space you are actually using. Try leaving a small notepad in rooms that are less frequently used. When you use the room, jot down what you used it for and the date. Keep track for a few months and see what emerges. You may be surprised at what you find, and this can give you important information in your decision-making process.

Keep track of the rooms you use, and how frequently.

Do You Live Alone?

It’s a fact that many Americans live alone during their retirement years. Of course, living alone doesn’t automatically mean feeling lonely. Some people thrive by living alone and relish time spent in their own company. Living alone, though, can be a risk factor for loneliness

Think about what living alone looks like for you. Do you have children, grandchildren, and friends visiting often?  Do you get out to attend social events or clubs?  If you have a robust social life, a little isolation can be a welcome respite from social interaction. If you spend multiple days a week without seeing anyone socially, you may want to explore living arrangements that have built-in opportunities for social interaction. 

Consider your options.  Senior living communities often have scheduled events and spur-of-the-moment gatherings in their shared spaces. If your child or another relative wants you to move into their in-law apartment, you’ll have companionship and still have time to yourself. 

Living along can be a risk factor for loneliness

Do You Drive?

Whether you currently drive or whether your driving status is likely to change in the future plays a significant role in determining if your living arrangement suits your needs. Living in a bedroom community away from public transportation or a walkable city makes driving almost a necessity. If you don’t drive, many goods and services can be arranged online, but there is a downside to that convenience—feeling isolated. 

Loneliness is a concern for retirees. For many elders, loss of loved ones, family and friends, increases social isolation. Planning time for seeing friends and family takes some effort and maybe even travel. Living within walking distance to stores and places to eat can increase your social connections, which is important for your mental and physical health. Alternatively, housing that includes community spaces, such as senior living communities and assisted living facilities, provide frequent opportunity to meet with neighbors on a regular basis.

Can You Keep Up with Home Maintenance?

No matter where you live, your home needs to be maintained—cleaning, repairs, yardwork. The question is who is going to be responsible for that work and expense. Are you able to stay up with the cleaning—and are you cleaning rooms you never use? Can you afford to have the roof replaced? Are you ready to let someone else handle the mowing, raking, and shoveling? 

Physical limitations are an important consideration when it comes to home maintenance. As we age, many of these tasks become difficult to do on our own. There are financial considerations and quality of life issues as well. Maintaining a larger home is more expensive and more time-consuming than maintaining a smaller one. Senior living communities, condos, or assisted living facilities take care of most if not all home maintenance tasks, which make them attractive options for seniors.

The Next Steps

Only you can define what is most important to you in your senior years, but that doesn’t mean you have to decide on your housing options all on your own. Adult children and grandchildren can help by researching local options and acting as a sounding board. Outside of family, there are lots of resources for helping seniors navigate the process. Local senior centers, veterans’ services, and senior move managers can all offer support as you make your decision. 

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Welcome to our guest blog ~ “The Facts about Reiki” by Donna Cioffoletti

Thank you, Laura Armbruster, for inviting me on this journey with you.  Helping families move/downsize is a major decision in their lives and can be especially difficult.  Whether it’s moving parents to a facility or job relocating, and downsizing it is overwhelming.  Laura, is a kind and compassionate lady that I have known 3 years now.  I have never seen her lose her cool, and always quickly comes up with solutions.  

A few weeks ago, Laura invited me to write about the positive benefits of Reiki and how it can assist you with stress.  So here goes, I hope that I help you learn something new today!

“What is this thing called Reiki?” 

I’ve heard this question many times, here is the answer.  Reiki is an Asian philosophy of stress reduction and relaxation technique for adults, children and animals.  

Reiki is gentle touch over specific meridians of the body starting at the head, working down the body to the throat, shoulders, hands, stomach, hips, knees and feet and the back.  When my hands are placed over the various meridians, (about 2 inches from the body) my focus and concentration are in the moment.  Each meridian receives approximately 3-5 minutes of focus.  Reiki will be received in that area and flow throughout the body.    Some clients feel heat, some feel energy, some fall asleep, some claim they don’t feel anything.  

Clients stay dressed, the only thing we ask for you to take off is your shoes.   They are many ways to receive Reiki, all hand positioning can be modified to suit all individual needs.   The most common and basic is lying on a massage table for either 30, 45 or 60 minutes.   (Time is up to the client).  In addition, we use a zero-gravity chair for those who are unable to lie flat on a table.  I have also given Reiki to those in wheelchairs and bedridden.   

Donna providing Reiki for a client

A quiet, peaceful, calm, spa environment, wearing a headset, while soft music plays, promotes a very quiet atmosphere and reduces outside noises. We also use essential oils.  Keeping in mind the client may have allergies, those questions are asked when scheduling appointments. 

Let’s face it, unfortunately we all are “busy”, “stressed out”, etc.  Taking time out for ourselves is a necessity for self-care and self-love.  After all, if we are stressed out, exhausted, cranky, and burned out, how are we going to take care of our loved ones?  Reiki is a fabulous way for proactively maintaining our health, wellness and energy on a spirit, mind and body connection.  It is a method of “putting the oxygen mask on ourselves first, then help others.”

Over the years I have had the honor and privilege of working with many cancer patients, caregivers, bipolar patients, migraines/headaches sufferers, Autistic children, cerebral palsy, PTSD and much more.  Dogs, cats and horses have also been my clients.   The animals take to it so much faster than humans.  My own rescued beagle will be 16 years old in August.   They told me in 2011, he would not be around much longer, that his arthritis would only get worse.  Here we are in 2019 and he’s still with me.  Hmmm.

Hopefully, I have sparked in you to pay attention to your spirit, mind and body connection.   Remember where the mind goes, the body will follow.   So, if you are constantly thinking negative or illness thoughts your body will follow. 

Think positive and healthy thoughts and your body will follow.   Namaste!!

Donna Cioffoletti, has been practicing Reiki for 20 years, 19 years as a Reiki Master.  Donna took her Reiki I Class March 1999, Reiki II class October 1999 and the Reiki III/Master Class Jun 2000.  Donna has taught Reiki to nurses, social workers, cosmetologists, and various business people.  

Donna likes to joke, “this New York Italian is helping people calm down”!! 

You may follow Donna on Facebook – Donna’s Reiki Wellness, or Instagram Donnas_Reiki_Wellness.  Please feel free to email Donna with any questions or concerns at:  sasyitalianchic@yahoo.com

Thank you Donna for the wonderful article!

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Moving in Inclement Weather – How does it work?

During the snowy winter season here in Ohio, a question that we get frequently from clients is “how do you protect our stuff when it’s snowing out?” This is a fair question for anyone to ask. In the moving industry we take certain precautions to protect our client’s household items when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Protecting the floors is one of the major concerns for every customer. When the crew enters the home to begin the move, they should immediately lay down a layer of floor protection in the entryway. As they progress through the home with the customer, they will create a path of floor protection for each room as well as cover the stairs with rug runners (pictured above).  As the furniture is being moved from the home and into the truck the crew takes special care to pad wrap each piece completely before it leaves the home. These moving pads protect the furniture from any outside elements as well as protecting the furniture from any nicks or dings. Although this should be included with every local and long-distance move, it may be something you ask your mover before booking the job.

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Advice to Declutter and Pack a Home in Preparation for Sale

Summer is a busy time to move and sell your home. With the housing market remaining strong, it is as important as ever to get as much return as possible from one of your largest assets; your home. As moving professionals, our advice is to de-clutter and clear the space as much as possible prior to selling. One motivator that is not often thought about is the price of moving.

To break it down into local and long-distance moving – local moves are charged based on the size crew, and the amount of hours worked, plus packing. Long distance moves are charged based on the miles driven and weight of the shipment, plus packing. In both scenarios, the less weight and less packing, the less the move will cost. With the cost of moving rising due to shortage of drivers, and cost of fuel and operation, this can be a large amount of savings.

Once the process of de-cluttering, or more properly referred to, rightsizing, has occurred, packing of the home can begin. First, plan to pack items that are not being used, and will not be needed. Often times, this can be closets, spare bedrooms, basements, and garage areas. Soft and lightweight items can stay in dressers and chests. The furniture will be either shrink wrapped or pad-wrapped and secured closed.

Group like items together. For example, you do not want to pack fragile china cabinet items with pots and pans or tools. Prior to loading the box, add a layer of 2 to 3” packing material on the bottom of the box. This can be newspaper, towels, etc. Use caution with newspaper; it should not be used on packing individual items. The print can rub off, and it makes for a very messy unpack. Fragile items should be individually wrapped, and the more fragile, the more packing around. Once the fragile item is fully wrapped in paper, its edges should not be felt. Plates, serving platters, mirrors and pictures should be placed vertically in the box. Heaviest items should be placed in the bottom-most layer. Once an entire row is completed, another 2-3” of packing material should be added before starting the next layer. This next layer should be lighter items than those below.

Packaging Materials

Once the box is completed make sure to label it with the contents and where you want the box to end up in the new place (kitchen, master bedroom, living room, garage, etc). If there are liquids in the box, mark an upward arrow to warn the mover not to tip the box. For extremely fragile items or lampshades, mark the box as ‘top load,’ so that it is protected in the move. For those items you need when the truck first arrives, mark the box or item ‘last load,’ so it is the first off the truck. For more helpful packing and moving tips visit www.mayflower.com/tips!

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Tips for the First Day Jitters!

For many of our clients, there is a lot of anticipation for the first day/week in their new home. Much like the first day of school, there are a lot of unknowns. From the building itself, to the staff and residents, this can be a huge change from living alone at home, or in an apartment. We have discovered some ways to help ease this transition, and make it less anxiety provoking.

The first thing would be to schedule to spend time in the community prior to moving in. A lot of communities will host you and your family for lunch and dinner, as a way to showcase their menu, amenities, and community. During these visits, make sure to take a tour to get an overall feel of the layout and key places. When you have secured a room, make sure to travel around the community, going to and from your new apartment. Take note of how to get to the dining room, laundry facilities, parking, and front desk.

In addition to attending a meal, try to attend a happy hour, or other community events. It is a great way to interact with current residents, and feel more comfortable upon move in. Invite your friends and family to attend as well. It is nice to have a familiar face in the crowd.

Start compiling a list of important numbers and facts about the community. One important number is maintenance. They will most likely help with setting up of your TV, cable, and Internet on move-in day. In addition, they will be the go-to for anything in your apartment that requires attention. Another number is the front desk. This person will be able to guide you in the right direction and answer many of your questions relating to meals, schedules, events, etc. If you have medications, the nursing number will be helpful for any questions you may have.

Lastly, be kind to yourself! No matter the preparation, there will be a period of adjustment. Know that there will be things you need to learn, and get used to, and over time you will get increasingly comfortable. Make sure to bring pictures, artwork, and furniture from your home that makes you happy, and makes your new place feel like home.

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We are very excited to announce an event this Thursday, December 14th, 2017 at The Weils Senior Living Campus in Chagrin Falls!

 

FREE & OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY

Come and learn how easy it is to move into Assisted Living!

5-5:30 pm delicious appetizers and holiday beverages
5:30-6 pm presentation by Laura armbruster, Smooth Transitions

Smooth Transitions Cleveland is a senior moving company specializing in household downsizing. Oftentimes, moving can be daunting with deciding what to take, nding a mover, packing and making all the other arrangements.

Our goal is to take care of all the details to help make your move stress-free!

Following the program, we will offer tours of our beautiful campus.

Laura Armbruster, owner and senior move manager with Smooth Transitions, has spent a lifetime in the family business of moving and relocating.

 

Smooth Transitions Flyer v2-2

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Decluttering & Tips for the Upcoming Holiday

The holidays are right around the corner! This can mean looking forward to family gatherings, fun and frolic! It can also mean a stressful time of preparation of your home and decorations. Take this opportunity to get started early, and make the most of your time and energy.

One thing we find when working in clients’ homes is a large amount of unused holiday decorations. Prior to pulling out the totes and boxes filled with decorations, use this time to evaluate the items that you currently have on your counters and furniture surfaces. Next, as you go through your decorations, keep those items that you love and hold meaning. Take this opportunity to get rid of those that are broken and no longer special.

This could be a great time to bag and box up those things that you want to give to specific family members and friends. Plan to take it to the next gathering you both plan to attend. This is a wonderful way to get these items out of the house, and not have to wait on someone else’s timeline.

Winter coats, gloves, scarves and boots can take up a lot of closet space. When switching out to your winter closet, take this opportunity to bag up those items that do not fit, and no longer inspire you. Donation agencies and homeless shelters are more than willing to take these items in the colder months.

Lastly, do you dread finding that ‘perfect’ gift for your loved ones? Rather than getting a gift, think about getting them an ‘experience.’ My siblings and I do a ‘sibling night-out’ instead of buying gifts and the memories of these last a lot longer than a gift. They remind us that the holiday season is about spending time with loved ones, and not about our ‘stuff.’

Cheers to a wonderful upcoming holiday season!

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Rightsizing – One size does not fit all

What is rightsizing?

An out dated term for this is downsizing or upsizing. By definition, rightsizing is the conscious choice to create a positive and sustainable lifestyle that brings, peace, contentment and happiness to your life. For every individual, this looks and feels different; from the retiree that is moving to a smaller, more-manageable space to the young family that is adding to their family. Rightsizing is a dynamic process that should be a constant part of life at all ages. It is a proactive approach that allows for better use of space to better serve your lifestyle.

How to begin?

Begin with an analysis of your current situation and home. Think about the space that you use, and the function of each room. Then ask yourself what you desire, thinking about your needs at this moment in time, and looking to the future. Your space and the items within it should serve your current lifestyle, age, family composition, and activity preference. Once you have analyzed this, it is time to create a plan, complete with specific goals and timeframes. Work to dedicate a specific amount of time per day or week to rightsizing. As you work through each room in your home, you are asking these questions: ‘Do I need this item?’ ‘When was the last time I used it?’ and ‘Do I love it?’ The same questions can apply to furniture or entire spaces in your home. Asking these questions can make for some tough and taxing decisions. In particular, it can be hard to answer these questions about a gift, or a family heirloom. However, if it is not something that you use, or love; it should be passed onto someone that will use it, and love it.

Where to turn for help?

As previously mentioned, going through a household full of memories can be quite exhausting and overwhelming. Do not hesitate to reach out to family or friends for help. The process can be expedited with an extra set of hands. Do be cautious, that if a family member is helping, this can lead to a lot of extra time in reminiscing and recalling old memories. There are professionals that can help through this process, as an objective third party. Please visit the National Association of Senior Move Managers for a list of move managers in your area! (www.nasmm.org)