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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)

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Preparing for the Move Back to College

It’s that time of year again! With many of our clients in the ‘Sandwich Generation,’ caring for their aging parents while supporting their own children, we thought this co-authored piece by one of our partners would be helpful..enjoy!

With the winding down of summer, many parents and students are preparing to move back to college. Whether that means traveling an hour or two away, or halfway across the country, this involves some advanced planning. The first piece of legwork to be done is to confirm what will already be provided at the chosen housing. It is important not to take too much in what can be tight quarters.

Next, is the strategic packing of the car/truck. The first items to be loaded should be essentials; those absolute ‘musts’ that cannot be purchased or shipped at a later time. One suggestion is to purchase boxes with handles, which can easily be carried upstairs. If there is a plan to store items in totes under a bed, or in the closet, pack the totes with extra, storage items. This will avoid unnecessary unpacking. If space is tight, think about the next holiday or trip home, and plan to pick up heavy sweaters and coats during this break. When packing clothes, avoid bulky suitcases, and instead use clean garbage bags as garment bags. They can be used again, and will easily lie on top of the other packed items in the car. Lastly, plan to pack a small tool kit, and cleaning supplies LAST. This will come out of the car first, and be easily accessible for cleaning and repairs prior to moving items in.

Day of logistics – check the school’s website and move-in information about where to pick up keys, and park the car. Once unpacking, avoid making the bed first. The bed can be a great place to unpack items, but could get dirty, so plan to make this last, after everything is unpacked.

If you are moving out of state, and this requires taking a plane, plan to ship items ahead of time. Also, plan to utilize national stores such as Bed Bath Beyond, Target, etc. where you can buy in one state, and pick up in another, to avoid long lines.

Another option is to use a long-distance mover. Several agencies have created alternatives to the traditional long-distance moves, and provide options such as full service containers, and more!

The Student Storage Program    

Since 2014, Armbruster Moving & Storage has provided moving services to Case Western Reserve students as part of the ‘Student Storage Program.’ CWRU has roughly 80% of their undergraduate students living in college-owned housing. These numbers coupled with the location creates congested streets during move-out and move-in periods for students. Instead of parents having to rent a van or truck, we provide curbside pick-up of student’s belongings. The items are inventoried and stored in our warehouse during the summer, and delivered back out when students arrive in the fall.

Whether you DIY or hire a professional mover, we wish you the best of luck and safe travels this coming fall!

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View our presentation about how to get organized and right-size

View our presentation about how to get organized and right-size. Right-sizing is the conscious choice to create a positive & sustainable lifestyle that brings peace, contentment, and happiness to your life!

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The National Association of Senior Move Managers Circle of Service Designation

(Cleveland, Ohio 5/15/10) Smooth Transitions Cleveland has been awarded the Circle of Service designation by the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).  The Circle of Service designation is bestowed on senior move management companies that have been a NASMM member, in good standing, for a minimum of five years, and have shown consistent dedication and support of the National Association of Senior Move Managers and the senior move management profession.

“This special designation is awarded to senior move management companies attaining an elevated level of experience and expertise,” said Mary Kay Buysse, NASMM’s Executive Director.  Smooth Transitions has been instrumental in the development of the senior move management industry and has worked to increase the professionalism, credibility, and visibility of this emerging senior service.”

Fifty-five senior move management companies from across the United States and Canada received the Circle of Service designation this year.  The awards ceremony took place during the National Association of Senior Move Managers 2010 Annual Conference in Las Vegas in February.