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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)

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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.