When people think about Senior Move Management, they may instinctively picture old folks moving to senior housing, assisted living, or a memory care community. While Baby Boomers and older people will most definitely be served best by a qualified Senior Move Manager®, their Generation X and Empty Nester counterparts will also benefit from the experience, connections and extra TLC Senior Move Managers® bring to the Downsizing process.
In my Washington DC-based Downsizing business, I work with a lot of people who wouldn’t consider themselves Seniors. Many are only recently retired, or still working. Some have embarked on second careers that keep them engaged and busy, while others have begun to enjoy the fruits of their labor through lock-and-leave or snowbird lifestyles.
The Covid-19 crisis has also impacted people’s ideas about their homes, their stuff, their priorities and their futures in ways that we can’t even begin to process. It does seem safe to assume that whatever the future holds, there is going to be a lot of re-assessing and re-aligning priorities. And, for people of any age who are ready for a fresh start, a change of scenery, or new ambitions, there will most definitely be a lot of Downsizing!
Who's Downsizing Today?
The Upside of Downsizing
For many, Downsizing is a welcome change. There is a lot to look forward to on the other side of this process. Now is the time to enjoy an upgrade in lifestyle and/or a change of scenery, opportunities to make new friends, and easy access to loved ones. Most Downsizers relish all of the new options for how to spend their time, and are more than happy to give up the maintenance headaches and hard work required by a large home.
Unscheduled Home Transitions
On the other end of the spectrum, we hear from those who are going through “involuntary” downsizing. Home transitions generally coincide with life transitions that may be predicated by injury, illness, divorce, or death. These circumstances amplify emotions and can elevate the already-stressful process of moving into a truly miserable experience.
Common Needs of All Downsizers
Reducing Your Belongings
The one thing all Downsizers have in common is a need to process, sort, disburse/distribute, and otherwise reduce 50% to 80% of their belongings. That’s no easy feat: many people over fifty have spent the last 20-30 years slowly accumulating the things they needed to furnish and maintain their homes, build careers, raise their children, and enjoy their hobbies and interests.
Many Baby Boomers and even Gen-Xers’s are also the stewards of furniture, housewares and memorabilia that have found their way to them from either previous generations or have been left at home by their adult children.
Decluttering is always advisable before a move, but in these cases It’s not just a matter of clutter (although if you’re starting to see your belongings as “clutter”, that’s a good sign that you’re ready to move on!). When downsizing, even the tidiest housekeepers will find themselves with a mountain of decisions to make and a LOT of heavy lifting to complete the task.
Senior Move Managers® Make it Easier to Downsize
Senior Move Managers® are recognized by the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASSM) and are trained and equipped to guide and manage the downsizing process, regardless of the circumstances or the age of their clients. NASMM members have committed themselves to safety protocols, a strict code of ethics, and a dedication to continuous professional development. Find a NASMM Professional Move Manager here.
Anyone approaching a complex move will benefit from types of services and protocols that are in place for senior moves. Plus, each Senior Move Manager® brings a wealth of personal experience and resources to make home transitions go smoothly for people of all ages.
We set you on a reliable path.
We’ve done this before (and very recently!). We can anticipate the challenges you’ll face. We also listen to your concerns to help you predict and prevent obstacles that are specific to your situation.
You don’t have to start from scratch. As your dedicated move manager, we offer direct recommendations and rely on tried-and-true tools and resources to jump-start your progress.
We know what you’re going through. Senior Move Managers® recognize that overwhelming emotions, life changes and family conflict can complicate a downsizing move. We offer moving survival strategies and patient, compassionate support for those facing complicated situations.
We help you streamline decision-making.
Senior Move Managers® offer the benefit of hindsight. Having counseled many before you, we identify the decisions that will have the biggest impact on your move, and eliminate worry about the small stuff.
We’re good at visualizing what will fit in your new place and what you’ll need to be comfortable. We help you make practical decisions about the items you want to take with you.
We’ll keep you on track and on task, and serve as a voice of reason throughout the process. Senior Move Managers® have access to the latest thinking and industry solutions to help people going through the same experience.
We put you in touch with the most appropriate services.
Downsizing the family home is a huge undertaking. Depending on the complexity of your situation, the process may require involvement from dozens of people or businesses to provide all of the necessary services. We help you identify the things you can do yourself and make a plan for who will do everything else.
You’ll likely need specialized and niche services that are not commonly known or easily found. We can put you in touch with local resources for:
- Expert evaluation of art, jewelry, furnishings and other collections.
- Creative ways to market your estate items, manage disbursal to family members, or arrange for specialty donations.
- Sorting and digital preservation and storage of important documents, records, files and photos.
- Preservation and storage of family history items and memorabilia.
- Specialty services for disposal of high volume or heavy items, automobiles, hazardous materials, etc.
We help you avoid common costly mistakes.
We recommended actions to avoid common pitfalls such as:
- Underestimating the time, energy and strength it takes to get things done.
- Choosing the wrong moving company or skimping on insurance coverage.
- Taking too many items with you.
- Mental and physical exhaustion, or injury caused by trying to do everything yourself.
- Failing to plan for unpacking and setup.
Regardless of your age, It's important to have someone in your corner who knows you, understands your situation, and has a handle on your Downsizing plan from start to finish.
Senior Move Managers® go to great lengths to find the perfect solution for their clients’ exact needs. The efficiency, experience and empathy they bring to the project can save time, energy, and unnecessary worry during a process that is already notoriously stressful.