Building Trust while Helping Seniors Downsize

When downsizing, getting started is often the hardest part.  When we look around at our homes, we are often filled with overwhelm at the volume of items that need to be downsized, donated, gifted, or boxed up to come with us to our next move.  With seniors, it can be even more overwhelming as the items that fill their homes symbolize fun memories and loved ones.  Deciding to downsize is step one but knowing where to begin can leave you at a loss. This is where professional help can make the task lighter and put a skip back in your step.  Professional organizers are trained and equipped to make the process easier and enjoyable.

Get an Early Start

Having someone come into your home and start moving items around is stressful for anyone.  For seniors, who have taken care of themselves for many years, are usually not big fans of this behaviour.  Developing a relationship prior to starting the work is a great way to get familiar with the space and the client before you begin to move or package up anything.  Building a base of trust is an essential first step.

Start Small to Build Trust

The notion of downsizing an entire home is, let’s face it, overwhelming.  Begin by breaking down the home into rooms with the least to the most sentiment items and systematically work your way through.  Starting in an office or den, which contains items with less sentimental attachment, is a great way to nurture the relationship between the organizer and the senior.  Engage in a lively discussion regarding which items will be donated, stored, and kept.  Through this exercise, a bond and a trust will begin to build.  As the trust builds, the client will be more likely to accept the advice and opinions of where to place the bigger, more sentimental items.  The New York Times published a great article about this very approach. 

Work with a Profession specializing in Seniors

At Neat Spaces, we specialize in working with seniors by helping them to determine which of their belongings is best to keep, donate, sell, or gift.  Assisting clients to feel good about their choices is our primary goal.  As a third party, we can help to see beyond the emotion and give each piece the attention it deserves.  There is a great satisfaction that comes from seeing your items re-used or recycled in a new way.  Seeing items find their new home can bring a sense of joy and fulfillment – that’s the part we love!

At Neat Spaces, we specialize in helping seniors navigate downsizing their homes and their possessions.  Organizing is what we love to do, and we want to pass that joy to our clients, so they have the best experience possible.  We are here to lend our expertise, experience, and loving care. Let’s make your downsizing journey and your new home as comfortable as it can be.

Smooth Moves with NEAT SPACES.

 

Congratulations on your new home!

Are you ready to take on the move? Let’s be honest, it’s not easy to move homes.

SO much to do during this exciting time and where to start?

Of course, there is a long list of jobs and strategies for packing, purging, organizing, transporting and re distributing. The good news is there are experienced professionals available for hire…full service movers, labour only helpers, storage companies, home organizers…US!

 We can help you with any of these tasks ~ More on that later.

Here are a few other ideas to keep the stress levels down and transition smoothly.

Say Your Goodbyes

Whether you are moving around the corner or around the globe it’s nice to keep in touch with the community you have created.  While it is much easier to keep in touch with your people these days, sometimes life gets busy and it’s easy to lose touch. There are plenty of tools for communication, so brush up.

Maintain connections, update your contact list and be sure to gather info from your neighbours or locals that you see regularly and wish to keep in your world. How is it you see these people regularly and somehow don’t have their contact information? Your routines may change with a move, so get their info now.

Send a mass message out to keep your people in the loop. They may not realize your timeline. It ’s nice to let people know where and when you will be moving on and give them time to say their farewells too. Let your important people know how they can keep in touch ~ Your new address, email or if they can reach you online through a favourite social app like Facetime or Google Hangouts.

Make time for those bittersweet goodbyes.

Take some photos. Keepsake photos to preserve memories you treasure. The friends you’ve made, your home before you pack and after, the view out the window, your garden. Although you have a lot to do, it’s nice to enjoy the memories and accomplishments made here. Preserve it for reflection.

Stay Positive

The final weeks leading up to the move will be a whirlwind of activity.

It’s important to stay hopeful and confident. Try not to be weighed down by the enormity of the tasks.

Stay focused on the important things and don’t sweat the small stuff. Work towards solutions.

It may be an emotional time so try to stay constructive, especially if you are easily distracted or tend to procrastinate.

 

End Well ~ Begin Well

Take pride in how you shift surroundings and gain confidence in your next steps.

Be respectful to the new owner taking over the space you are leaving.

Handover the place in a state you would want…on time, clean and don’t assume they want any of your items. Something you may think has value and is easier to leave, may not be something the new resident wishes to look after. Take it all with you.

Make the space clean and ready for the new owner. This good deed will carry you well through your move. Wrapping up loose ends in a tidy manner will contribute to the happiness and success of your move too.

The Rest

Yes, there is a great deal of planning and packing to do.

Let us at Neat Spaces help you strategize and create a plan for your smooth move.

If you think you this will be a highly stressful transition for you, we can help relieve the burden.

Don’t worry ~ Call us.

Here’s how we’ve helped other customers manage their changes.

Testimonial

For a single mom of 3 that has zero time, Wendy and her team made it easy and stress free preparing a home with 13 years of stuff in it for a move. Wendy lifted this task from my shoulders. She accomplished this in within 3 days notice and it took 5 days till completion. Wendy is a miracle worker. I am having her back to organize my new home as we unpack.

Rene Torrington

The Immaculate OPEN HOUSE!

Planning a move can be a demanding time. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

It’s a beacon, a goal and it IS achievable, although it does not happen overnight.

It’s a process & it requires A LOT of preparation. You got this.

Establish your team to achieve success …

Consider

  • a realtor
  • agent
  • home stager
  • professional organizer (this is the best one … 😊 )
  • movers
  • storage
  • friends & family
  • friends & family that own a truck!?

 

Identify your crew to a assist in a great open house.

Decide what expertise is in your budget, comfort zone and your future.

Now, The HOUSE.

No problem!? Plan ahead & establish your timeline.

Allowing yourself ample time will take the headache out of the process.

Once the proposed Open House date is on the calendar, work backwards.

Create a timeline and small goals along the way.

Declutter, Tidy.

The truth is, most home owners have accumulated a vast array of possessions over the years.

You are not alone, but now is the time to review these belongings and evaluate their value and if they will have a place in your new residence.
What will make the cut? This takes time and motivation to be thorough.
Label & # every storage container & create a master list.

This will ensure nothing gets left behind and make for easier distribution in your new home. It will also eliminate the question…”Did I remember to pack the…”

There is an upside to packing much of your belongings now, it will help lighten your load in the end come moving day.

Purge, Purge, Purge.

Establish your  immediate needs and pack the rest to go into storage. Call us, we can recommend the BEST facilities!

Are there family heirlooms to which you no longer have an attachment?

Would you like to offer these treasures to family online with photos and a pick-up timeline?

Clean up all storage areas- Anything off season- pack it up NOW.

Catch zones, give these hot spots attention and change the habit moving forward.

All counter tops, tables, shelves, linen closets, cabinets & visible horizontal space should be clear of clutter. Yes ~ a prospective buyer will look and probably open some drawers too …

Bathrooms, cleansed & sanitized.

Splurge for new hand towels and a pump soap & save their debut for game day!

Bedding, Laundered.

Closets, Orderly. You know these areas will be highly examined. Remove as many items as possible.

Keep only what is necessary for this season.

Front yard, two words… curb appeal.

Sheds/Garage are known for accumulating most of the rubbish. Give them the attention they deserve.

Attend to Repairs.  A squeaky door, an un-level patio stone, a leaky faucet ~ that thing you’ve been meaning to fix, address it now.

 

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Odours. Neutralize. Enough said.  😬

Don’t underestimate the internet’s role in getting the buyers to your house.

Times have changed and quality photography along with timely multimedia posts are key, your realtor should know this!

Designate time in your calendar for a Pre~Open House photo shoot.

 

A well kept, tidy household is what you are aspiring to present.

First impressions matter. This may be the key to attract the best prospects.

Be sure your home is displayed in it’s best light to boost your odds of selling quickly

and at the best-selling price.

Life can be messy and unpredictable. And while you can’t just altogether stop life from happening through this busy time, the last thing you need is for an unexpected challenge to happen just ahead of the scheduled Open House. Try to lighten your calendar’s social engagements & commitments this week so you have the time to give your house any extra attention required. Be prepared.

Open House Day.

Once your work is done, leave the house. Make plans & take your animals with you.

Resist the urge to stay in the neighbourhood.

Clear the driveway of cars, prospective buyers will see ample parking as a selling point.

Upon return, ask for honesty from your team.

Review any points brought up that could easily be addressed before your next showing.

Don’t take it personal. Refine your plan based on input & take action right away!

That serious, prospective buyer will want to come back soon for a second look!