Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015 -- Whether you are preparing to move yourself or your parents to a senior living community, the whole process can be a daunting undertaking.
To help make a seamless transition into a new home, more Americans are turning for help from skilled decluttering and moving professionals.
“As senior moving managers, our mission is to assist seniors in preparing the move from their present home to another home,” explained Michelle Kavanaugh-Anastasi, CEO/Founder of Organize Senior Moves, which offers a full range of senior relocation services. “Our focus is to eliminate the stress that often accompanies this task.”
Kavanaugh-Anastasi said there are four phases to her company’s role: layout, downsizing, packing, unpacking. The Glenmont, N.Y.-based firm will also contact charities to collect furniture donations, put clients in touch with antique dealers for those items that have a history (but are not coming with them), and ensure that clients are properly prepared to move.
“Organize Senior Moves is with its clients each step of the way, working closely with them to make a smooth transition,” she said.
With fall underway, now is a perfect time to take a look around the house at areas that could use some downsizing.
“Begin in the areas that you are in every day — your kitchen, living room and your bedroom,” she explained. "Take a couple of hours to give a closet a good clean out. Empty out a kitchen cabinet or two and assess the contents. Anything that you have not used in more than two years is probably ready to be donated to charity, family or a friend.
“Do you have furniture in your home that no longer serves its original purpose?,” she said. "If it is still in good condition, ask family or friends if they may be interested in taking it. Charities are always an option. However, many are often booking up to a month out.
“Many of us are also plagued by an overcrowded closets,” she continued. "Remove all of your shoes, try them on, ask yourself if you still wear them. Get rid of those that are no longer of use. Do the same with your clothes. You will be surprised by how many pairs of pants, neckties, and dates clothing you have. Again, local charities can help. Avoid disappointment by calling ahead to see what the charity is looking for. Often, they want “in-season” clothing. Find out what the drop off schedule is and make a date on your calendar.
Kavanaugh-Anastasi said one area that Organize Senior Moves runs into roadblocks concerns disposing of old paint cans, fertilizers and household cleaners.
"Many communities have fall collections of these items. Check with your local town or city hall to see what arrangements can be made for your hazardous wastes,” she said. "If you have sold your home, ask the new owners if they are interested in any of these items. If you have missed the collection date, there will likely be another one in the spring. Continue to collect those items and circle that date on your 2016 calendar.”
As the northeast heads into its hibernation period, now is the ideal time of year to pare back your possessions.
“Take your time, and be realistic,” she said. “While you may not have a move in your near future, you will thank yourself when you do!”