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A Move: It's A Family Affair - Communication



A move is stressful enough whether it’s moving an aging parent, corporate relocation, or moving your child to college. Everyone has their own timing, method of organizing or not, waiting till the last minute and the burden of decisions on others shoulders.


My last several moves were with healthy parents, aging parents and corporate relocation. So many decisions were not discussed with family members and many of the decisions were on one person’s shoulders. As I learned from their experiences, that it is definitely a family dynamics of conversations and ideas way before a move is considered.


Each family especially with moving a parent whether they are healthy or not need to discuss these very important points.


  1. If the parent is moving should they live by one of their children?
  2. Considerations on city, will they be driving, or which adult child live near (reasons: grandchildren, power of attorney, weather, cost of living more adaptable)?
  3. Discussing taking the parent out of the home and community of 30 to 50 years. The aging parent’s fear of starting all over again, not having any friends at the new location, losing independence, fear that it’s their last home and where they will die, and the resentment of giving up “their stuff” to live in a smaller place, plus more.
  4. Should or could the parent live with the adult children? (Mother n law’s apt, apt garage, a room in the house)?
  5. What requests of the parent from the adult children and visa versa? (Babysitting for grandchildren, help pay rent, help cook or buy groceries)?
  6. If the parent is moving out of their family home will the parent pay for the moving costs or will the adult children help?
  7. Maybe the adult children have mentioned it to the parent(s) to move but it’s been an uneasy topic. How to approach the topic without angry and ill feelings.
  8. If the parent is moving, how much de-cluttering and downsizing will they have to do? Who will help with that process? Sometimes it’s left to the adult child locally and it becomes too much for them to handle. (angry and resentment sets in with no help from out of town siblings).
  9. Conversations on letting go of those sentimental items that represented a “family history” but take up room and clutter in the new place and  clutter in their thoughts. Discussions on “the stuff” letting objects, cards, and paper go? What are other solutions?

These are just a few of the many thought provoking discussions a family should communicate together. As a senior move manager we observe and get involved in the mix of this confrontation on a daily basis. From our experience we highly recommend a master plan for discussing any and all moves. Usually one person has to be the leader to bring up sensitive points and issues within the family. Some families don’t have that person and that is when a mediator, experienced senior move manager, social worker, coach, or advisor needs to step in and lead the family to a proactive and positive discussion so the end result is happiness, joy and good health. Especially having those tough discussions on money.


As a side note: Individuals I have moved over the years from 74 to 98 years old, always mention after the move they wished they made the decision earlier.  The process was the hard .

Rita Woll, Senior Move Manager

Get Organized For A Summer Car Road Trip

Gas prices are lower and car summer road trips are being planned before the fourth of July holiday.

Don’t forget these items in your car:

  • Find around the house those plastic zippered bags new linens, blankets or comforters come in. They smash easily and hold a many items. Plus they take very little room in the trunk of the car. Add the following:

ü  Universal car jumper cables

ü  A first aid kit

ü  Flashlight with batteries and bring extra

ü  Insect spray

ü  Toilet paper and wet wipes

ü  Smart phone with car charger

ü  Download the WAZE traffic update app it is free for GPS and traffic and construction conditions on the road. Can give directions to re-route you if necessary.

ü  If traveling with pets – bring a gallon of water jug in the car not the trunk, because the heat from outside temperatures allow the chemicals in the plastic bottle to leech into the water (not good).

ü  Map out where you are going for potty stops, exercise the animals and site seeing. Consider Roadtrippers app it’s free. Or Rouadside America $3 for app points you to offbeat areas of America to view.

ü  Never ending radio – TuneIn Radio app free give you local and global stations to listen to.

ü  Gas station finder: GasBuddy app free.

ü  And of course important documents: car registration, updated license plates and drivers license, updated auto insurance and if you have a paid membership in roadside assistance, bring your updated card.

ü  Lastly, a small cooler for keeping food/drinks cold and several grocery store plastic bags for trash with possible roll of paper towels.


Rita Woll, Move Manager and Professional Organizer

Organizing and staging a home for sell. Part One

Sellers are now awaking and ready to list their homes, BUT the de-cluttering process has them overwhelmed. We can assist with de-cluttering and staging the home. We do both at the same time while we might use the owners beautiful existing items. The not so beautiful pieces we help the owners send to their children, donate or sell.  As we all know sellers bark to hire a professional to de-clutter and pay for home staging because many home owners have lived in their homes for a while and don’t see it “as buyers see it” because it’s their home and they see it as pretty. It is too emotional. Most sellers can’t picture their home as “neutral”. And the second reason sellers may bark about de-cluttering and staging their home is cost to have an outsider come in and “just do it”. They don’t have a clue where to begin nor the time, energy and resources.

Part One on Staging Tips:

  1. Curb appeal. For those who live in the wintery regions, flowers are not blooming yet. Have potted silk yellow or red flowers in pots outside by the front door. It adds color and welcome appeal. Also add a welcome mat by the front. Great for those to clean off their shoes before entering into a clean home. What color is the front door? Could it use a new coat of paint or a different color of paint?
  2. Have slip on booties (get at local hardware store in paint department) in a basket for covering the shoes inside by the front door so tour groups don’t track in mud, rain and dirt from the outside. Or have a nice floor mat so everyone can take off their shoes during the home tour.
  3. First impressions when opening the front door. Smells – does the house have cooking, or cigarette smoke, or pet odors? Are all the lights on and all blinds and drapes open for natural light? Does the home feel hot or drafty cold when walking in? What is the first room prospects see? Hallway, living room, windows outside to back yard? That angle of sight must be open and free and clear of heavy furnishings or furniture. Are the windows clean prospects can even see through them?
  4. If there is a lot of carpeting in the home, have it freshly cleaned.
  5. Pictures of family must all be taken down.
  6. Any signs or objects of religion or politics must be taken down. It is not the business of the public to judge the home for your beliefs . That’s making the house neutral.
  7. Less pictures on the wall the better.
  8. If the home is too beige or brown, add color through throw pillows on sofas and chairs, some art work on the wall, and maybe a few area rugs, if it doesn’t present a safety issue.
  9. Bathrooms – If there is a window in the shower area and a shower curtain move the shower curtain aside to allow natural light into the room.
  10. Remove toilet paper from the bathrooms if no one lives in the home. Having toilet paper invites tour guests to use the bathroom.

Part Two – Cabinets, drawers, closets, garages, basements, yard, patio.

Part Three: If the home is very dated with wall paper and furnishing. Showing homes totally empty or some pieces of furniture. Pros and cons.

There are several reasons you will need our services:

  • Passing of a family member or friend.
  • Final household clean-outs and gettng the house ready for the real estate market. Act as project manager for home renovations.
  • Home staging for active real estate showings.
  • Moving – Just packing or just unpacking at the new location.
  • Moving or downsizing an aging senior parent to independent, assisted living, or long term care.
  • Want to keep your aging senior parent in their home? "Age in Place". Re-organize and de-clutter. Safety is an issue.
  • Remodeling or Redecorating – packing breakables and clean and polish while unpacking.
  • Just organizing need for an extra pair of hands to help.
  • Divorce or separation.
  • Corporate employee transfers and relocations. No downtime for the employee relocation. Getting settled immediately.
  • Digitzing documents, photos, VHS tapes, slides. Preserving the memories.