Early in her marriage, Betty and her husband hosted dinner parties in the formal dining room of their home. As their children grew, the couple held extended family gatherings and dinners as well. Over the years, the couple accumulated many treasured items to facilitate their entertaining. Betty also stored her children’s memorabilia in the home along with items that had belonged to her grandmother — ranging from sports trophies to prom gowns to a 1920s set of china.

When it came time for Betty to move from the large family home after her husband’s passing, she asked her children and grandchildren to go through the house and tag the treasures they wanted — items that wouldn’t be moving to her new condo. Surprise! Very few items got tagged.  

The anti-clutter movement has met the anti-brown furniture trend and the result is younger people just don’t want the dining room set. The old china is lovely, but it won’t go into the microwave or dishwasher. As for memorabilia, there is a trend toward storing memories digitally in one form or another. Families today tend to keep what they use, not out of sentiment but out of necessity. And certainly, there is less formal entertaining.

The senior move manager profession is thriving due in part to these changes in tastes and lifestyles. While these specialists assist older clients with the mundane aspects of moving such as choosing a real estate agent and mover, scheduling and packing, they can also play the role of diplomat and buffer.

A senior move manager can help soften the blow if a client’s family don’t want any of the treasures they’ve held on to. They can shift the focus from children not wanting their “treasures” to the reality that an estate sale is a great way to get these items into the hands of those who do want them — to be used and enjoyed and out of a landfill. This often eases the disappointment of the parents and relieves the guilt children may feel.  

Bric-a-brac market. (jochenschneider/DepositPhotos.com) Credit: (Jochenschneider / DepositPhotos.com)

Back to Betty. After deciding to move, she had consulted with and hired a Senior Move Manager. The first order of business was looking at the floor plan of her new home and deciding what would fit. Betty then asked her family to pick out what they wanted and when they choose very little, the senior move manager was there to reassure Betty that her treasures would find new homes.

A move date was set, a mover hired and myriad of other details addressed. On move day, Betty stayed with friends while the senior move management team packed up the things Betty was taking, oversaw the actual move and then unpacked and put everything in place. The packing materials were removed and Betty was called to “come home” to her new condo.

The day after the move, the senior move manager began the estate sale set up at Betty’s previous home. Items were sorted and attractively displayed, photos were taken and advertising placed. Many of Betty’s treasures were sold during the estate sale. Remaining items were taken to a donation location Betty had selected. The now empty house was ready to be photographed by the realtor.  

Working with a senior move manager relieved Betty of much of the stress of downsizing and moving but she was especially glad so many of her treasures would be used and enjoyed.

The owner of Chesapeake Transitions, Marilyn Leek is a Certified Senior Move Manager® who has been providing support and guidance for Maryland seniors and their families for over a decade.

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