June 10, 2009

Thanks for the Memories

This week’s blog is from a guest.

It is not the “stuff’ that is hard to let go of; it’s the meaning they hold for us. My mom had a special way of discarding her items while maintaining the memories and a great feeling.

As the first physiotherapist at the Canadian Arthritis Society when it first opened in the 1940’s in B.C, she had photos, a set of exercise drawings used at the time, newspaper articles relating to the opening, etc.  When it was time for her to downsize, she sent these items back to the Arthritis Society which was delighted to receive them.  They sent her a wonderful thank you letter which she appreciated and kept as a souvenir.

Other ideas :

  • Old theatre programs can be mailed back to the theatre with a note about your experience.
  • Membership cards or programs from past events, associations, and clubs may be of value to the club for their archives.
  • Many schools would gladly accept the history you are providing with old books, uniforms, yearbooks, etc.  and would be very happy to have them.
  • Were you in the armed services?  The local Legion or Veterans group may be glad to receive memorabilia from your time there.
  • Postcards or placemats from restaurants?  If the restaurant still exists, send them back with a little note about your great experience. They may even put it up on their wall.

When you are moving a senior, suggest this strategy to them.  Knowing that someone or some group receives your memorabilia with gratitude will help to ease their sense of loss.

As promised, we’ve updated our Decluttering Checklist to include the additions from this week’s blog. If you have any suggestions we can add, please feel free to send them to us and we will try and post them.




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February 18, 2009


Barack Obama was elected, in large part, because he promised change and hope.

As Seniors Move Managers we work with seniors who are apprehensive of their move to a retirement or assisted living home.

For many people change can make them fearful. If your parent has fears about moving, work with them to put things in a better, more hopeful light.

First, acknowledge that change can be scary. But, also talk about how change can be exciting – new activities and new friends. If your parent has had difficulty getting out for groceries, then living in a retirement home will make it easier for them to have tasty, nutritious meals.

Second, focus on all the positive aspects of living with others. If your parent has been feeling lonely or isolated, a retirement residence ensures there are others around every day with whom to socialize, and activities organized by the residence.

Finally, discuss how living with others will help keep them safe.  Depending on the level of care, there may be around the clock nursing assistance available. Professional and friendly people will see them everyday and make sure they’re doing well. If problems arise, they’ll get help quickly.

Living in a retirement residence does not have to be seen as restricting your parent’s life. Rather it is a way to open up their lives to less stress, and more social interaction.


January 20, 2009

A Moving Experience

When you have a significant change to implement that is important, new to you, or stressful, it may help you to have someone experienced in that activity assisting you. If you’re moving, a Seniors Move Manager can help you with all the tasks that need doing.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers, suggests that in order to be experienced at a task, one needs to put in 10,000 hours. We’ve helped with lots of moves in the last five years, and we’ve put in the 10,000 hours.

We’ve learned how to declutter a home to help make it show beautifully for an open house. We’ve figured out the most successful method to sell items that can bring you a return. We know how to find organizations that will accept those items you no longer need.  We’ve sourced reliable partners to help move your possessions.

Most importantly, our experiences have been primarily with seniors. We’ve learned how to work with any special needs or requirements. And we’re familiar with the thinking and organizing that needs to be done to successfully downsize, especially when moving to a retirement residence.

Most of us move a few times during our life, and though it might feel as if your last move took 10,000 hours, it probably didn’t. We urge to you to benefit from our experience – call us the next time you have to move.


January 7, 2009

It’s an Honour to Be an Estate Executor

The first time I was asked by someone to be their Executor I was proud as can be.  After all, they were trusting me to handle all their money after they died.  But it took my first experience acting as an Executor to become aware of exactly how little I understood about the job. Here is what I learned.

To begin with you have to find the will, handle the funeral and find a lawyer. Some of this may be at your own expense since you can’t necessarily access the deceased’s money immediately.

Then this lawyer will be your new best friend because you’ll develop a relationship while you work on your Executor duties. She will guide you through the process of finding and adding up the financial value of all money and significant assets in the estate so that she can file probate. The lawyer will also help with seeking creditors.
Next, once the court has probated the will, you have to find an accountant to handle the tax filings. He will help to ensure that you don’t make inappropriate dispositions prior to knowing what the tax liabilities are … otherwise, they come out of your pocket.

Finally, you have to handle the non-liquid assets. That may mean selling a house, which the realtor will facilitate.  And it certainly means disposing of all the deceased’s “stuff.”  This means household furnishings, and personal possessions. If the deceased is a senior, that can mean a lot. . The will may provide some guidance on disposal and disbursement of some items, but you may need to find the final destination for items, also.

Oh, how I wished I had known a company like Trusted Transitions that provides Executor Assistance. The job was long, tedious and stressful, and cut into my business, social and personal life.

And this is one of the reasons I started this business. To help Executors with the low-value and high-stress part of their job.

Don’t be like all those people I’ve met who say “If only I’d known about you when my mother passed away.” Call Trusted Transitions to get a helping hand with your Executor duties.


December 3, 2008

Gift Suggestions

What do you get the seniors in your life? Something fun? Something practical? A collectible? The latest mystery novel from their favourite author?

Most seniors have passed the “accumulate” phase of their lives. They have a home, and have the stuff that goes in a home. And many may also be particular about the stuff they want.

I suggest the gift of time. Invite your family or friend to a meal, to a play, a musical performance, or a movie. Invite them on a drive to a park, or through a scenic route.

Or do they need help in their home? Perhaps their kitchen could use a fresh coat of paint. Or perhaps the rugs could be cleaned, or the drapes and curtains dry cleaned. Even if you can’t do this yourself, you could make the arrangements for a professional to do the work.

If you know someone who has lived in their home for a number of years, it may be time to clean out drawers, cupboards, closets, the basement, and the garage of unused items. As Seniors Move Organizers we can help sort through items in these places, and help declutter. We have a Gift Certificate available, to help you give this gift of time.

We’ll work with the recipient for three hours. We can focus on one particular area of their home, sort through their possessions with them, and advise them on the disposition of unwanted items. We could also assess their needs, and provide a plan on how to tackle the areas that need the most work.

It may seem a bit ironic to give a gift of decluttering at the time of year we tend to accumulate, but this gift may last as long as any thing you could give, and give joy and peace of mind.

Give a Gift of Time

Our Gift Certificate is the perfect gift for someone who has everything.

Purchase the services of a Trusted Transitions Seniors Move Organizer to help a loved get organized. Follow the link for all the details.


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