October 22, 2008

Moving Memo

At last count, we estimated there are 40 organizations we need to notify of a move. One of our tasks as Seniors Move Organizers is to help make sure you tell all these organizations about your move.

The first organization is Canada Post, who makes the process easy. You can either complete a form online, or submit a paper form at the post office. The current fee for this service is $37 for 6 months of mail redirection, and $66 for 12 months.  After the specified period your mail will no longer be forwarded. So it is wise to tell each organization directly of your new address.

Begin with a list of all the types of organizations from whom you regularly receive mail, e.g., utility companies, financial institutions, government entities, medical help, magazines, charities, et al. Many of these will have a process to change your address right on the bills they send you. Complete the information required and send the change notice in before you move, as it may take a few weeks for them to update your address in their systems.

Check your wallet, also. Did you tell the gym? The library? How about your favourite place to rent videos?

And, tell your friends and family. Consider using the address change notification cards available from Canada Post. It’s an easy way to tell all the important people in your life about the important change in your life.


September 10, 2008

How Long Does it Take to Move?

Remember how your kids would ask “Are we there yet?” about an hour into a seven-hour road trip? Beginning a move can sometimes invoke the same feelings – you want it to be over with soon.

As Seniors Move Organizers we have helped clients move very quickly because of short deadlines, and we’ve worked with clients who are waiting for space in a retirement residence many months in the future.

It may only take two days to physically move – one day to pack, another day to move the items and unpack. However, it can take a number of weeks to get to that point, as items will need to be sorted, and packers and movers arranged.

Even if a move date is far away, we like to begin many activities early. You may want to make minor changes to your present home to make for a quick sale. You’ll need to make decisions on what personal items will move with you, and then what to do with those items left behind. You may need to arrange changes to your new home before you move in.

If you are able to plan a move for a few weeks into the future, you may also be able to take advantage of off-peak moving times. Movers are generally busier around the end of the month. If you’re able to schedule a move for mid-month and mid-week you may be able to save money.

A Seniors Move Organizer can help with scheduling – we will work out how long each step will take, arrange for help as needed, and make sure your old and new home are ready for the move on time.  We set the schedule and pace to meet your needs.

You may be saying “It’s over already?” sooner than you think.


August 27, 2008

Move it, but not to landfill

You are overwhelmed and stressed out by having to clean out the home you grew up in. But, mom and dad are moving to a Care Facility, so it has to be done. The temptation is to deal with all the stuff  in the easiest way possible. You’ve got enough on your plate already. But, I encourage you to stick to your values and do the right thing when it comes to being responsible and being “green” when sorting through unwanted items.

The accumulations of 30, 40 or even 50 years may yield items that are landfill-bound. But rather than throwing everything into a dumpster, seriously consider what can be recycled or reused.

First look at what could go to a charity and benefit people in need in your community. This will include furniture, housewares, decorative items, and clothing. Unexpired and unopened food can be dropped at a food bank.

Worn but clean towels and linens are often welcomed by animal shelters.

After the donations are done, take a second look at the “trash” that remains; you can quickly determine what can go where responsibly.

First, be sure to separate basic recyclables like paper, glass and plastic items. Recycle them in the appropriate containers available for your community.

Household hazardous waste (partially filled paint cans, insecticides, etc.) should go to specially designated sites in your community. Contact your communities waste management department to determine where these items are accepted. Some communities have a pickup service for these wastes, e.g., Toronto’s “Toxic Taxi.”

Wire hangers can go back to the dry cleaners.

Old appliances will be picked up by the Ontario “Great Refrigerator Roundup.”

Odds and ends can be listed on Freecycle, or on the free sections of craigslist or Kijiji.

You’ll feel “lighter” when all the excess baggage is gone, but you’ll feel even better if you’ve disposed of it in an environmentally responsible way.


August 20, 2008

Item 236 on the “Move” List

As a Seniors Move Organizer or Seniors Move Manager, I’m always looking for tips ‘n tricks to help me. Recently I came across a website from a U.S. realtor who had a checklist of more than 200 items to help in moving. And, on another website there was a list of more than 65 items to ask when moving to a retirement residence.

I’m all for lists. I have a “to do” list, a shopping list, and I’ve even thought of the “100 places I’d like to visit before I die” list. Lists can help you remember; lists can help walk you through all the steps needed to complete a task; lists can give you a comfortable feeling that you’ve got things under control.

Using lists can help reduce the “Oh, my goodness” feelings when doing any stressful task, like moving. Having a long list that covers every detail is one method.  However, I find a long list stressful. Think of three or four shorter lists, with each list focusing on a single major activity.

The shortest, and perhaps most important list, contains the names of people who are going to help you with your move. This list may have family and friends on it, but it should also have the names of professionals helping you. As Seniors Move Organizers we help with contacting all the individuals, business entities, and organizations you interact with during a move. We’ll work with you in developing this list, and we’ll contact these people on your behalf.

We’ll also work with you in developing your other lists: the list of items you’re taking with you, and the list of tasks to be done before, during, and after moving day. We’ll manage the lists, and the schedules that go along with the lists.

A Seniors Move Organizer can reduce your moving “todo” list to two items:
1. Call Trusted Transitions.
2. Relax and don’t worry!


July 30, 2008

You Need a Seniors Move Manager

Moving at any age ranks high on lists of stressful life events. If you are over 70, the stress both physically and emotionally can be overwhelming. So if you or a family member are contemplating making a major move or transition, you need to have a Seniors Move Manager.

Why? Because things always go wrong, often at the worst possible time. Last week I arrived at my clients’ new home in a Retirement Residence thirty minutes before the movers were bringing in her belongings. The beds were supposed to be supplied by the residence. Rantfoxtdistioten . To my surprise, they weren’t there. Fortunately, I had time to get housekeeping moving, have the beds brought in and made, and have everything settled before my client arrived at his new home.

On other transition days the moving truck has broken down. Service providers haven’t always arrived on time. The phone wasn’t hooked up as planned. The refrigerator in the unit didn’t work properly. My job is to handle and fix all these “glitches” so that our client never knows they even happened.

You may not want to hire a Seniors Move Manager. But you do need to designate one family member to play that role in the time leading up to the move, the day of the move, and over the first couple of weeks during the settling in period. If you want the move to be stress free, you need someone who will be able to confidently say “Don’t worry, I have everything under control.” Pick someone who stays calm in the face of a storm, and is a creative problem solver.

Getting off on the right foot when a major later life transition is in progress will set a positive tone for all the changes to come.


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