• Laurie Bell

Knowing When to Ask for Help


All my clients are unique and each of their situations is as individualized as they are.  However I have noticed a common denominator in almost all of the older adults who I work with.  Without fail, regardless if they are in their late sixties or they are in their early nineties, they almost always feel like they are not a day over forty in their hearts. They tend to overestimate what they are able to do and they underestimate just how tiring it can be to try and tackle everything on their own.

If they do manage to get through it, there are often regrets. These folks exhaust themselves so thoroughly that they lose sight of the reason that they were moving in the first place. Wasn’t it about simplifying their life?  Wasn’t it supposed to make their life easier? Not all movers are created equal and who knew how expensive it would be to have a junk pick-up? What about the tension between their kids?  They have never seen the world in the same way and now their daughter is not speaking to her brother… .

Ahh the joys of trying to do everything yourself … .

Sometimes even a glimpse of what is involved can stop the project before it gets started.  Phrases like:  “I would move, you know, if I only knew what to do with all my stuff” is a familiar one. Whether we live in homes with two bedrooms or five, we tend to fill the space we have. It seems to be human nature and it has become a part of our North American culture.  The items we purchased were the sign of a life well lived but now that we are moving to smaller space, what on earth do we do with it all?

If there are family members who live nearby and if they have the time and willingness to assist, offers to help may be met with a bit of reluctance.  Family dynamics can be tricky and if there is more than one person in the mix, differing and sometimes opposing views can put a kibosh on even the simplest of choices.

Without experience navigating the world of donations, auction providers, movers, junk removal companies, and even shredding services, it can be downright daunting to keep things moving forward so that your move stays comfortably on schedule.

Having that practical knowledge coupled with sensitive objectivity can help to sidestep any potential landmines along the way.  In addition to the experience I have gained over five busy years in the industry, I have a background in mental health support, crisis intervention and dispute resolution.  As I often share, that comes in handy with even the most loving of families.

I recently finished working with a couple who are in their late seventies. They moved from a large four bedroom house with a pool to a condo nearby.  They chose a large condo – it’s just less than 2,000 square feet - initially believing that they could simply transfer many of the furnishings and just shed their stairs and the outdoor maintenance. “It will be simple they thought… .  No problem they thought… “.

They overlooked a couple of factors though:

#1 – they are not forty anymore, even though they still feel like they are in their hearts and they are physically unable to do what they used to be able to accomplish and,

#2 – they discover that they have acquired a lot of stuff in those thirty nine years in their house.  What to take? What to sell? What to give away? What to do with what’s left over?

A friend saw that they were understandably struggling and referred them to me.

I created a plan that ensured that their transition was seamless.  We made some space planning decisions together and then created a schedule that worked for them.  We went through everything in their house and strategized where they could most cost-effectively shed the items not accompanying them to their condo.

We had an assistant join me to take out multiple boxes of donations.  We scheduled an on-line auction that offset some of their moving costs.

We engaged reliable, vetted movers and junk removal folks who really went the extra mile to help these clients enjoy a stress free transition.

Could their children have done all this?  Possibly but these particular clients have three and of course, those adult children have children of their own.  They are also a family who, however supportive of one another, are spread out across the country.  Both daughters live out west and the son who is here in the GTA has a crazy schedule with work and his own family’s activities, sports and commitments.

We do this full time, twelve months of the year and benefit from industry discounts that we happily pass on to our clients.  Our clients benefit and they get to enjoy peace of mind throughout the entire transition.

It’s all good and it starts with a conversation.  Can we help you to experience a seamless transition?  Call Laurie at 416-697-8106 to book your complimentary consultation in the GTA.  Bonded and insured we do the worrying so that you don’t have to!


If you believe that your contacts may find this helpful, please share and visit us at www.movingseniorswithasmile.ca

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