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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Bell

Yes, 2016 is the Year to Move!

I provided a free consultation last week for a woman who has been in her home for fifty years.  The next day I gave one for a couple who had been in their home for fifty eight years.  Not to worry for those of you who have been in your homes for a mere thirty or forty years.  You too have probably accumulated quite a few items in that time… .

You shared with me that your kids have been telling you for years that it is time to move.  Yes, you have quite a few stairs but, in fact, you have not fallen.  Should you try to hang in there for a while longer or is this the year to take the plunge and move to a condo or a retirement residence?

The mere thought of everything involved in making such a change is undoubtedly daunting.  

“Will the sideboard fit?  What about the art?  My kids don’t seem to want any of it.  They are talking about downsizing themselves and the grandkids? They just don’t have the space, or if we’re honest with ourselves, interest in any of it.  No one seems to want to host the big gatherings anymore and if they do, it is paper plates and easy does it … .”

“What am I going to do with my grandmother’s dishes and that lovely hand painted set that we picked up in Portugal? We can’t just toss these things out… .”

Often when people get to that stage in their thinking they freeze up and can get really bogged down in “analysis paralysis”.  It is easier to do nothing than to take on the momentous task of figuring out what to do with it all.  Unless … unless you know of someone who is objective, supportive and who can help to navigate the increasingly complex world of donations, sales and gifting.  You will also want to know someone who can recommend reliable and cost effective movers, shredders and junk removal folks.

It can also be tricky navigating the often conflicting advice offered by multiple family members and friends. I worked with one lovely lady in her nineties whose kids were helping her out when they could.  She didn’t want to play favourites and start a family war but they all were giving her different advice.  Knowledgeably and objectively we were able to remove the strain of not only the move but of the “always interesting” family dynamics as well.

On the other side of the coin though are the folks who don’t seem to realize just how much stuff that they have to deal with.  Believing that they have lots of time to get everything done they find themselves scrambling before and after their move.  Believe me when I share that it is not cost effective to move things out after you have decided to take too much in the first place.

I always caution these folks that it is tiring to make focused choices but it is these choices that pave the way for a successful transition.  Autonomy is a wonderful thing and no matter how loving and well intentioned your friends and family may be, their advice will likely be based on their own values and preferences and not on yours.

So if indeed this is the year, I recommend that you start early and consider working with a professional Senior Move Manager.  It won’t hurt either if that particular Senior Move Manager has a background in mental health support, crisis intervention and dispute resolution.  Your upcoming move will be seamless and you can start to enjoy the benefits of your new home immediately!

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