“They” weren’t kidding when they listed moving as one of life’s top stressors.
The majority (though not all) of our clients are downsizing during more difficult times - this might mean a move into a senior community when seniors or family members realize remaining home alone might not be the best or safest option or when someone (like myself) has to move from the family home due to a divorce.
After experiencing what I would honestly describe as the easiest move I’ve ever made, it still wasn’t easy. Getting to be a Silver Linings Transitions client was eye opening and as a result, I started thinking along the lines of how can we make the transition as stress-free as possible and make the new place feel like home.
Here’s how we made adjustments to our service and some tips you can use as well:
We now use an “orange” sticker for our clients to identify when there is something in their home they want set up exactly as it is. We will photograph the item and then put it back exactly as we found it (only we will dust or clean it before putting it back.). This can be a photo collection on the wall or a curio cabinet with mementoes.
While we try our best to keep things "as is" in dressers by stuffing them with paper so things don't slide. Sometimes this isn’t possible because the dresser is too heavy for the mover or because you are leaving behind built ins. Whenever possible, we will put the items back as we’ve found them. With all the buzz about “sparking joy” though, we have had clients excited for us to use some of the tricks they see on the famous reality show on organizing and we can do this too!!
We recognize that it’s very humbling to have people going through your underwear drawer (or any other spaces) that might make you feel “exposed”. If there is an area or items you don’t want us to touch, we will leave a box for you to pack discretely and we’ll bring it to your new home, leaving it unopened (no questions asked).
We have label makers for drawers and cabinets. You can peel them off whenever you’re ready. We will also leave notes for you if we have to use creative spaces for things that get moved - like using under the bed storage when we are downsizing.
I think it's important for me to note, unlike our clients, I was spared the stress of worrying about the logistics. Although we tell our clients to trust us, they really never do until they walk in and see their new homes.
Home is our safe haven. It's the place we can hopefully go to escape the pressures of life and retreat. When we move, this safe space is shaken up. Change is not usually thought of as easy. As a reminder, here is a link to a previous article sharing some tips to help you get through your move.
Jami Shapiro is President of Silver Linings Transitions. As a cancer survivor, she embraces aging and the challenges it presents.