Downsizing? Senior move managers want to help

As boomers look to move themselves — or their parents — some look to a special kind of mover.

The Boston Globe Alison Lobron, June 29, 2014

Jonathan Benjamin, 62, works full time as a pediatrician in Newton. Two years ago, as an empty nester and new widower, he was finding it painful to be alone in the Chestnut Hill house where he and his wife had raised their three children. But even the thought of moving to a condominium overwhelmed him. “I didn’t know what should go to my kids, what should go into storage, what should go to the condo,” he says.

Benjamin’s adult children live in California, New York, and North Carolina, so he didn’t expect them to dismantle the house. Instead, he hired Joan Roover, a “senior move manager,” a trademarked term for professionals who help older people downsize. These managers call in estate appraisers and trash collectors, antique dealers and electricians. For their more elderly clients, they study the floor plans of assisted-living apartments and find tactful ways to explain that there simply won’t be room for that recliner bought on sale at Jordan Marsh in 1962. In other words, they come in and they deal — in cases when adult kids can’t, or don’t have time, or there aren’t adult children at all.

Read the full article here

14 tips on downsizing, moving

The Boston Globe February 26, 2012 – SOURCES: Emily Henderson, Secrets from a Stylist, Joan Roover, A Thoughtful Move

1. Only take things that are functional, sentimental or beautiful.

2. Keep chairs and couches with sturdy frames, leave those that are low, deep and difficult to get in and out of.

3. Bring multi-purpose furniture, such as ottomans with storage space and tables with shelves.

4. Can’t bring a sentimental keepsake because it’s too big? Take a picture of it, frame it, and hang it in your new home.

5. Let go to let in — ditch the old to let the new enter your life

6. Pace yourself. Ask for help from family members if you work well together.

7. Be ruthless when sorting. Packing and moving things you don’t need or have space for is costly.

8. Think about the amount of entertaining, socializing, and cooking you will do to determine what dishes, glassware, and kitchen equipment to pack.

9. Scan important photos to CD’s to eliminate bulky albums.

10. Consider switching to a Kindle or an iPad instead of cluttering a smaller home with too many books.

11. Bring artwork and decorative pieces you love. If they don’t fit in the new space, disperse them later.

12. When sorting through closets, move only the things you actually wear or have worn in the last year.

13. Measure each piece of furniture to see if it will fit in the new space. Create a floor plan.

14. If the above is too overwhelming consider hiring a senior move management company.

Joan Roover shares advice and ideas for de-cluttering and organizing during the downsizing process in this interview with Seniors Count, a program produced by Boston’s Elderly Commission.