Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How to Find Help When You’re Ready to Downsize

Good Morning! Another gorgeous day here in Northeast Ohio! As of 5 pm last night, we are off from our foster care duties for a couple of weeks! I have some organizing lined up and I need to do some organizing for myself - my office and pantry/laundry room.

Here's our final segment on downsizing:

What is a Downsizing Professional?

A Downsizing Professional or Senior Move Manager or a Transition Specialist is a professional who provides emotional, organizational, and hands-on support to older adults and their families during the move process. He/she understands the difficult experience of moving from a long-time residence and makes that move as stress-free as possible.

A downsizing professional will:

- Set up a time-line and comprehensive plan for your move
- Locate and oversee a mover
- Draw up a scale-model floor plan of your new residence
- Create scale-models of your furniture to help you plan your space
- Help you stay focused on the task at hand
- Help you sort through your possessions
- Pack those items to be moved
- Arrange for the disposal of unwanted items (donations, estate sales, etc.)
- Unpack and organize your new home
- Help you prepare your home for sale.

How Do I Find a Downsizing Professional?

Help is at your fingertips when trying to locate a qualified downsizing professional. The National Association of Senior Move Managers (www.nasmm.com) provides a directory of Senior Move Managers in your locale. The National Association of Professional Organizers (www.napo.net, phone 847-375-4746) lists professional organizers by geographic area, as well. Look for those specializing in working with seniors.

Friends, senior citizen organizations, realtors, lawyers, and retirement communities may also provide referrals to help you locate a Senior Move Manager.

What Questions Do I Ask?

As you interview potential senior move managers, keep in mind some pertinent questions to ask:

- How long have you been a downsizing professional?

- Are you insured and licensed by your state?
- Do you have letters of reference/phone numbers I may call?
- What is your fee structure?
- Will you provide me with a written contract?
- What services do you provide yourself and which ones are provided by others?

Even if you have family or friends who are willing to help you, a downsizing professional possesses expertise and experience, thereby providing you with economical and insightful solutions as well as connections to local resources to expedite your move.

My advice is to make your move while you have the time and energy to make choices in a relaxed atmosphere. And don’t be afraid to get assistance. It helps you stay focused and finish the task quickly.

Questions about downsizing? Email subscribers comment here.

More blogs about downsizing:
The Advantages of Downsizing
Downsizing - Factors to Consider when Choosing a New Residence
Residential Options when You Downsize

Three Steps to Downsizing to a Smaller Residence is a complete do-it-yourself guide for those who want to tackle downsizing themselves.