I’ve recently been called in to help several ladies who had downsized to retirement living but were, quick frankly, in a mess …
several weeks after their move they were frustrated because their “new home” is not working for them –
- they can’t find what they need
- there are boxes everywhere
- furniture is not where they want it
- their families are concerned about their safety and wellbeing
If only they had contacted me prior to their move –
- they didn’t have a plan for their furniture and
- they hadn’t farewelled unnecessary possessions
Taking too much stuff with you often erodes the benefits of downsizing or rightsizing – which is to make life easier
For one particular client, a very independent 90 year old, moving day sounded like a nightmare for both her and the moving company. She wasn’t prepared for the movers and hadn’t planned where furniture would go at her new unit, she was overwhelmed and unable to make quick decisions and so the poor movers dumped most of the furniture in the spare bedroom. No one could even get into this room and she was left with minimal storage options as wardrobes were blocked. Boxes were left everywhere and stubbornly she tried to unpack boxes but with limited storage options, wasted a lot of time and the “mess” just grew. I honestly didn’t know where she had been sleeping, there was stuff everywhere, in every room …
I was contacted by her granddaughter who didn’t know what to do. She was so worried about the safety of her grandmother … stuff everywhere = trip hazards.
What we did?
- We started by taking most of the furniture out of the unit so we could decide and then place furniture in the best positions. When dealing with smaller spaces you need to be clever about furniture placement – key and larger pieces need to be placed first, but you also need to assess how the room will be used. In this case, we needed to ensure the living room catered for our client – where her favourite chair should be placed, the correct angle, how far it should be from the TV, she also wanted to be able to see the TV from the kitchen, we needed to minimise any hazards and there were certain requirements for her beloved pooch.
- Once we had the furniture in place, we were then able to unpack the portarobes as we now had access to the built in wardrobes.
- Slowly her unit started to take shape, boxes were emptied, unnecessary furniture was set aside for donation or family and she now could start to enjoy her new home
allsorters regularly assist clients with a downsizing move –
- we help clients identify their “must have” furniture
- we measure their new space & how it will function from aesthetic and safety aspects
- on move day (while we have the manpower on site) we take time to ensure all the major items are moved into the right place and then make changes if needed (it may not be possible to visualise exactly how it will look until we put everything in place on the day)
- then the unpacking can start while our client enjoys a cuppa
Downsizing is not easy
- Dealing with a lifetime of possessions can be overwhelming
- If you can, start sorting way before the move while you can comfortably do so. If you have cupboards that haven’t seen the “light of day” in years, maybe it’s time to deal with them
- If you have a downsizing move on the horizon, start planning your new space and what will fit
- Be realistic – understand your physical capabilities and get help as needed