Wednesday, 05 September 2018 15:37

7 Tips to help Seniors through the moving process

Recently we assisted an elderly lady downsize and move from her family home of 35 years. Her daughter, who lives overseas, had decided that her mom needed to move to a safer, smaller environment. While her decision came from a place of love and concern, it caused a lot of stress, anxiety and pain for her mom.

Published in Organizing

How can I help my mom? What can I do about her stuff she can’t take? How do I get her to let go? These are questions I am asked all the time when people hear that I assist Seniors with the daunting process of downsizing and moving.

More recently a friend came to me for help. She was assisting an elderly couple move from their family home into 2 rooms in a retirement home and had some concerns. The couple were overwhelmed, distressed at having to leave their home, and with their only daughter overseas had turned to my friend for assistance and advice.

We worked through the concerns and I gave her answers to the questions she had. Recently I came across the email correspondence and thought it would be good to share as I am sure there are many people with similar questions and dilemmas:

Q. How do they decide what to keep and what to leave behind?

A. The rooms at the retirement home are small and storage space is at a premium. They need to be sure that what they take, they will use. Clothes should be limited and can be sorted by winter and summer so they can have out of season items out of the way, possibly on top of a cupboard. Other than that, their personal linen, comfortable chairs, a small coffee table and if possible their choice of curtains. Also choose a few favourite personal items that will make them feel at home.

Q. What do I tell their daughter?

A. It’s really important that you keep her in the loop. It’s a good idea to email her regularly with updates so that she feels involved and knows exactly what is happening.

Q. They need to sell as much as possible as they need the money. All the appliances, all the furniture, paintings, all small appliances, rugs, all kitchen smalls, clothes and linen must go. What do I do?

A. I would strongly suggest either sending most of it to auction, or to a consignment store, as this is the quickest and easiest way to sell goods.

Q. What about selling online?

A. I wouldn’t do this. It is already extremely stressful for them and this would just add to their stress. Having to respond to people who call, and also deal with people who want to view items will add to their stress, and take time they don’t really have.

Q. They keep saying they need the money. What can they expect from the sales?

A. Unfortunately, the market is saturated with 2nd hand goods so they cannot expect to make a huge amount from the sales, unless there are seriously valuable items. Often there is a perceived value and the sentimental value, but it is always the market value that dictates.

Q. Are there any things I need to be aware of to safeguard myself, any pitfalls I should be aware while helping them?

A. It is important that you ensure they fully understand what you are doing at all times and keep their daughter in the loop always. It’s a good idea to have a paper trail, noting what you have done, where things have gone, what is being sold, what is being donated. That way there can be no misunderstandings, and no issues at a later stage.

The couple moved and have settled into their new home. Most of their goods were sold at auction or donated. Their daughter came to visit and could spend quality time with them. My friend found the experience both very emotional and extremely rewarding!

Have you found yourself in a similar situation? Do you have questions regarding assisting Seniors move?

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Many of our clients are elderly, who are often anxious, upset and sad. In many cases they are frail and are not able to manage physically. Some are keen to move, some feel they are being forced by family, finances or circumstances. All in all, it’s a very stressful time for them and their families.

One of our newest clients is a lovely woman of 87, who suddenly became frail and unable to live alone. She is going to live with her daughter, who wants to take care of her. We met recently to chat about the process, and put a plan in place. Afterwards, the daughter and I chatted a bit. She was frustrated at the resistance from her mom, but also upset with herself for being so impatient! I assured her, she and her mom were not unique. Most families we work with feel the same.

Remember, moving isn't easy for anyone. It is physically exhausting and emotionally overwhelming. 

Here are 10 tips to get you all through ready for the big move day:

  1. Be sensitive to the relative moving. 
  2. Start early, and give them enough time to work through the process.
  3. Work out a plan and a timeline for them. 
  4. Allow them time to reminisce and grieve the loss of their home and their belongings. 
  5. Be understanding if they are upset. Take time to sympathise and console.
  6. Take time to share memories as they go through photos, letters, memorabilia. It’s an important step to letting go!
  7. Remind yourself that its their stuff, not yours. Things they hold dear might seem trivial, or unnecessary to you. Be respectful of their decisions to keep certain items.
  8. Don’t force a decision. You will need to with bigger items (the large ornate dresser that won’t fit in the new home), but allow some of the smaller items to go with them, and they can decide once there. 
  9. Do not toss things without their consent. Your relative is already feeling a lack of control. It is so important to let them make decisions, however small. A bookmark might mean nothing to you, but holds memories for them.
  10. While its great to have some new stuff, its so important to have their favourite and familiar things in their new home. Your relative is giving up so much. Make sure they have their favourite things around them.

Be firm with a huge dose of kindness and understanding. This stage is key to a less stressful, happier transition for all concerned! 

Have you assisted an elderly relative move? Do you have more tips for us?

Published in Organizing
Thursday, 22 June 2017 19:15

All Sorted Now Food Storage Guide

We Move People. Literally!

The All Sorted team go into homes to clear, sort, declutter and pack up for a home move. We have clients who have lived in their homes for many years, and clients who move more often. Each move is different, but in each home there are similarities.

One of the things I come across often, is the amount of food that is stored, often forgotten in cupbaords and freezers. All too often I find we have to toss a good deal of it, as its past its best.

Most foods today have a “best before” date, but if you are decanting goods into containers or freezing, you might not be able to tell.

Here is a quick and easy guide for:

  • Storage times for dry food
  • If you are decanting foods, make a note of the date.
  • Dried legumes 12 -24 months
  • Flour 6 – 12 months
  • Ground spices 6 months
  • Whole spices 18 months
  • White rice 24 months
  • Wild/brown rice 8 months
  • Pasta 24 moths
  • Grains -barley, oats etc 12 months

Freezer storage times:

  • Remember to write the date on the packet when freezing.
  • Vegetables 6 months
  • Seeds and nuts 6 -8 months
  • Biscuits 6 months
  • Minced meat/sausage 3 -4 months
  • Beef, chicken, lamb 8 – 12 months
  • Bacon 1 – 2 months
  • Cold meats 2 weeks
  • Oily fish 3 -4 months
  • White fish 6 -8 months
  • Shellfish 3 months
  • Ready meals 4 -6 months
Published in News
Friday, 18 November 2016 09:19

Road Tripping & Moving House

I recently took a trip up the coast, not for a holiday, but for work. Oh it felt like a holiday! Our client, wonderful 90 year old Helen, moved our of her home in Cape Town, and relocated to a retirement village in Knysna, where her daughter lives.

Helen spent months slowly working through every room in her home, cupboard by cupboard, sorting and clearing. Our job was to pack up her home, manage the movers on moving day, and unpack on the other side. The day we started packing, Helen handed over her keys and went off with her daughter on a slow road trip to her new home town. We packed and wrapped, managed the movers and the cleaners who came in afterwards.

Published in News
Thursday, 29 September 2016 09:11

Moving Home is a Big Deal for Little People

Last week I talked about assisting the elderly with that BIG move. While we are on the subject of moving house, I thought it would be good to talk about how to make children feel as comfortable as possible during a move

Prepare your children for a move

Tell them about the move in good time, giving them the opportunity to adjust to the idea. If possible take them to see the new home, or show them photos. Allow them to choose their rooms if possible, and point out advantages such as a lovely climbing tree, or a park across the road

Published in Organizing

Contact Us

Telephone: +27 (0)82 926 3531
Email: judith@allsortednow.co.za 

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