Case in point is an 85 year old woman who just moved into a very nice, but expensive, retirement community. I was called in to do a complete unpack and set up in the new apartment. However when I arrived the morning after the move I walked into to a wall of boxes and furniture, and the woman I came to help was so confused and disoriented it was sad.
The community where she moved to employs a ‘move in coordinator’ who visited my client prior to the moving. The purpose of the visit was to make sure that the items that were being moved would fit into her new apartment. My client was moving from approximately 2000 sq ft to about 1400 sq ft. Six hundred square feet makes a big difference. However my client was told she could bring everything, and she did!
The bigger pieces of furniture fit and were placed in the new apartment according to the floor plan produced by the move in coordinator. What wasn’t taken into consideration and should have been were the closet and storage spaces between the old and the new apartment and no downsizing and decluttering took place prior to moving. As a result, when the movers were told to pack everything, they did.
After 4 days of working to find appropriate ‘homes’ for all the items it was necessary to sit down and really have a focused (as much as possible) heart to heart discussion with my client. I explained that there just was no more room for my team to put anything else. There were still several cartons of ‘stuff’ with no home. Eventually, with my client sitting on a folding chair in the storage room area, we pulled out several cartons that she had absolutely no idea what was in them. They were filled with old greeting cards, letters, etc., that had not been unpacked from a previous move years ago.
I cannot understand how someone could tell my client that she could bring everything and it would fit. Of course my client relied on this advice. I only wish that I could have been with the client on both ends of the move. Decluttering and downsizing prior to the move would have saved time and money, because time IS money. It also would have saved unnecessary stress and aggravation for the client.
My advice to retirement community move in coordinators is this. Think about what you are telling your future residents about what they should and should not bring, and offer to find them some assistance. This will be less frustrating on everyone involved in the move, from the mover, the family, and most importantly your new resident.