Wednesday, September 20, 2017

There is an App for that!

THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT!  How many times have you heard that phrase and by the way, who creates all these apps?  My theory is it is some very creative people with a lot of time on their hands!  But, they can be very entertaining!  I collected a few I thought were quite unusual!

1.) NOTHING- this app does absolutely nothing; there is also a Pro version for $.99 that does more nothing
2.) S.M.T.H.-Send me to Heaven; this app is a game where you throw your phone upwards and it calculates the height of the throw
3.) IShaver PRO- is a virtual shaver; to start shaving, just hold on the button and virtual hair will start falling.
4.) MILK THE COW- Download the app and fill the bucket with milk in the shortest time possible.
5.) HOLD ON-See how long you can hold a button on your phone without lifting your finger up.
6.) BINKY- there’s an endless stream of random stuff you can scroll through. You can like and comment on various random 
7.) BLOWER-The app basically uses sound frequencies to blow air out of your smartphone’s speakers.

I was talking to one of our Smooth Transition team members the other day who is also a realtor; she was telling me about a new app used by real estate professionals to predict when you are going to move out of your home! The app uses information collected about you such as how long you have lived in your home, your age, the age of your children, etc. to determine statistically when you will sell your home. This app knows what you are going to do before you do!
Nevertheless, we all better start cleaning out our homes sooner than later! You never know when someone has used the app and knocks on your door to announce that you have lived in your home long enough and it is time to move, which is exactly what happened to us when we sold our home! We had thought about “someday in the future” because our kids were grown and on their own and we were reaching an age that the home was just too big to handle. We met all the criteria of the realtor “magic ball”.  The knock on the door came and the rest is history!
With this in mind, I have a timely article from U.S. News and World Report on “6 Steps to Declutter your Home.” We all need to be ready when that knock on the door comes! Enjoy!

                      6 Steps to Declutter Your Home
                                                           By Tom Sightings

You’re retiring. The kids have moved out. Sometime within the next few years you’re probably going to relocate – whether it’s from a four-bedroom suburban house to a two-bedroom condo, or a two-bedroom condo to an independent living facility. So you no longer need all that stuff crowding your living room, filling up your basement and spilling out of your closets.
Besides, after you’re gone, you don’t want to leave a legacy to your children of a house full of junk, and the long, hard, emotionally taxing job of cleaning out what you should have taken care of years ago.
Decluttering is a move to take control of your life. It allows you to control your physical environment, of course, but also your future. But it’s a big job. So take it one step at a time. One rule of thumb suggests you budget one full day of decluttering for each year that you’ve lived in your house. So if it’s your family home where you raised your kids and lived for 30 years, be prepared to spend an entire month cleaning out, paring down and straightening up.
But you don’t have to do it all at once. Some experts suggest taking a year or two to complete the process. That gives you plenty of time to plan, reconsider and notify your loved ones of your new commitment to an organized life. Here are six steps to help you get on with the job:
1. Warn your children. Invite them, well ahead of time, to range through your house and take what they want. But also insist that they remove any and all of their own materials, including the boxes of old schoolwork, trophies, souvenirs, stuffed animals and textbooks. These things belong to them now, not to you.
2. Tackle one space at a time. It’s easy to get bogged down if you do a little of this and a little of that. So start small. Clean out a closet. Then organize a bathroom, or one of the kid’s bedrooms. The hardest jobs will be your own bedroom, the basement and the kitchen, unless you’re moving into an assisted living facility where all your meals are provided, in which case the kitchen clean up should be easy because all of it goes.
3. Touch something once, make a decision. As you go through your old clothes, books and furniture, decide whether you should get rid of an item or need to keep it. But the key to making progress is to make the decision right away. If you need one suit, then decide which one to keep and dispose of the others. Try not to hem and haw, change your mind or postpone the decision, or that one day of decluttering per year could turn out to be two or three days per year. If you hesitate on too many items the decluttering may never get done.
4. Make four piles. Decide what you want to keep and put that in the keep pile. Then decide right away what to do with everything else, and make a give pile, a sell pile and a trash pile. Once you've decided to dispose of an item, don’t waste a lot of time or emotional energy deciding on which pile, just choose one. If you make a mistake and put something in the trash pile instead of the sell pile, what's the harm? Be realistic. If you tried to sell it, you probably wouldn’t have sold it for much anyway.
5. Take photographs. The hardest decisions are the emotional ones. If you can’t bear to get rid of something you really don't need, then take a picture of it. Put on that special dress, take a picture and then give the dress away. When faced with giving up old license plates, a shelf of trophies and a wonderful old oriental rug that will never fit into your new place, take a picture and keep the photo with you always. Then make sure to send copies of the photos to your kids.
6. Hire a professional. For most people, decluttering is a do-it-yourself project, perhaps with some help from the kids or a friend, and we would have it no other way. But sometimes the job might seem too daunting. There are professionals who will help you, for a fee, ranging from $35 to $100 a hour. Contact the National Association of Senior Move Managers or the National Association of Professional Organizers for referrals to local professionals.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ten Tips to Downsizing and “De-Stressing” Your Move

 The first question many clients ask during the consultation with a senior move manager references the cost of completing the project.  The good faith estimate is principally based on the services you request and the amount of “stuff” that is involved.  Ultimately, price is based on the senior move manager’s time.

Many clients require full service because they in fact have a lot of “stuff” and have no desire or ability to complete the move themselves.  This approach eliminates most of the physical and mental stress.  But, it also costs the most money.  For the individuals that want to manage cost by getting involved and managing some of the move themselves, NASMM (National Association of Senior Move Managers) has develop ten tips for downsizing.  Following all or part of the these suggestions will minimize the scope of your project and as a result, better manage your cost of completing the move.

1).  Start Early – End Happy:  It’s never too early to begin the downsizing process.  Begin by focusing on typical problem areas such as the attic, basement, garage, closets, or file cabinets.
2).  Get Generous:  Since you can’t take everything to your new home, now is the time to make arrangements to “gift” some of your treasures to special people in your life including, and especially family, helpful neighbors, friends, favorite organizations, or church/synagogue.
3).  Save your memories:  You may have boxes of old photographs from every holiday, vacation, and birthday party attended.  What do you do with them?  Consider the following ways to preserve family photos and stories:  a customized process of audio and video recording called Life-Storying.  Copy your special photos on to CDs, or try your hand at scape booking.  Also, services now exist that will take all your photo, slides, and videos and do it for you.
4).  New Looks for Books:  If you own large quantities of books, you need to spend time downsizing your collections.  Books occupy lots of space and are heavy to move.  Consider donations to libraries or senior centers, or sales to used bookstores.  Call on a book dealer for older books with potential value.
5).  Use it Up…Don’t move it out:  Take an inventory of your canned goods, frozen foods, and paper products.  Plan to use as many of these products as you can before moving.  If you simply have too many items, thinking about passing them on to a local food pantry.  Check to see if the Senior Move Manager you hire participates in the NASMM Move for Hunger Initiative.
6).  Recycle the Toxins:  Take time to put together a box or two of household, yard, and automotive cleaning products, as well as paint products that are considered hazardous.  Visit for more information on hazardous collection in your area.
7).  Don’t Lose Touch:  Create a list of people, places, and utilities/services that need to be notified of your upcoming change in address.
8).  Space Plan Ahead:  Most Senior Move Managers can provide you with a customized floor plan of your new residence.  A floor plan will help you determine the pieces of furniture that will fit in your new home, and the best location of each.  Knowing which pieces will fit in your new space will help you in your rightsizing process.

9).  Pack a Survival Bag:  Put together a survival bag for move day.  It might include personal needs (medications, eyeglasses, toiletries, change of clothes, important papers, etc.); kitchen needs (snacks, drinks, folding chair, disposable cups/plates); basic tools (hammer, screwdriver, flashlight, tape, etc.); cleaning supplies (sponge, paper towels, soap, etc.); and payment for mover – be sure you know which form of payment they accept.

10).  Ask for Help:  Don’t be too proud or independent to ask for help.  Moving is not easy and you shouldn’t do it all yourself.  But, don’t wait until the last minute to ask for assistance. 

Some of these downsizing tips require months to accomplish.  The best place to find help is through the National Association of Senior Move Managers ( or Smooth Transitions ( if you are located in the St. Louis area.