Hank Lay is a self-described avid hobbyist and collector of all sorts of things. After living in his 4,000 square-foot home for over 32 years, the time had finally arrived to downsize to a new 1,400 square-foot retirement home. Hank had some important decisions to make.
But how can a person figure out what to keep and what to let go? Nearly half of his life had happened in his home. Everywhere, in every room, were memories, keepsakes and items with enormous meaning and value. Hank started and did his best on his own, but then a wise person changed his mind with one sentence: “If you think this is a daunting challenge now, imagine waiting ten years.”
Hank recalls the moment that spotlight turned on in his mind. “I just turned 70, and the prospect of downsizing at age 80 was indeed frightening,” he explained.
He realized he needed help—real, proven, expert help. So Hank called in Karen Wright with Life Simplified.
He remembers how carefully and thoroughly Karen handled everything. “She skillfully steered me through tough decisions and coordinated with my family and with vendors to accomplish the downsizing, packing and the move, smoothly and on time.”
The results were impressive. “The moving company said that mine was the most well-organized job they had seen,” Hank said.
Downsizing With Ease
Overwhelmed. Out of control.
Those are words we dread because we love the idea of having everything under control—especially our homes. But what can we do when life and clutter take over? What happens when it’s time to downsize decades or a lifetime of memories into a smaller place? Who can help us smoothly and peacefully move into a new home better suited for an aging or elderly person?
That’s when a call to Karen is simply brilliant. Nearly half of Karen’s clients are seniors looking to downsize.
Karen started her business nine years ago when she realized more and more people were struggling with messes, unhealthy living environments and needed skilled, caring, professional help.
Karen is a Certified Relocation and Transition Specialist (CRTS). She looks at the things you have, looks at the space you’re moving into and helps you figure out what needs to be kept, what needs to go, and what can be repurposed into something else.
Karen’s vision is clear and simple. “What I do—and the purpose of Life Simplified is— is to help people declutter, get their homes in order and implement systems that work for their lifestyle, Karen said. “By skillfully applying these processes, I started working with elderly people who simply needed help. They may not have family close to help them during their transition. Even if they live here, they have their own lives.”
Dealing With Too Much
Betty’s son Bobby lived with her for 15 years. During that time, he amassed a collection—we use that term loosely—of electronics and other items. When he was hospitalized with a severe illness, Betty’s other son Rich came to take care of his family.
That’s when Rich saw the unlivable condition of his mother’s home. He knew he’d have to clean the home out because Bobby would need extensive in-home medical care when he returned.
Rich worked in the home for almost a month before realizing he had barely put a dent in the clutter. The reality was, the entire home was a mess, a disaster of stuff everywhere that had to be cleared out and the home reset for safe, functional living before his brother returned.
That’s when he called in the professionals.
“After I said, ‘Go’, Karen didn’t waste a second and immediately scheduled her two superstars Shandra and Stephanie to begin assaulting the mess,” Rich said. “I can’t compliment enough how exceptionally professional, efficient and friendly these two were…I had total confidence in Karen and her superstar team after seeing them in action, and I realized my best role was to be a bystander as they rapidly sorted the landfill of junk and goods into neatly organized boxes containing anything of value along with collections of junk for disposal.”
Tragically, Bobby died shortly after he returned home, and Betty needed to sell her house to move into a smaller location. Since Karen and her team had already worked their magic on the clutter, they only had to return to pack things up and help Betty move into an apartment. Her house sold within a month, Rich said.
“In only a few weeks, Karen and her Life Simplified team, transformed my mom’s life of chaos and insecurity to a comfortable life in a thriving new community in Huntsville,” Rich said.
Karen goes into a home knowing she will touch every part of a person’s life. That’s scary to most people who have at least one or two embarrassing things hiding in their closets.
But here’s the best thing about the Life Simplified team: They will not judge you on anything they might find.
“Really, the biggest thing is that when someone makes the phone call and lets me into their home to look at their world, that’s a huge step right there,” Karen said. “Once you get over that hurdle, that’s great…I think that people have to be in a place where they have to be sick and tired of being sick and tired, and they’re overwhelmed, and they don’t know where to start, and they need help dealing with it…I’m very respectful of their things. I’m not judgmental. I’m not reckless.
“I have to put my head down at night when I get home and know that I worked with my client to help them make good decisions about their stuff.”
With more and more baby boomers retiring, the senior relocation industry is only going to grow. If you need help organizing anything from a closet to a mansion, we encourage you to contact Karen Wright at Life Simplified to help.
Like Hank and Rich, you’ll be glad you did.
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