Estate Sale, Downsizing and Senior Move experts of South Bend

Kynette Setear opens Caring Transitions serving South Bend with Estate Sale, Senior Moving and Downsizing services!Welcome! Hello, my name is Kynette Setear. After spending twenty years in the Mishawaka/South Bend area, I’ve seen many families struggle during some of life’s most stressful and overwhelming times, such as a divorce, a life changing illness, the death of a loved one or the changing needs of an aging parent. This compelled me to start Caring Transitions, a business that provides help to Seniors and their families needing assistance coping with senior moving, downsizing and estate sales.

Although my professional background is primarily in sales, my personal experience assures that I will act as your onsite advocate, keeping your family’s best interests at heart. Our company focus is to minimize your stress and maximize your returns while helping you through a difficult time in your family’s life by providing compassionate, respectiveful services. Our employees are carefully chosen to meet your specific wants and needs.

Call us today to schedule a FREE In-Home Consultation! 574.208.6071

What clients are saying about Caring Transitions
Thank you so much for your quick response—we truly do appreciate all of the wonderful work that you did for us, and we loved getting to know you.
 
A. Meyers 
 
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         ANNOUNCEMENT!  Caring Transitions of Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan has been nominated by REAL SERVICES for an Age of Excellence Award in the Business of the Year category!

 
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You have been a delight to work with and were instrumental in getting my mom's house in a condition to sell.  Thanks so much.  I'd be glad to provide a reference to other prospective clients.  Have a wonderful new year!
 
S. Renwick
 
Thanking you for your kind approach to a hard end of a chapter. I did not think I would have such a hard time closing the door.
 
R. Marshall
 
I cannot thank all of you at Caring Transitions enough for all the help you gave me during this difficult time.  You are all angels.  I couldn't have done it without you, so thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you!
 
Diane S.
 
Kynette, your help was well worth the money, for your caring and compassion during a very difficult time.  My mother is doing great!
 
Thanks, Dan t.
 
Dear Kynette,
I cannot thank you enough for all that you and your staff did to handle the sale of my mother's belongings so caringly.  From the moment I walked in to meet you I felt such warmth and love.  I just immediately felt a sense of calm and peace.  Not that it was easy to let go - it was not - but you made it so much gentler.  That is the only word that seems to fit.  I knew we were in kind, caring hands.  I knew we had done the best we could by choosing you and Caring Transitions.  No, it is never easy to let go of family heirlooms and all they represent, but your understanding, sensitivity and warmth made it so, so much easier.  Thank you!  I am eternally grateful to all of you.  You have left me, my brother and nephew with a sense of peace.  And that is the best we could ask for.
 
Sincerely, Leslie L.
 
 
Hi Kynette, my husband and I are back in Florida and I just wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you how much my entire family appreciated your support and assistance in making my mother's transition from her own home and rehab into assisted living earlier this month.  Managing a move like this from such a distance and at such an emotional time is very difficult even in the best of circumstances.   But, you took all the worry of the physical part of the move off my shoulders.   I basically just "showed up" and everything happened just as it was supposed to --- all because I had you there, on the ground, making it happen.  It was great to meet you the day of the move.  You are a very caring, warm individual --- and it's very obvious that you are passionate about what you do.  When the time comes to sell my mother's South Bend home, you will be the first person I call!  May God bless you as you continue this really important work!
 
McArdle Family

Kynette, I wanted to send a quick note to introduce my husband Mark and I. We own a CT franchise in the suburbs of Chicago. We have contracted with Suzanne Papadas for the liquidation of the contents of her uncles condo here in Hinsdale,IL.

The reason she contacted us here is because of the outstanding service you provided in helping her with her Uncle's cottage. She has made several very favorable comments regarding the work you did.

Mostly we just wanted to say thank you! It's great to see business spreading.

Sue Fadden
CRTS, CSA, CPA
Caring Transitions of Chicago Western Suburbs

Office: 630-352-0754
www.EstateMoveNapervilleIL.com

Thank you, Caring Transitions and Kynette, for a wonderful job in handling my dad's estate sale. Not only did she and her crew stage the sale beautifully, she also completely cleaned out the house afterward for me. I was very impressed with her warmth, sensitivity and professional manner in every detail which freed me to deal with other estate issues. Thank you so much!

Diane Wilsberg Trethewey

Thank you so much for all you have done in such a short time frame.  We appreciate all of the care you put into selling our Uncle's things at the lake house.  You were so easy to work with, and we could tell all of the concern and care you took with all of his belongings.  Thank you for being so accommodating to all of us.  We deeply appreciate all your help.

The Molda Family

 

 I moved to a retirement community after living in my home for over 20 years.  Caring Transitions of Northern Indiana came to my rescue and put in hours and hours of sorting, arranging, staging, and selling everything that was saleable, even to a Foxglove plant in my front yard!  When they were done, my basement looked like it did 20 years ago, clean and neat, trash had been removed, and anything not sold was boxed on my front porch for pickup by Goodwill.  I was so impressed that I asked to join as a part-time employee.  I have helped at two estate sales now, and I am continually impressed by the professionalism and attention to detail that is shown to each and every client.  I give Caring Transitions an A+.

K. Hicks

Once again, I would like to thank you for your hard work in clearing out my mother's house and on such short notice! I had too many things scheduled at practically the same time. Thank you again! Hoping your business continues to go well!

J. Lange

I have never properly thanked you for all your hard work, time and detail it took you to prepare my sale. You and your staff are so professional, working endless hours, cleaning, staging, and arranging items in an organized manner so that perspective buyers would carefully look at all areas of display. You took a tremendous burden off my shoulders, by taking charge of a job that I was too busy to complete myself. I also appreciate that you went to such lengths to pack and clean everything up when the sale was complete. You offer such a wonderful service that so many people need I will definitely recommend you to any family, friends or associates that may be looking to down size or combine households. I am very grateful for everything that you did to make my sale a great success not to mention that the money you were able to help me obtain came at a very needed time.
 
K. Smith
 
Thanks for the attention that you gave to every detail. It made the whole experience easier in every way. We liked the packing and unpacking. It was great help.
Bill B.

 It was awesome meeting all of you at the estate sale in Lawrence, MI.  The cat is settling in slowly and the sales were great.

 Jac Jordan-Roney

Free Consultation for Estate Sale, Downsizing or Senior Moves!

When you need help with one of life’s changes, find your total solution with Caring Transitions. Request a Free In-Home Consultation today to simply learn more about the services we provide. Contact us with any questions you have about our Senior Moving, Downsizing and Estate Sale services. Your satisfaction is guaranteed!

Kynette Setear
Phone: 574.208.6071
Email: KSetear@CaringTransitions.net

Serving South Bend, Mishawaka, Niles, St. Joseph and surrounding areas 

Estate Tag Sales & Auctions
Sale Listings Coming Soon!
Visit our online auction store!
CTonlineAuctions.com/MishawakaIN

VIEW, BID and BUY many items from our local estate sales - online!  Click the link below to visit our online auction store:

Click to visit our online store.

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We can help with de-cluttering!
We can help with liquidations!
Employment

Our employees are very important to our success. The quality of our services truly depends upon the caring professionals who are a part of our team. If you are looking for part-time work in a service that’s truly appreciated, contact us today. Caring Transitions needs compassionate, trustworthy, dependable people to help make our transition services the total solution for families coping with Senior Moves, Downsizing, or Estate Sales.

Become one of our Caring professionals today. Contact Us!

Announcements and Newsletters
December 2013 Newsletter

 Long Distance Care

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions

Long Distance Caregiving is becoming a way of life for many adults. The fabric of our society has changed significantly over the past few years and we continue to experience exponential increases in populations over the age of 75. With thousands of “Baby Boomers” turning 60 every day, we are undeniably entering a time where more working adults will care for aging parents.

Family visits during the holiday season often drive this point home. A simple trip to mom and dad’s house may reveal that everything is not running as smoothly as it once was. The house may be in disarray, with unpaid bills scattered about, stale food in is the refrigerator and expired medications on bathrooms shelves. In other cases, parents may seem forgetful or otherwise impaired. By the first of the year, it may dawn on countless adult children that they have a new role in the family; that of “Caregiver,” and for many, this is uncharted territory.

The good news is, more resources are made available everyday to support family caregivers. Most experts agree on a few basic steps that will help adult children gain control of stressful family situations. We share those step with you below.

Assess the Situation

Whether you discover your parents may be struggling with day to day home maintenance or serious medical issues, it is important to get a complete picture of their status.  Don’t be afraid to ask parents questions about their health or the things they are struggling with at home. A last minute visit to their house often tells a much better story than a planned holiday visit, as issues may be more visible without the distraction of other relatives, holiday cheer and seasonal decorations. Try not to become patronizing, overreact or be overly critical if you discover unhealthy or unsafe living conditions. Take some time to first understand and more importantly, to listen to your parents and discover their concerns.

As you learn more about the situation, you should pay close attention to the three primary areas which typically require third-party professional assessment: 1. medical concerns, 2. cognitive concerns and, 3. an assessment of functional abilities or “Activities of Daily Living” (ADL’s). This last group includes items such as socialization, personal hygiene and the ability to prepare meals, take medications and manage finances.

Medical professionals, social workers and Geriatric Care Managers may be able to assist with these personal assessments.

Organize Information

Discuss the location of important medical, legal and financial documents with your parents and determine if they willing to release copies of information to you. If they prefer to keep paperwork in the hands of legal or financial representatives, that is their prerogative. They may be willing to share names of individuals or institutions involved. At a minimum, you should possess or know the whereabouts of their date of birth, social security information and Medical Insurance information. 

Your parents should be encouraged to assign Financial and Healthcare Powers of Attorney and complete or update Wills and Advanced Directives. 

Gather Support

Long Distance Caregiving often involves a team approach. Your responsibility is to help those team members understand their roles and keep communications open. Resources will vary for every family, and may involve medical professionals, social services, care managers, home care providers, attorneys, financial advisors and more.

Additional support for your parents in the form of relatives, close friends, neighbors, religious leaders and other associates are equally as important. These individuals often become the people you rely on most for day to day updates and oversight for your parents. Obtain a copy of your parents’ local phone book or personal address book if possible.

Establish a Plan

Discuss short and long term options with your parents based on the advice of professionals along with your parents’ personal wishes. Once areas of necessary support have been identified, set up a schedule for communicating with local care givers and other family members to make sure things are progressing as planned. Be prepared for sudden changes in health or mental health status.

Consider all the options before moving your relative. While moving a parent closer may seem to be the best solution for you, in-home services may permit them to remain in their familiar home, which is preferred by most older adults. In the event of a move, professional services such as Caring Transitions® can coordinate all aspects of a relocation project, including planning for downsizing, movers, realtors, organizing, shipping, packing, estate sale and more.

Recognize Your Limitations

Frequent travel to visit parents can be stressful and creates difficult situations for jobs and immediate family. Be sure to budget your travel funds and set up a network of support through family, friends and child care services to help support your new role. Discuss your parents’ situation with your supervisors and Human Resources department at the workplace so they may better accommodate changes in your schedule.  Ask your spouse and children for personal or emotional support when it is needed.

Don’t overlook signs of stress, which are quite common for care givers. Chronic fatigue, weight loss or gain, indecisiveness, sleeplessness and irritability are all symptoms of the stress you may be under.  Give yourself a break by relying on your spouse, friends, family and professional resources.  Be sure to eat healthy, exercise and maintain regular sleeping hours.

As our parents live longer, a whole new set of skills are required to support our families. Fortunately, technology, services and professional resources are developing at rapid pace to help support this new “Age of Care Giving.” 

 

Expand Your Vintage Vocabulary: Cold Paint

Today we are talking about the term "cold paint", which refers to decorative painting of ceramic ware after it has been kiln fired.  As you can see with the cow creamer example below, it may not be the most effective method of adding color to ceramics in terms of wearability.  Cold painted ceramics are different than ceramics that have been glazed in various colors, or painted bisque.  Adding paint to a glossy surface is a somewhat risky proposition, and over time, use, and washing it will show wear.  You might see an item described on Ebay or another selling venue as having "some cold paint loss".  Now you'll know what that means, in case you didn't before.


Source:  http://www.mitzismiscellany.com/

 

October 2013 Newsletter

 Getting Ahead of the Holiday Season

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions

 

 

As autumn moves in the store shelves begin to fill up with the latest trends in seasonal home décor, most of us are struck by an impulse to shop. Yet, before you decide to buy another centerpiece, table runner or ceramic pumpkin, it may be wise to take a complete inventory of the seasonal items you already own.

At Caring Transitions, we believe October is an ideal month to pull all of your storage bags and boxes out of the basement or attic and sort through decorations in preparation for upcoming holidays.  Set aside a few hours or entire weekend to really get organized. Chances are, if you have lived in your home for a number of years this sorting process may turn up a number of items to throw out or donate. Who knows, you may even find some trinkets to sell and offset the cost of new purchases!

Sort by Season

It is helpful if your decorations are always stored separately according to holiday.  Once you pull everything from storage, begin to create piles of items and label them by festivity.   Have enough bags, boxes, labels and markers on hand so you can clearly label and eventually store all items you decide to keep.  This way, on October 1st, you can simply pull out the boxes marked “Halloween” and get started on your decorating without having to rummage through turkey-shaped candle holders and tangled strands of holiday lighting.

As you sort, carefully consider what you really use for each holiday. If you are thinking about moving or downsizing over the following year, be sure to eliminate large and bulky items. Smaller homes mean less storage space and fewer rooms and surfaces to decorate.  

Halloween Costumes

According to a 2012 survey, Americans spend around $6.86 billion on Halloween items which includes gifts, décor, mask and costumes.  And the funny thing is, we buy more and more every year without getting rid of old or outdated items.  In our vast experience with organizing, downsizing and declutteringhomes, we have come across many families that no longer have young children, but still have boxes full of “kiddie” costumes  they are holding onto “just in case.”

Most likely, those costumes can be sold in an Estate Sale or through Online Auction.  Unless you have a costume that is original or truly unique, like the latex mask of accused murderess, Casey Anthony, which garnered a bid of a million dollars on eBay, you may not get a bundle of cash for your items, but perhaps enough to make it worth your while. If you’d rather donate the items you no longer need, many charitable organizations can put the costumes to good use and underfunded schools may be able to use them for skits and plays.  

In the auction industry, Halloween ranks fifth out of all seasonal décor auction sales.  The most collectible holiday, of course, is Christmas.

Christmas

As you sort through your many Christmas items, consider that the 2012 surveys showed a total of 2.1 million Christmas collectibles sold at auction last year. That is about four times the next seasonal celebration, weddings.

The most expensive Christmas item auctioned was a handcrafted Polish glass Christmas ornament called, “Scerry Christmas by Slavic Treasures,” created in 2002 which sold in 2007 for $19.8 million. Of course, in reality, most ornaments and collectibles sell for only a few dollars, yet even these can add up if you have a large stockpile. Vintage items may generate higher prices on the open market where competing buyers can help drive the prices up.

In 2001, an original Christmas card sold at auction for about $40,000, the highest paid for a holiday card so far. Sending any type of card started in the Victorian era and many of those cards still sell today at about $8 for a trade card to $300 for 3-D die-cut cards. Of course, most of us don’t have these valuable items on hand, but even run-of the–mill boxed cards and stationary will sell below retail to the right buyer.

Holiday Tablescapes

As you look through your holiday table linens, try and eliminate those that are so stained or worn they may be of no use other than as dust cloths.   If you choose to donate items that you no longer care for, but are in better condition, many women’s shelters seek basic linens for their clients. Some seasonal items may also be welcome.

Count your napkins and napkin holders and eliminate uneven sets, unless you are trying to achieve a more eclectic look with your table settings. Pure linen damask and double damask are the most valuable types of linen. Current listings for antique Irish linen range from $50 to $600. If you have fine linens but either have too many, no longer entertain or are moving to a place where you will not use a full-size dining table, these items make good candidates for sale and auction. Some collectors may even purchase odd numbers sets, for instance 3 or 5 napkins.

Collectors are also often seeking fine china.  Sometimes even full sets of china may be offered as pieces, especially if they are highly collectible. Buyers may be willing to pay more for single items they need to build or complete their own sets.  Glassware is similar, with sets of Waterford crystal glassware at auction $100 to $700 depending on the style, condition and size of the sets. 

There are also still a number of folks who buy and sell “Collector’s Plates,” such as those made by Franklin Mint and Currier and Ives. With few exceptions for rare plates or complete sets, these types of items typically sell for few dollars, but again, profit at auction can add up if you have several on hand and combine sales with other items.    

Kitchen Baking and Decor

Holiday kitchen items are often difficult to let go, particularly for those who associate a particular platter, or cookie cutter or casserole dish with a traditional family meal or family custom. For Caring Transitions clients who truly need to downsize, we often recommend gifting those items, along with the traditional recipe, to another family member so their holiday legacy may be continued.

In other instances, folks just have more kitchen and bakeware than they actually use. Again, these items may be very useful to family shelters and other charitable organizations.  If you are looking to sell items, consider that very traditional items such as copper molds, 19th century Griswold cast iron skillets, tea kettles, enameled cookware, antique metal cookie cutters and original mason jars are all highly valued by collectors. 

Other Décor

As you downsize larger items, keep in mind that household furnishings and home décor items are always on demand through Online Auction or Estate Sale.  The more unique the items, the more money they are likely to fetch. Home décor items can include anything from antique furnishings, decorative vases, mirrors, centerpieces, large plastics, lamps, lamp shades, cushions, wall décor, tapestries, picture frames and wall sculpture.  

 

Expand Your Vintage Vocabulary

 

Courtesy www.mitzismiscellany.com

Have you ever looked at the bottom of a little figurine or vase and seen the words "Made in Occupied Japan"?  Perhaps you know what that means, but for those of you who don't, let me clue you in.

 

IMG_8642

 

A typical Made In Occupied Japan stamp:

 

IMG_8643

 

Items marked "Made In Occupied Japan" or simply "Occupied Japan" were manufactured after Japan surrendered at the end of World War II and was occupied by the Allies.  During the years 1946-47  Japan was banned from exporting except for controlled territories that were allowed to export the specially marked items, much of which were kitchen ware and home decor.  The markings were used even after the ban was lifted for a time because the Japanese were in a rush to rebuild their economy and the tooling that produced the marks was gradually replaced at the various factories into the 1950's.

Now some collectors covet the Occupied Japan marked items, because it represents a specific time period in American and Japanese history.  Items with the "OJ" marking will have more value than a similar item without the mark

 

Expand Your Vintage Vocabulary

 

Courtesy www.mitzismiscellany.com

Have you ever heard of "meerschaum"?  If so, it might have been in reference to a meerschaum pipe.  Meerschaum is a mineral that is also known scientifically as "sepiolite".  The word "meerschaum" is a German word that means "foam of the sea".  Meerschaum is so light and porous that it can float on top of water.  Found mostly in Turkey around the Dead Sea, meerschaum is also found in the U.S. and other areas around the globe in small quantities.

IMG_9640

According to Wikipedia, meerschaum replaced clay as a superior pipe-making material.  The porous nature of meerschaum draws moisture and tobacco tar into the stone which provides a cool, dry, flavorful smoke.  As the pipe is used, it typically changes color, from white to golden yellow to orange to reddish brown as the tar is absorbed into the bowl of the pipe.

Here is a older, well-used meerschaum pipe, image courtesy of Wikipedia:

Meerschaum2

Meerschaum is so easy to carve, you can almost make impressions in it with your fingernail.

 

 
IMG_9637

 

The tips and stems of vintage cigarette holders were also sometimes made of meerschaum.  

This vintage cigarette holder from the 1940's recently sold on Etsy:

Etsy Cigarette Holder



 

The typical carved meerschaum pipe like my example, because it's a common motif, not signed by a specific carver and it doesn't have its own case, is probably worth about $35.00 to $45.00.  

So there you go, another little vocabulary word you can use to impress you friends when you go to the flea market together.  There's a good chance you will come across a meerschaum pipe one of these days.

Mitzi

 
 
 

September Newsletter

 By Nan Hayes 

The Probate Process

 

As the nation’s largest professional resource for household relocation and estate liquidation, Caring Transitions is often hired by attorneys, banks and family members to help support the probate process. We are often asked questions about probate and in all cases we recommend our clients seek proper legal advice, as probate laws vary a great deal from state to state. Caring Transitions is pleased to provide general information and our local office can also recommend other resources to help you manage a loved one’s estate.
 
Probate Is

Probate is a court-supervised process of distributing assets when a deceased individual (decedent), has not established a living trust.  When the distribution of assets is not clearly defined prior to death, families and heirs are left to sort things out through probate courts. The probate process involves locating, defining and determining the value of assets owned by the decedent. It also includes payment of bills and taxes and eventually, the process results in the distribution of remaining assets.

Probate Pros and Cons

Probate can be a lengthy, frustrating and expensive process for families, however establishing a living trust may be equally as costly and complex for those with a number of valuable assets. Probate fees may include the attorney, the executor, filing fees and court costs. The cost for a living trust includes legal and filing fees. Some individuals opt to purchase software or work on the basics through internet companies, such as LegalZoom, to reduce their overall costs. It is still recommended you consult an attorney at some point in the process.

Smaller estates may meet the state requirements for “summary” proceedings, which are a simplified and less costly form of probate. Refer to your county court website for more information on applications, forms and Summary Probate restrictions and requirements.  

Probate Is Required
 
When the decedent does not designate new owners in advance, property typically has to be probated to remove the decedent’s name and legally name the beneficiaries. This applies to property owned solely in the decedent’s name and also when property is held ‘in common” with another owner. As mentioned above, if property was titled to a living trust before the individual died, probate is not necessary.  
Bank accounts, insurance policies, IRAs and other such accounts that are “payable on death” may also need to be probated if the decedent never named beneficiaries for the accounts or if the beneficiaries have already died. This is referred to “predeceased beneficiaries.”
Even if the decedent has a Last Will and Testament, probate may be required if any of the property has not been designated or if living beneficiaries were not named.
 
Steps of Probate
 
Some states have adopted a Uniform Probate Code (UPC) and adhere to a general set of laws. Other states have a different set of requirements and processes.  Yet, a general outline of the process includes:
 
Appointing a Personal Representative
 
This role is usually referred to as Executor or Administrator and is the fiduciary put in charge of settling the decedent’s estate. If there is a Last Will, the probate judge will typically appoint the Personal Representative named in the will as the Executor, unless the will is contested or the representative does not qualify on legal grounds, such as being convicted of a felony.

If a Personal Representative is not named, the judge will appoint one based on specific guidelines established within each state. Individuals may apply for the role. Once the Executor is named, or appointed, they may also hire an attorney to handle the paperwork and necessary filings.  Executors who are family members often, but not always, waive the customary fees.

Inventory of Documents and Assets

Again, individuals need to locate the state requirements for inventory of assets, but in general the decedent’s estate planning documents such as the Last Will and Testament, funeral instructions and living trust, should be organized for the estate attorney. In most cases, set aside three years of tax returns and locate a 3 month inventory of all Account statements, such as checking, savings, cd’s, retirement accounts and brokerage accounts. Stock and bond certificates are required, as well as life insurance policies  and the beneficiary designations for payable on death accounts such as insurance and IRAs, real estate deeds,  titles for automobiles and other recreational vehicles, corporate records, household and utility bills, medical bill and funeral bills.  The Executor must also try and identify all creditors and outstanding debts. A list should be made of what the decedent owned as well as what they owed. (Refer to our August 2011 Newsletter for information on securing personal documents.)

Valuation

The next step is determining the value of the estate at the time of death.  For all items listed on the inventory, this is typically the fair market value of the asset at the time of death. Bank and retirement accounts are listed per the most recent statements.  Real estate may be listed at its value as assessed for real estate taxes. For other property, fair market value is normally “the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller in the retail market.” Appraisals are often required and the cost of appraisal or advice of accountant in these matters is usually allowable as an administrative cost of the estate.

Publishing Notices

Again, refer to local requirements, but in most cases the Executor will send out formal written notices of the probate to heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors and then provide proof that such notices were sent.

Paying Bills and Taxes

An account is typically set up for the estate and used to pay estate management expenses and pay the decedent’s outstanding debts. Careful records of all transactions must be kept.

Typically, Estate taxes must be filed within a specific time frame. Estate taxes can be very complicated and can have a significant impact on the value of the estate, as well as heirs and beneficiaries.   It is advisable to seek the experience of an estate tax attorney or CPA, who can help determine state and federal liability.

Distributions

After all else is done,  the executor will distribute the decedent's assets to the beneficiaries named in the  Last Will, or if there was no will, according to decedent's heirs at law. The estate is closed by filing a "final accounting" with the court. The Executor also files a "closing statement," that indicates all taxes and debts have also been paid and all property distributed.

About Us

With offices in most major cities, Caring Transitions supports your family or your clients as they navigate changing or difficult circumstances. Our full service menu includes liquidation services to help support the closing of an estate, such as professional estate sale and online auctions. We also provide downsizing, organizing, move support, estate clean out services and much more. Learn about us at www.CaringTransitions.com.

 

  Contact Caring Transitions of Mishawaka for a Consultation.

 

August 2013 Newsletter

 Sell it Online!

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions

 

The scope and reach of online auctions have clearly exceeded levels projected a decade ago.  According to recent industry reports, the e-commerce and online auction industries continue to experience rapid growth, outperforming many retail sectors and every year. More than 100 million citizens purchase goods in the online marketplace.

Despite the recession-induced slump in 2009, online industry revenue is expected to continue to increase at an annual average rate of 10.4% and the number of industry operators is expected to reach an estimated 119,000 companies. While the four largest companies, including Amazon and Ebay, take up the lion’s share of the online purchase market, an increasing number of smaller companies have entered the industry and contribute to over 50% of total sales.

Caring Transitions is among those who take the Online Auction business seriously. Since introducing their CTOnlineAuctions.com site in 2009, Caring Transitions has carved out a clear market niche. The local online auction allows buyers the opportunity to make an online purchase and avoid shipping charges by making a local pickup from a trusted local professional, although most offices do offer shipping options for bidders across the nation as well. Some sales will offer preview times for local bidders to be able to come and inspect items.  Each posting can include up to 15 pictures, detailed descriptions and the opportunity for bidders to ask additional questions. With over 115 offices nationwide, Caring Transitions now operates online auctions in virtually every major market. Each office provides local pickup and personalized support to help consumers and small businesses sort, organize, catalogue, post and manage online sales. The extent of Caring Transitions support services is a unique offering compared to the larger auctions sites.

Well known across the nation for their support of older adults who may be moving or downsizing,  Caring Transitions• also serves home and small business owners looking to liquidate inventories,  general household goods and  other non-titled property such as furnishings, electronics, tools, collections. Liquidation services range from traditional Estate Sale to increasingly popular online auction options.  

Caring Transitions developed their proprietary bidding platform, CTOnlineAuctions.com, in response to consumer demand for alternative liquidation solutions.  CTOnlineAutions.com helps those who are unable to take advantage of traditional Estate Sales because they live in a community where sales are not permitted, prefer to maintain the privacy of their home (only winning bidders receive the location address), have items to sell from a storage facility, have limited but valuable family possessions to sell or are limited by time and space constraints.  Other users of CTOnlineAuctions.com may wish to avoid the expense and management of establishing their own auction site yet may wish to conduct ongoing or repeat sales.  By targeting specific audiences via the web, CTOnlineAuctions.com often bring the best possible price for every type of client, and can even help individuals liquidate larger lots of less valuable inventory in a timely and efficient manner.

CTOnlineAuctions.com was created to offer ease of use for bidders by allowing a bidder to place a maximum bid. The site will place bids at set increments up to the maximum amount as other bidders place competing bids. That way, a bidder does not have to continually be placing bids.  Also, if a bidder is outbid, the site will send them an email to let them know. The site also acts like a live auction so if bids are coming in at the end of a sale, the site will add extra time to allow all bidders the chance to increase their bid.  This feature helps prevents what is call “sniping” where a bidder will try to place a last second bid to win an item. These features are described in detail on CTOnlineAuctions.com Help Tab.

In the coming years, continued economic recovery is expected to contribute to the continued growth of the online auction market. Broadband internet adoption is expected to continue to rise and will boost consumer accessibility to online retailers. Growth in this industry is also due to consumers becoming more comfortable purchasing items online. In particular, internet payment systems like PayPal have made buying online easier and more secure, helping retailers sway security-minded consumers and attract repeat buyers.

Online auctions also break down and remove the physical limitations of traditional auctions such as geography, presence, time, space, and a small target audience. As web users become progressively comfortable with online purchases, consumers are more likely to increase their purchases from internet retailers. As the market grows, it is helpful for consumers to learn more about the various forms of online auction and how to effectively bid for each.

Increased activity in online sales has also attracted those elements interested in committing fraud.According to the FBI’s latest report of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), more than 70,000 complaints made to IC3 last year, about one in every four, involved online auction scams. Using a vetted, secure and reliable company such as Caring Transitions• can assure that both the buyer and seller will benefit from legitimate inventory, bidding, sales, shipment and delivery of auctioned items. 

 

June 2013 Newsletter

Real Estate Resources for Mom and Dad

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions
 
When it comes to choosing housing or buying and selling real estate, the needs of older adults and their families can be quite complex. Selling situations may be complicated by issues such as family dynamics, deteriorating health, personal loss and financial constraints.  To provide consumers with dedicated support options, two of the nation’s most professional resources work in partnership.
 
Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES):
 
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) established their Senior Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) program in 2007. Realtors® who invest the time to earn their SRES® credential cultivate a unique view of today’s market, including the sale of older homes, senior housing options and the logistics of relocation. They also understand the implications of common financial concerns, including financing options, reverse mortgage, tax laws, probate and estate planning. Today there are approximately 15,000 SRES® Realtors® nationwide. All SRES® Realtors® meet NAR industry requirements and are supported by the SRES® Council.
 
An SRES® Realtor® will patiently support and stick with clients through each step of a home sale decision and where necessary, draw upon a qualified network of other professionals to help support their clients. Caring Transitions is proud to be among the designated SRES® business partners.
 
Caring Transitions®:   
 
As the nation’s largest professional resource for household relocation and liquidation, Caring Transitions® is uniquely qualified to serve in partnership with the SRES® Realtor® network.
 
With independently owned offices in every major market, Caring Transitions® supports families and business professionals as they downsize, sell, move, pack and unpack. With professional Estate Sale and state-of-the-art CT Online Auction capabilities, Caring Transitions® helps consumers with decluttering. They often assist clients by preparing homes for sale. Moving and storage costs may be offset by professional space planning and downsizing services which are typically delivered in advance of a major move.  
 
Caring Transitions® contracts with some of the nation’s largest corporations and Senior Living Communities to provide service to residents as they relocate their family homes to assisted living or other long term care settings.
 
Caring Transitions® exceeds all industry standards by requiring each of their owners to undergo corporate training and independent CRTS® Certification. All offices are fully insured and all employees are subject to background checks and receive specialized training. With a coast to coast network that follows a standardized set of practices, Caring Transitions® is capable of managing every type of home transition, whether around the corner or across the country.
 
 
Not sure where to start?
 
It is important for families to understand their options when it comes to secure, knowledgeable and qualified resources. Both SRES® and Caring Transitions® work with teams of professionals who assist with all facets of the home sale and relocation process. Both serve as advocates for their older adult clients.  
 
If listing your home for sale is your immediate concern, contact an SRES® Realtor® today.  However, if you think it is best to begin the downsizing process before you list or if you are ready to move to your new home or clear an estate, contact this local Caring Transitions® office. Both groups of professionals will work in concert to support your needs and help you avoid costly and time consuming mistakes. 
 
Concerned about costs?
 
By working as a team, the above resources can help clarify your options and maximize your financials. While pricing varies from region to region and industry to industry, both of these qualified professionals take the time to explain the costs of their services with a free home visit designed to assess your needs. Both will develop a plan to meet your timeline and budget.    
 
Today’s older adults deserve to have appropriate resources and information so they may make informed decisions. When families work with qualified providers, moving forward seems less stressful, painful or difficult. As with most major life changes, late life transitions may actually bring great opportunity for personal growth when managed in the best possible way.
 
Not over 55 years of age?
Although “senior specialists”, all members of the SRES® Realtor® and Caring Transitions® networks serve a wide variety of residential and professional clients!   Regardless of age or circumstance, contact us today for a free initial visit!
 
 
 
Other Resources:
Legal:
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys searchable database, www.naela.org
 
Care Manager:
Find a professional who can help with care planning and assessments searchable database, www.caremanger.org
 
Financial advice:
Certified Financial Planner, www.cfp.net
Certified Senior Advisor, www.society-csa.com
National Association of Personal Financial Advisor, www.napfa.org
 
Movers:
US Department of Transportation
Find information about moving and moving providers at www.protectyourmove.gov
 
Area Agencies on Aging:
Locate your state and country agencies sponsored by the Administration on Aging, www.aoa.gov.
Locate your AAA and other resources through www.elderlocator.gov, or 1-800-677-1116 or www.n4a.com
 

February 2013 Newsletter

Home Market 2013

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions
 
In the past year, sales of existing homes rose by 11% or 4.75 million and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) expects sales to rise to nearly 5.1 million in 2013. Sales have increased across all regions and all price categories.
Despite the positive outlook and improvements in housing market indicators, many remain cautious and lack the complete confidence that consumer spending, employment and lending will fully recover. The good news is most economists say the majority of these issues will be resolved by the second half of 2013, giving the housing market a chance to continue its positive trend.
Challenges for Buyers
Over the past few years, many potential sellers waited for the market to trend up before listing their homes and during that time much of the home inventory that was out there dried up. As we move into 2013, markets such as Chicago are seeing record lows in inventories. This inventory reduction provides encouraging news for sellers who stand to sell quickly, near or even above list price; however, a low inventory market isn’t so great for buyers, who will undoubtedly face stiff competition for available properties. 
The 2013 market may see a rapid increase in prices as an increased number of buyers compete over these low inventories and engage in bidding wars. Buyers are on the rise in many markets and for many reasons. More buyers will enter the market as the economy recovers and hiring increases. High rental occupancy and rising rents are encouraging renters to move on to homeownership, creating even more buyers and as home prices increase, owners who were in negative equity situations will begin to sell their homes, but they will also become buyers searching for their next home. With so many people looking for properties during a time when home building and financing for builders remains at historical lows, the biggest question for 2013 may be “Where are the homes?”
Distressed properties are still available in some markets, but even foreclosure filings are expected to dwindle throughout 2013.The number of inexpensive homes for sale  has dropped significantly over the past year. This resulted in an increased number of transactions in the mid to high price ranges and caused dramatic increase in the median home price in many areas.
Fifty cities experienced double-digit increases in home prices, led by Phoenix, with a gain of 28.4% where the properties had become severely undervalued. Many of the cities that are showing the largest increases are those who suffered most at the beginning of the crisis. They are now on the leading edge of the recovery. Across the board market observers agree that home prices will keep rising in 2013, but they disagree by how much. Forecasters speculate anywhere from a 2% to a 5% increase.
According to Kiplinger’s Report, the following 12 cities report the largest percentage increases in home prices late 2012; Phoenix, AZ, Provo, UT, Ft. Meyers, Fl., Minneapolis, MN., Akron, OH., Youngstown, OH., Seattle, WA., Salt Lake City, UT., Boise, ID., San Jose, CA., Washington, D.C. and Tucson, AZ.
While these markets experienced the largest percentage decreases in the same time frame; Louisville, KY., Columbia, S.C., Springfield, MA., Baton Rouge, LA., Scranton, PA., Greensboro, N.C., Memphis, TN., Omaha, NE., Knoxville, TN., Toledo, OH., Philadelphia, PA. and Portland, ME.
Challenges for Sellers
Based on the inventory situation, you would think home prices would be skyrocketing and sellers quickly jumping into the market. But it hasn’t really happened. On one hand desirable homes that are priced well move fast, but on the other hand homes that are too cluttered, in need of serious repair or in poor locations may continue to languish.
And sellers are not yet as optimistic as one would think they’d be. Many sellers entering the market are selling their homes due to affordability problems such as inability to pay their mortgage or finding their investment in an “underwater” position. Others are suffering from job uncertainty, loss of household income or just choosing to move to a more affordable market. These owners’ reasons for selling reflect the hardships that many are experiencing and may explain why sellers are not very hopeful about the future of home prices. According to the Home Buyers Report, only about one in five sellers believe home prices will continue to increase.
Still, the shortage of preferred inventory in the market will still work to the advantage of some buyers, especially those who are well positioned, have a home in reasonably good condition, who seek out the right broker and list at the right price before everyone else jumps in the game.
Let us help you get your home ready for the 2013 selling season! Downsizing, decluttering, estate sale and online auctions from Caring Transitions!
 

March 2013 Newsletter

Tax Time: Charitable Contributions and Deductions

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions
 
When moving or downsizing this spring, there is a good opportunity to demonstrate your altruistic side and donate items to charity. And while most donations are done selflessly, charitable deductions can be a big plus come tax season. To help with your 2012 tax filing and to help you receive the full benefit of your donations in 2013, we have put together a short list of items to consider.
Basic Information
First, be sure your donation is being made to a qualified organization. You can investigate an organization’s qualifications by asking the organization itself, or by contacting the IRS at 1-877-829-5500 or going to the IRS eligibility web pages. For more information regarding qualified and non-qualified parties, such as specific individuals and certain organizations, refer to IRS Publication 526.
Most basic deductions can be completed using Form 1040 and completing a schedule an itemization.  IRS Publication 561 has more information about the value of deductions. To download tax forms and publications, visit www.irs.gov/formspubs or call 1-­800­-TAX­FORM (1­800­829­3676).
 
Value of Deductions
 
Clothing and household items must generally be in good used condition or better to be deductible.  Goodwill and the Salvation Army provide information regarding deductions on their websites and also a value calculator to help you determine the value of household goods donations.
 
Donations of property, stock or other non-cash property are usually valued at the fair market value of the property. Fair market value is generally the price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all the relevant facts. If you give property to a qualified organization, you generally can deduct the fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution.
 
Special rules apply to vehicle donations.  The fair market value of vehicles such as cars, planes and boats, must be determined. Certain commercial firms and trade organizations publish monthly and seasonal guides containing dealer sale prices or dealer average prices. These publications can usually be found at libraries, banks and credit unions. You can contact the Salvation Army at 1-888-999 ARMY for auto donations.
Disaster Relief
 
Tax laws provide help for victims of disaster who have experienced losses, especially those of a presidentially declared disaster who may, in fact, use their tax filing to obtain much-needed cash. Taxpayers who itemize are allowed by the Internal Revenue Service to deduct casualty losses. Individuals who contribute to disaster relief funds may deduct contributions for flood relief, hurricane relief, or other disaster relief to a qualified organization. Refer to IRS Publication 3833, Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance through Charitable Organizations, for more information about disaster relief.
 
 
Cash and Monetary Contributions
 
To deduct contributions of cash, check or other monetary gifts, maintain a bank record or written confirmation from the organization. This confirmation or receipt   must contain the name of the organization, the date of the contribution and amount of the contribution. For text message donations, a telephone bill will meet the record-keeping requirement if it shows the name of the receiving organization, the date of the contribution, and the amount given.
 
If you received a benefit from your contribution, the deduction will be limited to the amount of contribution less the value of the benefit. One example given by the IRS; You pay $65 for tickets to a dinner­dance at a church. Your entire $65 payment goes to the church. The ticket to the dinner­dance has a fair market value of $25. When you buy your ticket, you know its value is less than your payment. To figure the amount of your charitable contribution, subtract the value of the benefit you receive ($25) from your total payment ($65). You can deduct $40 as a charitable contribution to the church.
Large Deductions

 To claim a deduction for contributions of cash or property equaling $250 or more you must have a written acknowledgment from the qualified organization.
A qualified acknowledgement generally must include the following three items of information: (1) the amount of cash that you donated and a description (but not the value) of any assets other than cash that were donated; (2) whether the charity provided you with any goods or services in exchange for the donation (other than intangible religious benefits); and (3) a description and good-faith estimate of the value of any goods or services provided by the charity in exchange for your donation.  If you don't get a qualified acknowledgement, you cannot legitimately claim a deduction even if your donation was worth millions.
 
You should have the acknowledgement in hand on or before: (1) the date when you file your Form 1040 for the year you made the donation or (2) the due date (including any extension) for filing that return, whichever is earlier. If you don't have a qualified acknowledgement in hand by the proper date, you will not be able to claim the deduction.
 
One document may satisfy both the written communication requirement for monetary gifts and the written acknowledgement requirement for all contributions of $250 or more. If your total deduction for all noncash contributions for the year is over $500, you must complete and attach IRS Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, to your return.    
 
Taxpayers donating an item or a group of similar items valued at more than $5,000 must also complete Section B of Form 8283, which generally requires an appraisal by a qualified appraiser.

Find More Assistance
 
Your tax professional can provide the best specific information regarding your situation and your deductions.
 
Caring Transitions can also help you with record keeping and take a photographic, video or physical inventory of your donated items as we prepare your home for moving, sale or estate sale.  We can also help you locate appropriate organizations, arrange for pick up, drop off or transfer of donated goods or refer you to a qualified appraiser for your high-value items.
 

April 2013 Newsletter

Stress Less: Reduce Your Clutter

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions
Managing the volume of possessions in our homes is such a crushing problem; it actually elevates the level of stress hormones in our bodies. At least that’s one conclusion drawn by a study on household clutter conducted by UCLA’s Center for on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF).  Last summer, researchers from CELF produced “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors,” a book combining candid pictures of American life along with research on how and why our lives have become so cluttered.
 
The 171- page report is a disheartening chronicle of American life.   According to the study, we are completely overwhelmed by clutter, too busy to send time in our own backyards, rarely eat dinner together and can’t park our cars in the garage because the space has been filled with unassociated household items.
 
Yet, if we are completely honest with ourselves, the study reveals what most of us already know. We have too much “stuff” and for many of us, our excessive accumulation of personal property contributes more to our personal stress than our personal fulfillment.
 
Environmental Stress
 
But is the stress of household clutter really a cause for concern?  According to the Mayo Clinic, environment is counted among known sources of external stress.  Excessively cluttered rooms, loud noises, unpleasant odors, barking dogs and poor lighting can all be stressful. And while there are certainly many other external contributors, such as employment, finances, family and social situations, any prolonged form of stress may eventually lead to other problems.  
 The human body is designed to experience and manage sudden stress in order to avoid danger. However, when everyday stressors continue without relief, they become chronic stress.  Chronic stress leads to the physical symptoms many of us are familiar with, such as headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress and up to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
 
Simple Solutions
 
The good news is, reducing household clutter and improving your home environment is often much easier than resolving other forms of stress. By following a plan to address household projects and establishing clear guidelines for managing shopping and storage habits, you can typically resolve your household clutter issues in a matter of days or weeks.
In additional to improving your personal environment, there is an added benefit to addressing unruly rooms in your home.   Exercise. Studies done in the UK in 2008 indicate that as little as 20-minutes of   physical household chores can help reduce stress. And while it is true more vigorous forms of exercise produce a greater risk reduction, moderate forms of cleaning and organizing also help reduce fatigue and improve alertness and cognitive function that may have been compromised by environmental stressors. More simply put, when physical activity goes up, physical stress goes down.
 
Stress-Free Decluttering
 
In some cases, the very process of decluttering can become stressful. Depending on how much clutter you have in your home, there could be many details to manage; such as finding local charities or sorting items to sell, donate, throw out or give to friends and family. The volume of personal property can seem overwhelming and often projects may seem to get much worse before they get better.
 
At Caring Transitions, we know that the biggest obstacle to decluttering is taking that first step forward and then proceeding in a way that will not create additional anxiety. As leading experts in the field of decluttering and downsizing, we provide these basic guidelines for stress-free decluttering:
 
  • Keep it simple. Gaining control over clutter can help reduce our stress, but the decluttering process itself can create a whole new form of stress. Consumer magazines and TV shows about redesigning, staging, organizing and decluttering can make us feel inadequate or behind the times if we chose to continue living with “ordinary” clutter. The trick? Do what feels right for you. Walk through each room in your house and make a note of the things that do and do not make you feel less than comfortable.
  • Prioritize and Plan: Once you have your list, prioritize the projects based on personal safety, time, ability and budget.
  • Keep it achievable. Goal setting is most successful when you establish goals that you can actually obtain. You do not need to clean the entire garage in a day. Spend time in one area; complete it and then move on to the next. Be realistic in what you can accomplish during a particular timeframe. As you finish small tasks, keep a record of what you did and how long it took. This will help you manage larger projects and avoid frustration.
  • Set a schedule. Whether you do 20 minutes a day or reserve a whole weekend to declutter, set aside dedicated time with no other distractions. Then stick to the schedule.
  • Find support. Articles and self-help books can help you get organized and make decisions. The professionals at Caring Transitions can provide FREE in-home consultation as well as provide all the labor, resources and support you need for all of your downsizing, decluttering, estate sale, online auction or moving projects.
 

May 2013 Newsletter

Plan Accordingly to Ease Stress of Career Relocations

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions
 
Just the thought of relocating for work can be stressful, but proper planning and supportive resources can help to facilitate the process.
 
“In most cases, you’ll have a relocation representative to support you through the transition; however, it can be helpful to have a clear understanding of your company’s relocation policy and the steps involved in an out-of-state relocation,” said Christopher Seman, president of Caring Transitions. “The following tips may help to alleviate some of the stress associated with a career relocation.”
 
Mover Communications
                                                                                
·         Establish a point of contact with the moving company appointed by your employer.
·         Follow up with your contact prior to the move to make sure everyone is “on the same page” regarding pickup and delivery.
·         Verify availability to schedule packing, unpacking and other services.
·         Ask the moving company if it has storage capability or storage resources to accommodate extra furnishings, vehicles or other household goods at the point of origin or destination, as needed.
·         In addition to brochures explaining the various services and a detailed explanation of your moving quote, moving companies are required to provide you a copy of a consumer booklet entitled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.”
·         If you are responsible for choosing a mover, it is best to get at least three estimates to compare services and pricing. Be sure to ask what type of estimate you are receiving – binding or non-binding.
·         If you have a lump sum or your employer is not paying the mover directly, be sure to ask about the payment arrangements. It is customary for movers to be paid in cash, by certified check or by money order. It is NOT customary for movers to ask for cash deposits up front. This would likely be a red flag indicating a scam rogue mover operation.
·         The following resources may be helpful when choosing a reputable mover:
o   State Mover’s Associations: Your state mover’s association knows most of the movers in your area and is a great resource for referrals and moving advice. You can find a complete list of mover associations here.
o   American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA): AMSA is another complete source of information regarding interstate movers. The AMSA “Pro Mover” program has already verified the licensing and service levels for hundreds of movers nationwide to help you identify trusted resources.
o   Better Business Bureau: This organization can help you find a company at the point of destination and to research other companies and services near your new residence. Search by ZIP Code.
Timeline
 
·         Create a timeline for your move, starting from the final relocation date and working back to present day.
·         Many moving companies can provide you with an eight- to 12-week moving calendar to help you prepare for the bigger steps involved in the move and remind you of some smaller items, such as moving safety deposit boxes, returning library books, transferring prescriptions and pet records.
·         Share the timeline and responsibilities with other family members, including school-age children, so everyone knows what to expect.
·         Allow time to acclimate to your new community, including its local economy, media, business and lifestyle. You may choose to visit the city several times before you move, subscribe to local papers, read articles and connect via the internet to social groups and organizations of interest.
 
Possessions and Packing
·         Moving is the perfect time to sort through your belongings and decide what you use on a regular basis and what you may no longer need.
·         Downsizing and decluttering before a move helps with the actual transition process, as unpacking and resettlement will be much more pleasant without a lot of extra items to unpack and put away. Downsizing also helps save on moving costs, especially in “Do It Yourself” (DIY) situations.
·         Working room by room, take time to decide which items will be moved, donated or sold.
·         If you’re short on time, see if your employer will help pay for downsizing services, such as those provided by Caring Transitions, to help reduce the overall cost of the move.
·         Schedule an estate sale through a specialist if you have at least $2K to $3K worth of household goods to sell.
·         Locate drop-offs or schedule pick-ups for charitable donations.
·         Help the movers calculate the cost of your move by showing them every single item to be moved. Don't forget to go into the attic, basement, garage, shed and closets and under beds. Reach a clear understanding about the amount of packing and other services needed. Anything omitted from the estimate, but later included in the shipment, will add to the cost.
·         The use of good packing materials and professional packing companies is advisable. Plan accordingly to have almost everything packed a day or two before the moving van will be loaded. While packing yourself can save money, movers will not usually accept liability for damage to items packed by owners.
·         Be present when your goods are packed. An inventory of your goods will be made, and it is important to resolve any disagreements prior to signing the inventory.
·         Be sure to discuss all insurance options with your mover.

On Moving Day
·         Be available on all loading days, in case the movers have questions.
·         Accompany the driver as he prepares your inventory. Don’t hesitate to clarify his notes or ask questions.
·         Carefully read and complete the Bill of Lading. This is the legal contract between you and the mover, treat it accordingly.
·         Make sure you have copies of the Bill of Lading and inventories before the driver leaves.
·         Before the driver leaves, do a final walk through the house checking all closets and storage areas to make sure nothing was missed.
·         Provide the driver with contact information in case he needs to reach you during the course of the move.
·         Ask for the driver's truck number, agency and contact information. This will make it easier to reach him if you have questions or if your plans change.
·         Make sure the driver has the correct address of your new home or storage facility.
·         Provide movers and helpers with a clean water supply (either individual bottles or cups) and restroom facilities.
·         Keep the items that will be traveling with you (i.e., clothes, papers, etc.) separate from the rest of your belongings to be loaded.
·         Valuables (e.g., cash, coins, jewelry, photographs, papers, etc.) should be taken with you or insured and shipped ahead.
·         Arrange for the new homeowners to take possession a day or two after moving day to help reduce stress.
 
Delivery
·         Usually, your belongings will be transported in a van along with those of others. Delivery may be made on any of the several consecutive days agreed upon before the move began. Make sure the mover knows how to contact you to schedule the actual delivery. Delays in delivery may result in additional charges.
·         Upon delivery, check your goods for damage. Do not sign the inventory until you have inspected your furniture and the exterior of the cartons.
·         Unpacking services can speed up your transition and resettlement, allowing you to focus on your family’s adjustment and your own career change.
·         Best practices from the American Moving and Storage Association suggest you report damaged or lost goods promptly and in detail on the van driver's copy (original) of the inventory sheet before signing. If you notice damage after unpacking, a claim must be filed within nine months after delivery; however, it is to your advantage to report damage as soon as possible. The mover must acknowledge receipt of your claim within 30 days and must deny or make an offer within 120 days of receipt of your claim.
 

January 2013 Newsletter

an Expert

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions
 
If you are over the age of 70, chances are your 2013 New Year’s resolutions may include items such as “Look into long term care insurance,” “Clean out the basement,” “Investigate housing options, ““Find a home care provider,” “Add grab bars in the bathroom,” or perhaps “Locate a qualified home helper.”
 
All of these are good resolutions and things most of us should deal with sooner rather than later. The trick is finding the right resources to help you work through your “later lifestyle” list of resolutions. To help get you started, Caring Transitions has put together a short list of industry “experts” you can turn to for advice and support in 2013.
 
Housing Choices
With so many care options, amenities and fee structures, it is sometime tough to narrow down your housing choices. Free referral services are available both online through comprehensive directories such as Retirement Homes.com or you can contact a hands-on expert, such as those working at your local Assisted Transitions office.
Online: www.retirementhomes.com or www.assistedtransition.com
Other resources: www.aplaceformom.com, www.seniorhousingnet.com
Financial Planning
While not specific to senior adults, the Certified Financial Professional (CFP) designation is awarded to those individuals who meet the CFP Board’s experience and exam requirement for financial planning, risk management, insurance planning and more.
Online: www.cfp.org
Other resources: http://www.aarp.org/money/
Home Care
Finding qualified home care is often a matter of referral by medical professional, friends or family. However, more and more websites offer free search options, such as at Care.com and Years Ahead. Don’t hesitate to ask a potential caregiver for their rates, qualifications and referrals in order to understand if they are right for you!
Other resources: www.alz.org/carefinder
Benefits
Whether you are looking for help to pay for prescription drugs, health care, rent, utilities, and other needs or seeking information about your veteran’s benefits, resources are available to you day and night.
Other resources: http://www.aadmm.com
Home Sale
The National Association of Realtors developed the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) Program in 2006. Realtors who carry the SRES® designation after their name have been trained to understand the needs of their senior clients including housing options, financing and issues facing a later life move from family home.
Other resources: www.moveseniors.com
Legal Matters
A great many resources on elder law may be found at the government’s National Legal resource center. Also, The National Association for Elder Law Attorneys maintains a list of both accredited (CELA-Certified Elder Law Attorneys) and experience qualified attorneys who specifically serve senior clients and their families.
Other resources: http://nlrc.aoa.gov/nlrc/Legal_Issues/Index.aspx
Downsizing, decluttering, estate sale
Caring Transitions® is the only national network of certified home transition and estate sale professionals with offices in over 100 major markets. We also support the CT Online web-based auction site. The Certified Transition Specialist (CRTS®) designation is awarded to those who specialize in downsizing and managing transitions for older adults, including local and long distance relocation to Senior Living Communities.
Other resources, www.crtscertification.com, www.napo.net
Moving
In conjunction with government agencies, the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) launched their Pro Mover program in 2009 to help the consumer identify and steer clear of moving imposters, known within the industry as “rogue operators,” by giving consumers an easy way to separate reputable, professional movers from con artists out to make a quick buck at their expense. Individuals can locate an interstate Pro Mover by looking for the Pro Mover logo, which is only issued to those companies that meet AMSA standards. Many state movers’ associations have their own local programs to help qualify local movers. For more information contact your local mover’s association.
Online: www.moving.org
Other resources: http://www.moving.org/promovers_az.asp
No Computer?
No problem! You can call the Eldercare Locator at 1.800.677.1116 or use your phone book to contact your local Senior Center or Area Agency on Aging for a list of qualified providers and their contact information.
 
Our Resolutions
All Caring Transitions We feel it is important to stay abreast of the current issues and trends so we may thoroughly understand how our society is changing with the “graying of America. It is evident that as the Baby Boomers and their parents grow older, we have a real responsibility to specialize our services to meet our client’s varying needs. All Caring Transitions agents have passed rigorous examination and are CRTS® Certified. Many also carry the CSA professional designation. Our 2013 resolution is to help you carry out your resolutions for the year. We will continue to maintain our high standard of excellence and working in tandem with qualified professionals such as SRES Realtors and Pro Movers in order to provide the best possible service experience for our clients.
 
Caring Transitions does not endorse or guarantee the services of any of the providers above.
Contact Caring Transitions of Mishawaka for a Consultation.
(574) 208-6071
For more information, visit www.CaringTransitions.net/MishawakaIN or email KSetear@CaringTransitions.net
 

Selling a Home? Improve Your Time on Market.

 By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions

In a news release issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in early September, a new statistical measurement showed the typical amount of time it takes to sell a home is shrinking. Average selling time for non-distressed homes is in the six to seven week range. By comparison, time on the market during the housing “boom” was 4 weeks and during the subsequent housing “bust”, 10 weeks.
 
“As inventory has tightened, homes have been selling more quickly,” the report said. “A notable shortening of time on market began this spring, and this has created a general balance between homebuyers and sellers in much of the country. This equilibrium is supporting sustained price growth, and homes that are correctly priced tend to sell quickly, while those that aren’t often languish on the market.”
 
There are two other reasons non-distressed homes may remain on the market longer than average. These include “Condition” and “Marketing.”
 
Condition:
If you are one of many home sellers who wonder why the house down the street just sold at an asking price similar to yours, it is time to look at the condition of your home. The concept of “home staging” has been around for a number of years now, but some sellers may not yet realize that preparing their home for sale isn’t just an option, it is a necessity. When a home is in disrepair, too dirty or too cluttered, buyers may not be able to see beyond the mess to effectively compare the home value to other properties. 
 
The NAR states the average home staging investment is between 1 and 3 percent of the home's asking price, and generates a return of 8 to 10 percent. According to other home staging statistics, an average expenditure of $575 for simple cleaning, decluttering, lightening and brightening provides a return of over $2,400 on the sale price of an average home, which is more than a 400% return on investment.
 
In those cases where a home is densely cluttered and requires more than “simple” cleaning, professional estate sale and online auction services cost the same or even less than basic staging services and produce similar results. Typically, professional estate sale management fees are paid as a percent of sale proceeds. Once those fees plus any additional administration fees have been paid, the net sales gain belongs to the home owner. As a result, the owner gains not only from the net revenues of the sale but also the increased value of a decluttered home. Even in situations where the outcome of an estate sale is just “break even”, the seller still benefits from the improved value of the home.
 
Some real-estate agents recommend home inspections before placing a home on the market and others suggest you should save the $200-$400 cost of inspection because the buyer will pay for  it done prior to closing. Yet, in today’s market, it may be an advantage to be proactive and complete all repairs before you list. According to the staging statistics, basic improvements such as plumbing, electrical, exterior and interior paint produce 50-100% ROI and larger remodeling projects, especially kitchens and baths, result in even higher returns for sold properties. 
 
Marketing:
If you haven’t sold a home in awhile, take some time to understand how homes are marketed these days. Technology has not only changed the way buyers look for homes but also the way homes are priced and presented to buyers.
 
If you decide to sell the house yourself, set a time limit to maintain your own listing before you consider hiring a professional. Certainly saving a 6% commission may provide you with a price advantage, but if you do not have the right information or don’t fully understand the pitfalls of a slow and changing marketplace, listing a house month after month without the guidance of an experienced professional may cost you more money in the long run.
Either way, it is important to fully understand local housing trends and review comparable sales figures. As markets change rapidly, you will want to find the most current information. You can use sites such as Zillow.com and Realtor.com, or again, get the advice of a professional agent. As noted above, establishing the right price is your first and most important rule when selling a home.
 
One you have established your price and listing method the details must be managed. Consider how much better the search results for your home may be if you list at $399, 999 instead of $400,000 and be sure to take pictures of the home after the decluttering, cleaning and repairs are complete. Of course the best pictures are professionally done. Buyers will spend more time perusing properties that have more than just a cover photo so take advantage of websites that allow multiple photographs to help you display the home’s best features. 
 
A complete marketing program includes more than website and online tools, but also print collateral for showings and open houses, as well as a strategy for bringing in successful brokers and serious, qualified buyers.
 
The Good News:
It is anticipated that these overdue but positive trends in home sales and housing inventory will continue into the fall season and subsequently, according the NAR report, median existing home prices will rise 4.5 to 5 percent in 2012 and about 5 percent in 2013. Additionally, if new home construction doesn’t pick up, those increases could lead to greater supply shortages resulting in more above average increases.
 
Whether your home is on the market today or tomorrow, be sure to use these trends to your advantage and follow the guidelines for price, condition and market strategy in order to position your home to its greatest advantage.
 

September 2012 Newsletter - Small Steps Toward a Safer Home

 Small Steps Toward a Safer Home

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions®
 
Moving from a family home to a Senior Living Community is a pretty big deal and is one of the more significant lifestyle changes made by older adults. In truth, though, most seniors remain in their homes where they have the opportunity to make smaller, yet equally important changes to their environments. As seniors go through certain “care transitions” due to changes in health, agility and mobility, there is often a resulting “home transition.”
 
Age-in Place home transitions may include major remodels or revisions to modify a home such as; adding ramps, widening hallways and reinforcing walls for grab bars. Other repairs and modifications may include updating electrical outlets, replacing light switches with rocker plates and replacing traditional faucet handles with levers. Simple projects such as downsizing, decluttering and organizing may also serve to make the home a safer place.
 
Seniors, their children and caregivers can start to identify safety and repair issues by performing a series of “Assessments,” which include:
1. Environmental assessment,
2. Fall assessment and
3. Home safety check.
Caring Transitions professionals can help family members with home safety assessments. Additional evaluations may be necessary to determine if an older individual is suffering from problems with their stability, gait, cognitive ability or senses. Those assessments should only be performed by qualified medical or geriatric care professionals.
 
Getting Started
 
Adult caregivers often express worry about their parents’ safety, but often don’t know how to approach the subject.  We recommend a direct approach, where the older adult can be engaged in conversation and provided an opportunity to express their personal concerns. Sometimes sharing an article like this can help generate such a conversation. Remind parents that you want to talk about safety and that your objective is not to make them uncomfortable in their home, but to help them stay in it longer. Start by asking the parent what THEIR safety concerns may be as you walk though rooms of the house.
 
Typical hazards, such as frayed power cords, sharp corners, slippery throw rugs, poor lighting, steep or narrow stairways and lack of support bars in bathtubs and bathrooms should be addressed as soon as possible.
 
Decluttering
 
Most professionals who work with older adults are familiar with the dangers of living in an overcrowded or cluttered home. Much of the danger is from tripping and falling, risks that are summed up in the latest Center for Disease Control (CDC) “Older Adult- Fall Risk Overview”. According to the latest report, over 2 million older adults are treated for accidental falls; about one quarter, or 500,000 of those are then hospitalized and about 20,000 die annually. The chance of being moved to long-term facility is five times greater for older adults who suffer from a fall. Of course, a cluttered home also creates other perils such as risk of fire, infestation or illness due to dust, mold and mildew. 
 
Families often know they need to declutter, but many times we will hear:
“I know I should get rid of it. I just don’t know what to do with it all.” Or,
“I will just take care of it when I’m ready to move.” Or,
“I like my things and just can’t think about letting anything go right now.”
 
Our answer, “start now and start small.”
 
Organizing
Begin today. If for no other reason, start now because it is on your mind. Managing clutter is something most of us prefer to ignore or put off, but it has a way of catching up to us when we have even less time and patience to deal with it. Too often we witness clients caught up in a medical crisis or preparing for home sale who belatedly then have to deal with rooms full of clutter and chaos. 
When you start decluttering or organizing, begin with one small space (a stack of newspaper, a drawer, a closet shelf, a corner of a room) and limit your work effort to that space until it is less cluttered. Have bags, boxes and labels handy to donate, store, toss or recycle items. It is best to schedule a small but reasonable amount of time for decluttering and then stop when time is up. Schedule more time the next day and so on until you have completed that area and then move on to the next.
So much of clutter is memorabilia and collectibles. These items are important to us, but take up an awful lot of space. One solution is to take pictures of them then box them up for storage, donation, or sale. Of course, photos also take up room and can add to clutter quickly, so consider a digital service to consolidate and post all your pictures, film and slides online for the whole family to enjoy.
Large Furnishings
Stand in the doorway and look into each room. Are any entries and exits blocked? Are sharp corners of tables and counters in the way? Is it difficult to navigate the room smoothly without stepping over or around items and furniture?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, it may be time to consider a furniture donation to your favorite housing charity, moving something to consignment, gifting an item to a relative or perhaps putting a few pieces up for sale through online auction.  
Sometimes newly opened spaces may make individuals uncomfortable but typically within a few days the adjustment will be made and the changes are no longer noticed.
If you are an adult child working with a parent, be sure you include them in any discussions regarding the sale of their furnishings. Too often we forget our parents’ rights in our zeal to “help.” Also keep in mind; everyone has their own idea of what “organized” really means. Our homes don’t necessarily have to look like something off the cover of a magazine, just safe and comfortable. 
About Caring Transitions
As life changes, it may become necessary to leave a familiar home and part with personal belongings in order to downsize and relocate to a smaller home or retirement community. At Caring Transitions, we help our clients understand the process, evaluate their options and make informed decisions that suit their best interests. We are committed to making each client’s experience positive by minimizing stress and maximizing results.
 

January 2012 Newsletter - Finding Real Value

 

Finding Real Value in the Family Estate
Sometimes, the death of a parent or loved one presents an opportunity for families to draw closer together; however, this possibility can quickly be destroyed by disputes of an estate settlement. One of the most unfortunate displays of human behavior takes place when heirs start fighting over an estate.
 read more ...

March 2012 Newsletter - Understand the Role of a Fiduciary

 

Understanding the Role of a Fiduciary
By Nan Hayes, Caring Transitions
 
Caring Transitions supports many family members who are suddenly thrust into the role of “fiduciary,” one who holds something in trust for another. Family members are encouraged to seek legal and financial advisors to help them navigate new responsibilities as guardian or conservator, and the following article may provide some general insight and understanding of the role.
 read more ...

February 2012 Newsletter - The Home of the Brave

 

The Homes of the Brave
Sometimes military families have a reasonable amount of time to prepare for a move and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they have a say in where they will relocate, but usually they don’t. And rarely do you hear them complain.
 read more ...

Read about us in the Niles Daily Star!
Moving vs Staying at Home
April 2013 Newsletter

Stress Less: Reduce Your Clutter

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions
Managing the volume of possessions in our homes is such a crushing problem; it actually elevates the level of stress hormones in our bodies. At least that’s one conclusion drawn by a study on household clutter conducted by UCLA’s Center for on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF).  Last summer, researchers from CELF produced “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors,” a book combining candid pictures of American life along with research on how and why our lives have become so cluttered.
 
The 171- page report is a disheartening chronicle of American life.   According to the study, we are completely overwhelmed by clutter, too busy to send time in our own backyards, rarely eat dinner together and can’t park our cars in the garage because the space has been filled with unassociated household items.
 
Yet, if we are completely honest with ourselves, the study reveals what most of us already know. We have too much “stuff” and for many of us, our excessive accumulation of personal property contributes more to our personal stress than our personal fulfillment.
 
Environmental Stress
 
But is the stress of household clutter really a cause for concern?  According to the Mayo Clinic, environment is counted among known sources of external stress.  Excessively cluttered rooms, loud noises, unpleasant odors, barking dogs and poor lighting can all be stressful. And while there are certainly many other external contributors, such as employment, finances, family and social situations, any prolonged form of stress may eventually lead to other problems.  
 The human body is designed to experience and manage sudden stress in order to avoid danger. However, when everyday stressors continue without relief, they become chronic stress.  Chronic stress leads to the physical symptoms many of us are familiar with, such as headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress and up to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
 
Simple Solutions
 
The good news is, reducing household clutter and improving your home environment is often much easier than resolving other forms of stress. By following a plan to address household projects and establishing clear guidelines for managing shopping and storage habits, you can typically resolve your household clutter issues in a matter of days or weeks.
In additional to improving your personal environment, there is an added benefit to addressing unruly rooms in your home.   Exercise. Studies done in the UK in 2008 indicate that as little as 20-minutes of   physical household chores can help reduce stress. And while it is true more vigorous forms of exercise produce a greater risk reduction, moderate forms of cleaning and organizing also help reduce fatigue and improve alertness and cognitive function that may have been compromised by environmental stressors. More simply put, when physical activity goes up, physical stress goes down.
 
Stress-Free Decluttering
 
In some cases, the very process of decluttering can become stressful. Depending on how much clutter you have in your home, there could be many details to manage; such as finding local charities or sorting items to sell, donate, throw out or give to friends and family. The volume of personal property can seem overwhelming and often projects may seem to get much worse before they get better.
 
At Caring Transitions, we know that the biggest obstacle to decluttering is taking that first step forward and then proceeding in a way that will not create additional anxiety. As leading experts in the field of decluttering and downsizing, we provide these basic guidelines for stress-free decluttering:
 
  • Keep it simple. Gaining control over clutter can help reduce our stress, but the decluttering process itself can create a whole new form of stress. Consumer magazines and TV shows about redesigning, staging, organizing and decluttering can make us feel inadequate or behind the times if we chose to continue living with “ordinary” clutter. The trick? Do what feels right for you. Walk through each room in your house and make a note of the things that do and do not make you feel less than comfortable.
  • Prioritize and Plan: Once you have your list, prioritize the projects based on personal safety, time, ability and budget.
  • Keep it achievable. Goal setting is most successful when you establish goals that you can actually obtain. You do not need to clean the entire garage in a day. Spend time in one area; complete it and then move on to the next. Be realistic in what you can accomplish during a particular timeframe. As you finish small tasks, keep a record of what you did and how long it took. This will help you manage larger projects and avoid frustration.
  • Set a schedule. Whether you do 20 minutes a day or reserve a whole weekend to declutter, set aside dedicated time with no other distractions. Then stick to the schedule.
  • Find support. Articles and self-help books can help you get organized and make decisions. The professionals at Caring Transitions can provide FREE in-home consultation as well as provide all the labor, resources and support you need for all of your downsizing, decluttering, estate sale, online auction or moving projects.
 

April 2013 Newsletter

Stress Less: Reduce Your Clutter

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions
Managing the volume of possessions in our homes is such a crushing problem; it actually elevates the level of stress hormones in our bodies. At least that’s one conclusion drawn by a study on household clutter conducted by UCLA’s Center for on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF).  Last summer, researchers from CELF produced “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors,” a book combining candid pictures of American life along with research on how and why our lives have become so cluttered.
 
The 171- page report is a disheartening chronicle of American life.   According to the study, we are completely overwhelmed by clutter, too busy to send time in our own backyards, rarely eat dinner together and can’t park our cars in the garage because the space has been filled with unassociated household items.
 
Yet, if we are completely honest with ourselves, the study reveals what most of us already know. We have too much “stuff” and for many of us, our excessive accumulation of personal property contributes more to our personal stress than our personal fulfillment.
 
Environmental Stress
 
But is the stress of household clutter really a cause for concern?  According to the Mayo Clinic, environment is counted among known sources of external stress.  Excessively cluttered rooms, loud noises, unpleasant odors, barking dogs and poor lighting can all be stressful. And while there are certainly many other external contributors, such as employment, finances, family and social situations, any prolonged form of stress may eventually lead to other problems.  
 The human body is designed to experience and manage sudden stress in order to avoid danger. However, when everyday stressors continue without relief, they become chronic stress.  Chronic stress leads to the physical symptoms many of us are familiar with, such as headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress and up to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
 
Simple Solutions
 
The good news is, reducing household clutter and improving your home environment is often much easier than resolving other forms of stress. By following a plan to address household projects and establishing clear guidelines for managing shopping and storage habits, you can typically resolve your household clutter issues in a matter of days or weeks.
In additional to improving your personal environment, there is an added benefit to addressing unruly rooms in your home.   Exercise. Studies done in the UK in 2008 indicate that as little as 20-minutes of   physical household chores can help reduce stress. And while it is true more vigorous forms of exercise produce a greater risk reduction, moderate forms of cleaning and organizing also help reduce fatigue and improve alertness and cognitive function that may have been compromised by environmental stressors. More simply put, when physical activity goes up, physical stress goes down.
 
Stress-Free Decluttering
 
In some cases, the very process of decluttering can become stressful. Depending on how much clutter you have in your home, there could be many details to manage; such as finding local charities or sorting items to sell, donate, throw out or give to friends and family. The volume of personal property can seem overwhelming and often projects may seem to get much worse before they get better.
 
At Caring Transitions, we know that the biggest obstacle to decluttering is taking that first step forward and then proceeding in a way that will not create additional anxiety. As leading experts in the field of decluttering and downsizing, we provide these basic guidelines for stress-free decluttering:
 
  • Keep it simple. Gaining control over clutter can help reduce our stress, but the decluttering process itself can create a whole new form of stress. Consumer magazines and TV shows about redesigning, staging, organizing and decluttering can make us feel inadequate or behind the times if we chose to continue living with “ordinary” clutter. The trick? Do what feels right for you. Walk through each room in your house and make a note of the things that do and do not make you feel less than comfortable.
  • Prioritize and Plan: Once you have your list, prioritize the projects based on personal safety, time, ability and budget.
  • Keep it achievable. Goal setting is most successful when you establish goals that you can actually obtain. You do not need to clean the entire garage in a day. Spend time in one area; complete it and then move on to the next. Be realistic in what you can accomplish during a particular timeframe. As you finish small tasks, keep a record of what you did and how long it took. This will help you manage larger projects and avoid frustration.
  • Set a schedule. Whether you do 20 minutes a day or reserve a whole weekend to declutter, set aside dedicated time with no other distractions. Then stick to the schedule.
  • Find support. Articles and self-help books can help you get organized and make decisions. The professionals at Caring Transitions can provide FREE in-home consultation as well as provide all the labor, resources and support you need for all of your downsizing, decluttering, estate sale, online auction or moving projects.
 


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