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Introduction To Marian Taylor, Senior Move Manager

May 14th to 20th was National Senior Move Managers week, so I thought I’d share a little about myself and how I became a Senior Move Manager and member of The National Association for Senior Move Managers (NASMM).

In 2000, my Dad’s health was declining, so I decided to move him 1,200 miles from West Palm Beach, Florida to Erie, Pennsylvania. With my two young daughters in tow, my husband and I drove to Florida, packed up his three bedroom home and drove a U-Haul back. We got him settled into a senior living apartment just five miles from our home so I could be near him.

In 2009, my dear friend lost her husband suddenly. While she was grieving, she entrusted me to sort, purge, and sell 90 percent of her belongings from her two-story house so she could move into an apartment in New Jersey with her elderly parents. I held my first-ever house sale and was able to help the realtor stage her home, which then sold in one week.

These are just two stories out of a countless number of times my friends and family asked for my help with the daunting task of moving or right-sizing. Maybe they looked to me because I’m an organized person, or maybe they just knew I’d never shy away from a challenge! After all, my mother always said, “Any job big or small, do it right or not at all!”

Through word of mouth, friends recommended me to another friend, and I developed a close connection to a local senior living coordinator. Before I knew it a business had emerged.

Today, as the owner of Simple Solutions for Living, LLC, I’ve helped over 60 clients right-size.  Every client has had a different need ranging from making one’s home more senior-friendly (aging in place) to sorting, packing, and moving a client from a 3,500 square foot home into an 800 square foot assisted living facility. Every job is unique, and that’s what I love about my job. I get to work closely with such wonderful people who share stories of their belongings past and present. Moving is never easy. It’s even harder when personal belongings must be parted with. My clients can tell you first hand that I can make that process just a little easier!

My services include but are not limited to:

  • Organizing, sorting, and downsizing

  • Making and executing an aging in place plan

  • Arranging for profitable disposal of unwanted items

  • Scheduling and overseeing movers

  • Working with realtors to stage and prepare the home for a fast and profitable sale

  • Developing a customized floor plan of the new home

  • Unpacking and organizing the new home

In 2015, I applied for membership of The National Association for Senior Move Managers.  NASMM is internationally recognized for its expertise on issues related to Senior Move Management, aging in place, and transition and relocation issues affecting older adults.  I was vetted for experience and insurance and passed certificate classes in Senior Move Management Ethics and Accountability and Senior Move Management Safety.  I am also a member of the Independent Council on Aging (ICA) and I am proud to be an Erie Ambassador.

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Spring Cleaning: How to Make It Simple

Spring, is that you?

Spring officially started on March 20th.  With the start of spring, you might be thinking about downsizing or even moving to a smaller home.  With those thoughts, often come the thoughts of all the “stuff” that has accumulated in your house over the years.  If you are married, then you probably have double the stuff!  If you have children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, your stuff may have multiplied numerous times right before your eyes!

As a Senior Move Manager and Moving Coordinator, I get asked over and over again, “What exactly do you do?”  My company, Simple Solutions for Living helps people plan and manage a move.  We sort, pack, move, and unpack your “stuff.”  Our typical client has lived in their home 40+ years and we help with the decision-making process that determines what lifetime possessions to keep and what options you have for the rest.  We also work with you and your realtor to get your house (if you are selling) buyer or market ready.  We offer recommendations and resources to prepare your home to sell.  One recent client was moving into an apartment and had a home to sell.  By recommending small repairs such as painting, repairing a faucet, cleaning walls, windows and carpet, and re-positioning the furniture, the house sold very quickly once on the market!

In addition to a full move, we can work with you to clear clutter at your current home so that you can move around safely and easily.  We understand the physical and emotional aspect of downsizing and we are here to help.

The hardest decision is making the initial decision to move.  By leaving the rest up to Simple Solutions for Living, you will find the moving experience isn’t so bad after all!  Contact Marian Taylor of Simple Solutions for Living for a free estimate.

Marian Taylor, Senior Relocation Specialist, Owner of Simple Solutions for Living, and proud member of National Association of Senior Move Managers.  Simple Solutions for Living provides clients with a personalized one-on-one experience, hands-on help, and knowledgeable guidance in right-sizing, organizing, packing, unpacking, preparing home for sale, and stress-free moving.  To find out how Simple Solutions for Living can help you with your project, please contact Marian Taylor at 814-449-5309, email simplesolutionsforliving@gmail.com or visit http://www.simplesolutionsforliving.com

Preparing to Right-Size

I want to start by wishing all fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and father figures a happy Father’s Day!  This is the time of year that we celebrate my husband who is the father of our two daughters and “Papa” to our three granddaughters.  My husband requests barbeque on the back deck and time to spend washing cars, tending to his garden, and anything else that involves being outside in the sun!  Needless to say, this is the time of year that we start looking outside to all of the projects that get put on the backburner all winter.

Whether you own a home or rent, you can start “summer-izing” your home with the front door!  Replace any welcome mats that are no longer functional or attractive.  Clear the excess clutter and sweep debris and cobwebs from your front porch or entry.  Add a wreath or hanging plant for extra warmth and curb appeal.

Look around the windows, garage, and doors to see if there is any paint chipping.  By touching up chipped or faded paint you will keep your home looking new and clean.  For those of you who may choose to sell in the future, this will be a great way to keep up with the curb appeal of your home!  Other areas that may need freshening up with some paint include shutters, house numbers (make sure they are visible in case of an emergency!), railings, porch spindles, decks, etc.  If the project is too much for you to do on your own, ask friends or family to recommend a trustworthy teenager or college student looking to make some extra cash!

Next, draw your attention to outside lights.  Replace bulbs, clean out and wash light fixtures, and consider any additional lights you may want to have added to your home for safety reasons.

Are there any walkways or areas of your driveway that need to be repaired?  Make sure walkways are free of clutter and areas that may cause someone to trip are addressed.

Here are some more areas you may want to consider:

  • Replace any worn weather stripping around doors, windows, and the garage.

  • Replace or repair any broken windows.

  • Eliminate excess or broken garden statues and lawn ornaments.

  • Check the condition of your garden hose and garden tools. Eliminate any you have not used in the past few years and have no intention of using.

  • Clean out, discard, or replace garbage cans as needed.

  • Power wash decks, walkways, siding, and lawn furniture.

  • Clean the grill and replace propane tank.

  • Discard broken lawn furniture including outside tables, chairs, and umbrellas. Clean or replace cushions and pillows.

  • Discard excess or broken pots. Plant fresh flowers or herbs in any pots you decide to keep.

Rightsizing the outside of your home can be just as beneficial as rightsizing the inside.  By keeping your home looking and functioning at its best, you will have a home that is safe, inviting, and simplified.

Five Rules For Reducing Clutter In Your Home

Rule 1: One In, Two Out

This rule may seem common but the One in One out Rule is easy to put into practice. If you bring one object in your home, you’ve got to let go of a similar type of object. Such as buying a new pair of shoes and then discarding or donating a pair of shoes from your closet.
If you really need to declutter than try the One In, Two Out rule! This will help you to reduce the clutter quicker.

Rule 2: Take Care of Clutter As It Comes In The Door

One main reason for clutter is the stuff that we bring home at the end of the day that mindlessly gets dropped right inside the door. Take care of the items that you bring home such as mail, lunch box, shoes, tote bags etc. right away before they can even pile up. If you have 4 people in your household and everyone that comes in the door with shoes, coats, and tote bags drop them at the door your clutter can turn into a large pile very easily.

Rule 3: Avoid Making Piles and Deal With Your Dumping Station

A flat surface such as the kitchen counter can turn into a pile quickly. I call this the dumping station. Clutter gathers into a pile when an object isn’t put in its place.
The goal in a decluttered home is “a place for everything and everything in its place.” So, rule three for reducing clutter is to empty your dumping station every night before going to bed.

Rule 4: Have A Donate Box Ready

Keep a donation, garage sale, or consignment box ready at all times. As soon as you make a decision that you no longer want an object, put the item into the appropriate box.
Keep the boxes in a convenient area that you can access easily, such as in the corner of a closet, in the garage, or the trunk of your car.

Rule 5: Make Decluttering A Habit

Clutter is something you’ve got to deal with each and every day. The final rule for reducing clutter in your home is to make the decluttering process a habit.
Not only do you need to put things in your donation box when you think of it (like rule 4), you’ve got to make just a little bit of time here and there to deal with your possessions, to put them in their place or to pare them down.

If you can just declutter for 15 minutes a day, consistently, and in no time you will see results.
Marian Taylor, Senior Relocation Specialist, Owner of Simple Solutions for Living, and proud member of National Association of Senior Move Managers and Erie Independent Council on Aging. Simple Solutions for Living provides clients with a personalized one-on-one experience, hands-on help, and knowledgeable guidance in right-sizing, organizing, packing, unpacking, preparing home for sale, and stress-free moving. To find out how Simple Solutions for Living can help you with your project, please contact Marian Taylor at 814-449-5309, email simplesolutionsforliving@gmail.com or visit http://www.simplesolutionsforliving.com

Clean & Organize Your Front Hall Coat Closet

I was looking for a downsizing project to do at my own home this weekend while the temperature outside was reaching 90 degrees. I decided to tackle one of the most neglected areas of my home which is the front hall coat closet. Not only does this closet hold the usual coats, winter hats, gloves, and scarves but also the American flag, my yoga mat, games, tablecloths and more. It’s also where I tend to shove shoes and any stuff that family members leave by the front door.

Clean & Organize Your Front Hall Coat Closet In 4 Steps:

1. Gather a trash can, trash bags for donation and a laundry basket for dirty items. Grab the vacuum and a bucket of cleaning solution.

2. Remove everything from the closet. Take out all of the coats, gloves, hats, scarves, shoes and miscellaneous items.

3. Vacuum the entire closet including the shelves and corners to remove any cobwebs. Give the front and back of the doors a good wipe down as well as the door track if it is a sliding door. Wipe the shelves, trim, clothes bar and walls if necessary.

4. Time to sort and decide what goes back in and what gets tossed or donated. Toss out the following: Gloves that do not have a mate. Frayed and worn items or shoes. Bent wire hangers and excess hangers (leave a few for guests). All Trash. Be sure to check the pockets of all of the coats. I found tissues, cough drops, money, theatre tickets, and receipts.
Donate Items that are no longer worn or wanted but in good condition. Launder if needed.
Keep items: that are in good condition and that are still worn. Launder or dry clean the items that are soiled and have an odor and put back the rest. Fix any loose buttons.
Return items that don’t belong in the coat closet to their original home.

. Replace any broken hangers with new ones.
Put the hats in a container. Put gloves in another container and scarves in a third container. I used baskets in my closet but you may also use clear plastic bins to a label.
Cleaning the coat closet didn’t take long at all. Now I am ready for when the weather turns cooler and I need a clean jacket. A Simple Solution for a clutter-free closet!

Marian Taylor, Senior Relocation Specialist, Owner of Simple Solutions for Living, and proud member of National Association of Senior Move Managers. Simple Solutions for Living provides clients with a personalized one-on-one experience, hands-on help, and knowledgeable guidance in downsizing, organizing, packing, unpacking, preparing home for sale, and stress-free moving. To find out how Simple Solutions for Living can help you with your project, please contact Marian Taylor at 814-449-5309, email simplesolutionsforliving@gmail.com or visit http://www.simplesolutionsforliving.com

Downsizing with Simple Solutions for Living In 5 Simple Steps

I was looking for a downsizing project to do at my own home this weekend while the temperature outside was reaching 90 degrees. I decided to tackle one of the most neglected areas of my home which is the front hall coat closet. Not only does this closet hold the usual coats, winter hats, gloves, and scarves but also the American flag, my yoga mat, games, tablecloths and more. It’s also where I tend to shove shoes and any stuff that family members leave by the front door.
Clean & Organize Your Front Hall Coat Closet

1. Gather a trash can, trash bags for donation and a laundry basket for dirty items. Grab the vacuum and a bucket of cleaning solution.
2. Remove everything from the closet. Take out all of the coats, gloves, hats, scarves, shoes and miscellaneous items.
3. Vacuum the entire closet including the shelves and corners to remove any cobwebs. Give the front and back of the doors a good wipe down as well as the door track if it is a sliding door. Wipe the shelves, trim, clothes bar and walls if necessary.
4. Time to sort and decide what goes back in and what gets tossed or donated. Toss out the following: Gloves that do not have a mate. Frayed and worn items or shoes. Bent wire hangers and excess hangers (leave a few for guests). All Trash. Be sure to check the pockets of all of the coats. I found tissues, cough drops, money, theatre tickets, and receipts.
Donate Items that are no longer worn or wanted but in good condition. Launder if needed.
Keep items: that are in good condition and that are still worn. Launder or dry clean the items that are soiled and have an odor and put back the rest. Fix any loose buttons.
Return items that don’t belong in the coat closet to their original home.
5. Replace any broken hangers with new ones.
Put the hats in a container. Put gloves in another container and scarves in a third container. I used baskets in my closet but you may also use clear plastic bins to the label.
Cleaning the coat closet didn’t take long at all. Now I am ready for when the weather turns cooler and I need a clean jacket. A Simple Solution for a clutter-free closet!

Marian Taylor, Senior Relocation Specialist, Owner of Simple Solutions for Living, and proud member of National Association of Senior Move Managers. Simple Solutions for Living provides clients with a personalized one-on-one experience, hands-on help, and knowledgeable guidance in downsizing, organizing, packing, unpacking, preparing home for sale, and stress-free moving. To find out how Simple Solutions for Living can help you with your project, please contact Marian Taylor at 814-449-5309, email simplesolutionsforliving@gmail.com or visit http://www.simplesolutionsforliving.com

Ten Items to Reduce Now

We have helped hundreds of people sort, purge, clean out and relocate to a smaller home. People of all ages, economic backgrounds, and those who have lived in their homes from 5-50 years. We’ve downsized drawers, closets, basements, attics, and garages. Our clients are overwhelmed and can’t understand how they’ve managed to accumulate all the “stuff” that’s tucked away in every nook and cranny. We’ve seen it all and there isn’t any logical reason for the types of items that people hold onto.
Top 10 most common items that you can reduce today:
  1. Kitchen Towels and Dish Cloths:
How many do you really need? There are 7 days in a week, so no more than 7 if you only do laundry once a week. I’d say 5 is a good number to keep.
  • Toss any that are stained, have holes, frayed and look tired and beat up. Keep the ones in good condition.
  • Use the new dish towels and toss the old.
  • Store your seasonal dish towels with your seasonal decorations.
  1. Plastic Containers:
Every home I have downsized has a ton of plastic food containers! They are overflowing.
  • Toss any food containers such as margarine containers, those with missing lids, stained containers.
  • Do not microwave takeout containers, water bottles, plastic margarine tubs, yogurt containers, and whipped topping containers because they don’t microwave safe.
  • Keep clean BPA free plastic storage containers that have tight-fitting lids so that your food stays fresh and free of harmful food bacteria.
  • Switch to glass containers as they are dual purpose. Storing and baking.
  • I recommend keeping no more than 8-10 total in various sizes for a family of 2.
  1. Used Bread and Produce Twister Ties:
  • These accumulate and show up everywhere. Keep them all in one small Ziploc bag.
  1. Grocery bags:
We find a lifetime of bags (paper and plastic) in 90% of all estates. Toss out 75% of your bags unless you never plan to buy anything from a store again.
  1. Rubber Bands and Paperclips:
Same as #3
  1. Note Pads:
I have reduced hundreds of notepads that are given away free at various events and receive through the mail.
  1. Pens and Pencils:
It is easy to become a collector of pens especially when they are free.
  • Toss any pens that have run out of ink and that no longer work. Toss pencils that are in bad shape and the erasers are gone.
  • Keep your pens and pencils in one area such as a desk drawer so that you always know where to find one. They tend to be in multiple areas and misplaced when needed.
  • Also, I tend to accumulate pens in purse and in my car. I periodically gather them from those areas and put them back in the desk.
  1. Sheets and Linens:
  • Unless you have kids who wet the bed and need to have their bed linens changed nightly, you don’t really need more than two or three sets of sheets for each bed (Two, if you’re good about doing laundry, three if you’re a slacker).
  • In Erie, you may want 2 sets of regular sheets and 1 set of winter (flannel) sheets.
  1. Towels:
  • As with sheets, so it is with towels. Is it necessary to use a new towel after every bath or shower? Consider using a hair towel, bath towel and hand towel for an entire week.
  • Like sheets, donate old towels to animal shelters.
  • Put aside a few generously sized ones that are still in good condition to use at the beach.
  • To free up real estate in your closet, hang them on the back of a bathroom door.
  1. Hotel size items:
Yes, they’re cute, but when you take them home, they just become clutter.
  • Use them up: store small sizes with your weekend or gym bag and use them up when you’re heading to places where you might need pint-sized bath products.
  • Or combine like with like to create one big bottle for your shower or bath.
  • If you find tiny toiletries accumulating, next time, leave them behind.
 
Marian Taylor, Senior Relocation Specialist, Owner of Simple Solutions for Living, and proud member of National Association of Senior Move Managers.  Simple Solutions for Living provides clients with a personalized one-on-one experience, hands-on help, and knowledgeable guidance in downsizing, organizing, packing, unpacking, preparing home for sale, and stress-free moving. To find out how Simple Solutions for Living can help you with your project, please contact Marian Taylor at 814-449-5309, email simplesolutionsforliving@gmail.com or visit http://www.simplesolutionforliving.com