Entries tagged with “unpacking”.

One of the perks of our business is the great people we meet and have the pleasure to work with. Today we’d like to tell you about our clients, Kathryn and Clayton.

Their goal was to make the move from their house to a condo as stress-free as possible for themselves and their special needs son, Connor. Moving can be particularly disruptive for children. Factor in a special needs child and a smooth transition becomes critical.

“After the movers left the boxes, Seamless Moves unpacked the kitchen and made up all the beds, which made my life so much easier,” Katherine says. “But most importantly, they made the move a much easier transition for Connor. They unpacked his room and made sure it was set up just the way it was in his “old” room.”

Here are a couple of tips from Katherine for moving with a special needs child:

“It has helped us to talk about it as a positive experience and ‘an adventure.’ However, talking about it too much or giving too many details/information too soon may just raise anxiety levels, as in my son’s case. Once you know where you are going to move, take your child to the new house so they can have a picture of it in their mind. I took my son to the new house about a week or two before the move. We also took a photo of the outside in case he wanted to talk about it. He had it in his backpack so if need be the school staff could talk to him about it as well.

A huge tip: Hire a moving company and an organizing company – they work incredibly well together! My son is now 20 and we’ve moved 2 times in his life. Both times I’ve done it this way and it’s made it easier on all of us! On moving day, when the movers arrived at our new home, Seamless Moves was there and immediately started unpacking. The team was professional and careful to make certain everything was set up the way we wanted.

I suggest that the child be somewhere else on the day of the move, if possible, so they don’t have to experience all the commotion of the physical move. Whatever part of the house is their ‘safe special place’ at the current home is the area in the new house that should be set up first. Having familiar things around them similar to the current home should help keep anxiety lower. To my son, this place is his bedroom. Once his room at the new house was set up (exactly like our old home) his grandma brought him over and I was able to greet him, and excitedly take him to his ‘new/old’ room.

Seamless Moves’ service is incredibly valuable to a busy family and it made such a difference to our son.”

Last February, a home located in the 6400 block of Lake Washington Boulevard S.E. caught fire. Initial damage was reported at $500,000.

According to the Newcastle News, “The fire was caused by radiant heat from the home’s fireplace that ignited a pile of boxes stacked nearby. The fireplace was located in the home’s sun room area. It progressed through the home by burning through a nearby sliding glass door and entering the kitchen. “

Bellevue Fire Department Lt. Troy Donlin said the residents had just moved into the home less than three weeks before the fire started. (emphasis ours)

Thankfully, because of working smoke detectors, a 22-year-old woman was able to leave the home without injury. Her stepfather was taken to the hospital, but luckily he suffered only minor burns.

We were relieved to see that the loss from this fire was, while substantial, only property-related. It did make us wonder, however, whether a fire of this type could have been prevented if this family had had professional assistance unpacking and removing the cardboard moving boxes at the time of their move. We usually market our service as saving people time and stress. Now we wonder if there may be an important safety aspect as well.

Getting yourself settled into a new home is more than unpacking all the boxes. Here’s a list of a few things you may overlook in the chaos of the move.

Things to do right away:

Have mail forwarded automatically from your old address.

Update your address for all these:

  • Tax forms, new bank account, credit card statements, professional memberships or licensing boards, rewards programs, magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
  • Any regular deliveries that are made to your home.
  • Insurance policies (health, car and home).  Note that the move may affect your coverage.
  • Financial and legal documents such as retirement accounts, investment accounts, attorneys and social security.

During a move, you can be particularly susceptible to identity theft if mail is not forwarded properly. Watch your credit card and bank accounts carefully and check your credit reports two months after a move.

  • Replace the locks if you’re uneasy about keeping the locks that came with the house.
  • Update your Driver’s License and license plates.
  • Register to Vote and don’t forget to get a new library card.
  • Call the department of sanitation in your new city to find out which day the trash is collected and about  recycling programs.
  • Keep all receipts related to the move in a folder. Some expenses may qualify for tax deductions.
  • Make arrangements with service providers including cable television, newspaper delivery, bank, cleaners, pharmacist, etc.
  • Obtain information from the local Chamber of Commerce on libraries, schools, community activities and emergency calling services such as 911.

Speaking of emergencies, here are a few things to do before you have an emergency:

  • Locate the nearest hospital.
  • Find a new primary care doctor, dentist, and veterinarian and have records forwarded.
  • Write down emergency phone numbers, including doctors’ offices, poison control, police and fire department.  Post near the kitchen phone.
  • Make sure your home, mailbox or driveway is clearly marked with the house number.
  • Make sure you have working fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors with fresh batteries.

Of course, to make your next move stress-free call Seamless Moves ~ “We manage your move, while you manage your life!”

This week I got to be my own client as our remodeled bathroom and kitchen became “done enough” for us to move back into our home. After living with friends for 8 months (yes, they are GOOD friends!), my beau and I have a renewed appreciation for our little corner of the world and couldn’t wait to resume our “real lives” back in our own home. In spite of our friends’ over-the-top hospitality, I have felt a bit discombobulated regarding my normal home and business routines.

As I was wiping off construction dust, putting away dishes and hanging the shower curtain, I realized just HOW important having a comfortable and functional “nest” is for my physical and emotional health. I got to thinking that whether old or young, rich or poor, 900 square feet or 9,000, we are all alike in that need.

I realized that daily I get to help people who are moving THEIR nests and that it is my and my team’s passion for doing this work that keeps us going. I understood why our clients sometimes focus on what might seem minor details to an outsider, but are of utmost importance in their lives and why our inclusion of any detail that is paramount to them sets a Seamless Move apart from a routine one.

Why do we take a picture of a senior’s family photo wall or of papers and items on the table next to their TV chair? Because those are the important things for us to replicate to maintain continuity from one home to the next. Why do we unpack and set up the bedroom for a special needs child before any other room in his new home? So he and his mother can watch videos while we unpack the kitchen. Why do we visit The Container Store so often? So we can better advise our clients regarding organizing solutions. (OK, you caught me–The Container Store is fun!)

One of the things I particularly remember about my friends’ and my military relocations was how important it was to set up our new homes as quickly as possible to lessen the stress on children and spouses whose routines have been disrupted by moving across the U.S. or to a foreign country.

My mother jokes that when I was a child she could never punish me by sending me to my room because I would happily rearrange the furniture, reorganize my bookshelves or clean out my closet. After 13 years in this business, it surprised me to have an “aha moment” this week when I realized that the reason I founded the precursor to today’s Seamless Moves was because having a comfortable, cozy, functional nest is SO important to me that I wanted to help others to have the same.

How about you? How important is YOUR nest?

For your viewing enjoyment, we proudly present Seamless Moves’ Signature “Out of the Box”® Unpacking Service:

Unpacking Team In Action!

With an enormous thank-you to our clients, friends (and Realtors®), Mary Juhl-Willard and Rich Willard for letting us film in their lovely home. The awesome Unpacking Team in the video: Cheryl McIvor, Jan Screen and Lindsay Loeffler.

A day of unpacking makes a great wedding gift, thank-you gift from Realtors® or job relocation perk. Before YOU move, think “Out of the Box!”


Last time you said, “Never Again!” Remember?

You took a week off from work; begged, borrowed and scavenged from the liquor store as many cardboard boxes as you could source, packed up all your cherished possessions and loaded them in the U-Haul van; goaded 2 of your strongest friends into helping you muscle the hide-a-bed down 2 flights of stairs (and then had to patch the ding they made in the wall); made 6 trips to your new home; cursed at those too-small those liquor store boxes that don’t stack worth beans; jammed your furniture and boxes into the garage; and barely made it back the rental office before midnight to avoid being charged an extra day’s truck rental.

But you saved money, right?

Three years later, you still have unpacked boxes in that same garage and it’s time to move again. Really?? Can your back take it? Is your wife pregnant with baby #2 and #1 is already a full-time job? Will the only other person left in your department after the recent layoffs cover your job for a week as well as theirs?

or This??

We invite you to picture this:

Monday morning: You go to work as usual. When you come home, everything is packed up and ready to move EXCEPT the coffee maker, your personal bathroom items, what you want to wear to work tomorrow and the TV and remote. Hmm, mildly annoying, but not too bad.

Tuesday morning: You go to work, but instead of going home to your old home, you go to your new home. The furniture has all been placed where you want it and your bed is made. The coffee maker, your personal bathroom items, what you want to wear to work tomorrow and the TV and remote are unpacked and in place. Your bedside alarm clock has been set 10 minutes fast, just the way you like it.

Wednesday morning: You go to work again, only tonight when you come back to your new home there are no boxes (no paper, no crates, no bubble wrap!). All of your belongings have been unpacked and put neatly away. Your paintings, artwork and decorative items are unpacked and ready for your decorator (or ours) to place in their new locations tomorrow.

Thursday: Decorating day. When you come home tonight, you feel like you’ve lived there for years. You change your clothes and go watch your child’s soccer game.

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Relax and enjoy your Seamless Move! Have a housewarming party; invite friends over and brag about how you got it all done in less than a week (we won’t tell!). No back ache, no calling all over town several weeks before you move to source boxes, trucks, labor, etc. No wondering what is falling through the cracks at work or at home.

Relax! We’ve done this before. Hundreds of times. We would LOVE to help you and your family, too! Just tell us what you need, and we’ll do the rest.

I’m curious– how should a businesses handle the challenge of getting clients to trust you and/or trust the process before they are able to experience the results?

Recently, Seamless Moves had the opportunity to bid on helping “Sam” (approx. 90 yrs old) and “Jill” (approx. 80 years old) with their move into a lovely local retirement community. We came highly recommended by the Community Relations Director who has seen our work firsthand numerous times. Even though our bid for the same services was a bit lower, Sam chose to use a local moving company for packing and moving services due to their corporate structure, with which he felt more comfortable. We were very concerned and tried to explain to Sam that he was not “comparing apples to apples,” but his strong feelings about supporting a company with his preferred corporate structure won out.

A week after their move, we were in the building visiting another client when we happened upon Sam and Jill. They invited us in to their apartment, which was disorganized and still full of boxes. The first thing Sam said was, “I made a mistake not hiring your company for this move.” He told us the movers had arrived at their former home four hours later than originally scheduled, which meant the truck was stuck in rush hour traffic on the way to the new apartment. It also meant that their furniture and boxes were not inside their new place until quite a bit later that evening. Tiring for anyone–but for seniors, exponentially so.

The movers added costs for the additional time the move took to complete to Sam and Jill’s bill which, as you may imagine, did not please them at all. Sam has called the moving company several times trying to get his bill adjusted.

Jill, who is legally blind, had been doing a yeoman job of unpacking the boxes and had friends who removed the “empties” from their apartment. (Sam is immobile.) A week later, however, the only room that did not have unpacked boxes was their bedroom, two large bookcases still needed to be moved into a different room and their lovely artworks and family photos were piled in a corner.

“You know Sam,” I told him, “if we had done this move for you, you would have no boxes in your apartment now. In fact, the day after the movers left, the furniture would all be in place where you wanted it, everything would be put away; even your pictures would have been hung on the walls. We also would have ensured the movers arrived on time or they would have been replaced on the spot with another company.” I gently asked him if we could help them finish unpacking and setting up their apartment, but Sam said, “No thanks; we can handle it.” Jill sank in her chair visibly and shook her head. (I should mention that we are not talking about a large sum of money and that these folks have the ability to pay for the service should they decide to. We understand that not everyone has that option.)

Sam and Jill’s situation is not at all unique. In our business, we are sometimes in the unenviable position of trying to explain a relatively new type of service to clients who have never heard of it, or need to be shown its value. Our situation reminds me of my own recent visit to a Clinical Nutritionist. She reminds me of her years of experience helping people feel their best and that I came to see her on very high recommendations from two friends. “Trust me,” she says, “I know what I’m doing. This WILL work.” It strikes me that she’s saying the same thing to me that I say to our clients, “Trust us; we do this every day. You will have no stress—we will handle it all.” But how does any business convince someone who has not even been aware of this option before today? Even with glowing testimonials from previous clients?