How to Manage Your Children's Artwork

Jenny and I were recently working on an organizing job when our client came upon some of her children’s artwork.  A box overflowing with precious memories made up of noodle necklaces, Tom Turkey hand prints, and self portraits, all lovingly created by her sons and daughters and given to her nearly two decades ago.  Our client was visibly moved to find these treasures and we were happy to stop work to admire her children’s handiwork. But when all was said and done, the items went back into the box and the box went back into the closet because it would have been too overwhelming for her to go through and process what she wanted to keep.  And why not keep it all?  It’s not taking up that much space and it brings her joy when she sees it.  But I think that’s the rub.  She doesn’t see it and hasn’t seen it in many, many years.  Short of displaying everything, which is truly impractical, how can we help her to see this cherished artwork on a more regular basis?  Thanks to technology, we got this. 

There are a number of websites and apps available to use when it comes to virtually saving artwork.  Some are pretty simple – take a picture of the art and save it to the cloud.  And others are more extensive with full product lines - some stand-out pieces can find new life as the design on your favorite coffee mug or the coasters you give to your grandparents. 

Once the art has been photographed and saved, it’s ready to be moved to the circular file.  And you can enjoy your memories – and newly found closet space - on a daily basis instead of once every few years.   

~ Kelley

 

 

 

 

Chat with us at the Vermont Women's Expo!

Our lovely area has so many services to offer women. The Vermont Women's Expo is such a great way to learn what's out there. Meet chiropractors, gourmet food vendors, skin care providers, publishing companies, organizers/move managers (us!) and so much more. It's a perfect place to get all your questions answered and meet people from businesses you've always been curious about. Stop by the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction this Saturday, March 25th between 10am and 4pm. Don't forget to visit our booth to put your name in for a chance to win an awesome summer tote with lots of fun items you'll need for a great beach day.

 http://www.vermontwomensexpo.com/index.html

 

Happy March!

Anyone else feel like February evaporated?!  Well, before another month gets underway and our busy schedules take over, let’s pause for a moment and reflect on all our New Year’s Resolutions – remember those?!  It wasn’t that long ago when we all agreed that we would: eat better, work out more, buy less, be kinder, organize everything, and make this the Best. Year. Ever. (easy peasy) 

Well, I will say that some of the items on my list are going very well – I’m eating better, moving more, and I haven’t bought a single pair of shoes (yet).  I need to be kinder to my fellow drivers (but they’re all in my way!) and I need to get back to organizing my stuff.  Yes, you heard me.  I help people get organized and down-size but my own stuff could use a little more attention.  And I’m starting with my emails. 

Typer.jpg

Why my email and not something that actually clutters my physical space, you ask? Well, it turns out my overabundance of emails does clutter my space – my brain space.  I feel incredibly anxious every time I open my email account because I am inundated with articles and recipes I have been saving for months.  It’s visually overwhelming and it shuts down my productivity.  So, I have finally decided to face these ‘must save’ pieces to see if they were actually worth it.  So far, not so much.

Turns out, I should have read the article about the 24 Best Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers….after Thanksgiving.  Also, that yarn scrap New Year’s cape?  I think I’m over it.  And the list goes on and on.  There was so much noise in my inbox that I couldn’t get to the good stuff until I committed to weeding out the bad.  And I feel so much better now that I have.  I won’t lie – it took a looong time.  But now that I made it through to the other side, I won’t let it get that cluttered again. I will treat my emails just like I do my snail mail – I will process and sort my messages immediately.  There will be a place for items I want to save and as God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!  Oh, um, I got carried away.

I hope you enjoy this little tidbit I found by Apartment Therapy from November 2016 – it’s a quick little read in list format (I love a list!) to help people start the process of decluttering. 

How are your resolutions progressing?! We’d love to hear from you!

Be well- 

Kelley        

 

Family Heirlooms- Do You Want Them?

The Next Avenue blogger Richard Eisenberg wrote a very interesting article about shifting tastes and attitudes about 'stuff'. Personally, CVMM hopes people don't lose too much connection with heirlooms and family memorabilia. We believe it makes us who we are and links us to our pasts. http://www.nextavenue.org/nobody-wants-parents-stuff/

Visit our Facebook page to let us know what you think and tell us about your experiences with family belongings!
 

Tips for Aging in Place

www.seniorresource.com

Why Aging in Place

A significant concern as people grow older is that they may have to leave their home.  This would mean leaving behind a comfortable setting, familiar community and many memories.  In addition, a certain amount of control is lost when one leaves home.  This "control" provides the underpinning to our feelings of dignity, quality of life and independence.  One's home is a strong element in that sense of security.  Hence, most American seniors desire to stay in their homes for the rest of their lives.  But successfully "aging in place" requires planning. To accommodate physical, mental, and psychological changes that may accompany aging, physical changes should be made in your home.

Remodeling Your Home

There are a number of items to consider when remodeling your home.  You may wish to consult a professional early in your evaluation process.  No one is going to make all of the modifications, but be wise regarding those you focus on. If you already know your eyesight is failing, focus on modifications that benefit poor eyesight.  If you have arthritis that impairs mobility, focus on modifications that cater to your anticipated increasing mobility limitations.

Remodeling

Here are some areas you may want to focus on when considering aging in place.

General

  • Adapt lower floor of home for possible one level living
  • Increase incandescent general and specific task lighting
  • Create easy access to parking and garage areas
  • Ensure at least one entry is without steps
  • Widen doorways to 36" wide with off-set hinges on doors
  • Install levered door handles instead of knobs
  • Retrofit electrical outlets to 18” instead of 12”
  • Retrofit light switches to 42" instead of 48” and put adjustable controls on them
  • Install luminous switches in bedrooms, baths and hallways
  • Install strobe light or vibrator-assisted smoke and burglar alarms
  • Install programmable thermostats for heating and cooling
  • Paint contrast colors between floor and walls
  • Paint color borders around floor and counter-top edges
  • Install non-skid flooring
  • Put non-glare glass on art work
  • Install an emergency response system (or buy wearable system)

Bathroom

  • Switch out regular faucet for lever faucets and faucet mixers with anti-scald valves
  • Install temperature controlled shower and tub fixtures
  • Make sure shower stall has a low threshold and shower seat
  • Install grab bars at back and sides of shower, tub and toilet or wall reinforcement for later installation
  • Ensure bathrooms can accommodate turn around and transfer space for walker or wheelchair (36" by 36")
  • Put in higher bathroom counters
  • Install a telephone jack
  • Install a medical response device

Kitchen

  • Make sure kitchen cabinets have pullout shelves and lazy susans
  • Install easy to grasp cabinet knobs or pulls
  • Install task lighting under upper cabinets
  • Invest in a side by side refrigerator and a cook-top with front controls
  • Install adjustable upper shelves and pull out lower shelves
  • Make sure your kitchen counters are at various heights - some as low as table height (30”)
  • Install a gas sensor near gas cooking, water heater and gas furnace
  • Put color or pattern borders at counter edges

 Living Room

  • Make sure your seating is at least 18” off the floor
  • Buy chairs with sturdy arms

Please contact CVMM if you would like further assistance creating your aging in place plan!

Why Hire a Senior Move Manager?

If you’ve checked out our website, you know CVMM offers a variety of services. Today, we’d like to highlight our move management services targeting older adults who may be transitioning from a home they’ve lived in for 20, 30 or 40+ years to a condo, retirement community, or a life care community. Many people refer to this service as Senior Move Management. You may be wondering what does that really mean. Why wouldn’t I just hire a moving company? Well to be frank, you will hire a moving company (which we will help you with), but this transition can be a challenge and you may need more than a moving company can offer you.  

Consultation

The National Association of Senior Move Managers states, “Senior Move Managers differ from a moving company because:

  • Senior Move Managers provide a multifaceted approach to the move process from space planning in the beginning to post move support and advocacy.
  • Senior Move Managers minimize the chaos and stress associated with moving by addressing all aspects of the move process. They are responsible for creating and executing a seamless action plan, customized to the client's wishes.
  • Actually, some but not all Senior Move Managers are also movers. Those providers that are not movers will work closely with a reputable local moving company to complete that aspect of the job.
  • With the gentle and expert guidance of an experienced Senior Move Manager, older adults and families make the key decisions without the emotional and physical distress that can follow. As a result, they avoid the costly mistakes and remorse that often accompany such major lifestyle transitions.
  •  Senior Move Managers do so much more than simply sort, settle and move boxes; with loads of energy, enthusiasm and experience, Senior Move Managers take the worry (and work!) out of the move process. The client's job is to simply enjoy his or her new living arrangement.”

Source:  National Association of Senior Move Managers Website (https://www.nasmm.org/faqs/index.cfm)

CVMM specializes in walking you through the complicated process of moving from a larger space with lots of storage to a smaller space with less storage opportunities.

We will work with you to put together a customized floor plan using a magnetic board that lets you visualize where your furniture will go. This also helps you decide what furniture to keep and what to dispose of. CVMM will then guide you through the process of deciding what everyday items like clothing, kitchenware, trinkets, artwork, etc. to take with you and what you will give away or try to sell. If you have a house full of furniture and goods at the end of the sorting process, we will help you get it to the right place. If you are in need of a reputable estate salesperson, we will make that happen. If you want to save items for family members, we will label them and help you arrange times for family to pick them up. We will even arrange for the shipment of items if necessary. We are always happy to drop items at donation drop off centers as well.  You will receive an itemized log of where your items went, so there’s no confusion for family members at a later date.

The next step is the packing and unpacking process. A mover will pack you, but they will grab any item and stuff it in any box that is available. We will pack you intentionally. We will take pictures of your cupboards, desktops, bureaus, etc. packing your items with the utmost care in order to unpack your items, so you have a sense of home and comfort in your new space. We want you to be able to seamlessly go about your life without the hassle and time constraints of figuring out where your items go. That’s our job. Our goal is to have you arrive in your new home feeling like you’ve always been there.

Senior Move Managers pride themselves on the care and customer service we provide. We make you and your wishes the focus of the process. We treat your items like we would our own. We advocate and protect your interests like we would our family member’s.

If you, your parents, or loved ones would benefit from this service, please call us for a free consultation (802) 391-9001!