In 1995 Barbara Morris left a 20-year corporate job in hospital public relations and marketing and was trying to figure out what to do next when she helped her mother-in-law move to a retirement community and helped with the estate dispersal of a family friend.
Inspired by these experiences that gave her insight and empathy for others, she launched Smooth Transitions, a household downsizing and estate dispersal business.
“I realized there was a growing need and that some people don’t have family members to help” in these situations, she said, adding, “not everyone has family living in the same town or others willing to help.”
Even children living in the same town, may not want to spend nights and weekends packing mom’s and dad’s belongings, said the movers Jacksonville, Fl.
“When I started doing this I didn’t realize anyone else was,” said the Louisville, Ky., native, who enjoys working with seniors. Previously, she’d worked with the hospital’s volunteer department and developed a rapport with seniors.
In 2002, she and 21 other senior move managers, as they called themselves, came together in Washington, D.C., where they met to discuss developing a professional association specifically designed for the senior move industry. “We virtually didn’t know each other, but in forty eight hours we formed the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).”
Association membership today is close to 800, noted the movers Jacksonville, Fl.
The business is all about making a move less traumatic for everyone. Services offered include: sorting, packing, coordinating the move, unpacking and arranging the new living space. The business also takes care of getting items shipped, and arranges for disposing of unwanted items. “It takes a lot of pressure off the senior” as well as any adult children, Morris said.
Simple Transitions starts the process with an initial consultation – typically free – to access the seniors’ needs. Senior move managers nationally charge $2,000 to $2,500 per move, Morris said, adding that costs vary as do seniors’ needs. Most senior move managers charge hourly, she said.
For Morris, the business is “more a mission than just a job.” Over the years, Morris has formed relationships with both the seniors and their family members. It’s not unusual for her to receive Christmas cards and emails from family members even after the senior has passed.
Although she no longer makes house calls, Morris helps people open businesses such as her own. “I’ve taken it to The movers Jacksonville, Fl., said senior move managers are invaluable for anyone requiring such services.