By Mary Holmes
Our goal at Integrated Move Management is to make professional move management services affordable to those that can benefit from them. In addition to keeping our hourly rate at a reasonable and competitive level, there are many other ways to reduce the overall cost of downsizing, moving or cleaning out an estate. This is the second part of a two part blog on this topic. If you haven’t read the first part yet, you can read it here: Can I “Afford” Professional Move Management Services? (Part One).
Setting Up a System
As I have written in several other blogs, the hardest part about the process of downsizing is getting started. Most people don’t know where to begin, so they continually put it off. It is interesting to see how a clients’ perspective shifts once we start the process for them and explain how we are going about the project. Once progress is made, the client generally starts to relax and have good feels and energy about moving forward. By educating the client about the process and leaving them with the tools to continue working on sorting and downsizing when we are not present – the client often feels happy to be involved and do some of the work themselves, which can keep costs down. Of course, if the client is not physically capable or does not want to be involved – that is fine also.
The Right Resources
We feel fortunate that we have a great network of resources to call upon when needed for all parts of downsizing, moving and estate clean out. One of the more expensive parts of this process is the removal, transport, and disposal of items that will be recycled or brought to the dump. Additionally dump fees can be quite costly, as they are based on weight, number of bags, and/or item. One of our trusted resources is extremely efficient and cost effective when it comes to removal, transport and disposal of recycling and trash. They ensure that they understand the local transfer station rules and go to great lengths to keep costs as low as possible. Because they have an extremely reasonable hourly rate and the ability to keep transfer station fees to a minimum – overall downsizing/moving or estate clean out costs will be lower.
Sales Management – Make Some Money
After it is determined what items are not wanted by the client, their family or friends (with either a downsizing/move or estate clean
out), our next step is to profitably dispose of the remaining items. We utilize several different methods for selling a clients’ possessions, including working with dealers, auctioneers and other buyers, consignment stores, and online sales. All proceeds from the sales go to the client (we do not take a percentage of the sale proceeds), which provides an offset to the cost of move management. Although it is possible to sell possessions without the help of a professional, it is an extremely time consuming and often frustrating process. Most clients find they don’t have the time, energy or knowledge to successfully manage selling multiple items.
Reduce Moving, Trash, and Storage Costs
Moving itself can be expensive. The more you move, the more it will cost since movers charge by weight or by the hour. A professional move manager will work with you to determine what will fit in your new home by preparing a to-scale floor plan. In this way, you will only bring what you actually need – which will save you money on moving costs.
As mentioned earlier, trash can be expensive. One of our missions at Integrated Move Management is to keep the trash produced from a downsizing or estate clean out to a minimum. We do this by methodically determining what can be sold, what can be donated to charity, and what can be recycled. In this way, your removal, transport, and disposal fees will be less.
I quite often hear people say that they don’t have the time to deal with this process so they will just rent a storage unit “for now” until they have time to take care of the items from a downsizing or estate clean out. Storage, especially if climate controlled, can be very expensive. By using a professional move manager, you will be more likely to work through the process in a timely manner and avoid these costs. I recently spoke to a prospective client who wasn’t sure how they would find the time to help their parents tackle the process of downsizing. They said that they thought our services would be too expensive, so perhaps they would get a climate controlled storage unit (for $225/month) until they had time to disperse of these items. What we have seen is that once items are in a storage unit, it falls into the category of “out of sight, out of mind” and the monthly fees start to accumulate over a long-term period. I pointed out to this prospect that in all likelihood, the storage fees would add up to much more than the cost of our services over time.
If you are planning to downsize and move in the near future or you are responsible for an estate clean out, please contact us for a complimentary consultation and estimate: Contact Us.