Tag Archives: safety

How to begin your home downsizing project and cleanout

How to Begin Downsizing Your Home

Home Staging Tips PA NJThe vast majority of the clients who contact us are simply overwhelmed trying to tackle downsizing their home or the home of a loved one. It is physically and mentally draining. Often it entails going through possessions that have been in the house for 40 plus years. Where do you begin?

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into helping you move forward and sell your home and clean out your contents by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, content clean out and removal and estate sales, and services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Moving from your home of 20, 30 or 40 years is a daunting task. Often our client tell us it’s an “oh my gosh moment” – where do I begin? This is where we can help you.

Did you know that downsizing and moving ranks as one of lifes most difficult events, along with loss of a spouse, divorce and job change. People feel overwhelmed, and wonder; where do they even start?

At Personal Property Managers, we understand the emotional toll downsizing and moving can take on our clients and their families. If you are moving from your home of many years into a senior care community or just relocating, our goal is to help you transition seamlessly to this exciting new chapter in life.

Nick Santoro says that of the many challenges of moving, downsizing is the most difficult. Nick says the reason for this is that you have to make decisions about every personal possession in your home. Personal Property Managers is at your side helping you every step of the way.

Santoro suggests viewing downsizing as a process. We suggest that you start with small goals, and plan on sorting for just a few hours at a time.

  1. Sorting through the easiest and obvious first. Choose a room where what needs to go or stay is the most obvious – like your bedroom or a room that’s rarely used.
  2. Using colored stickers, labels or Post-It notes to identify where items will go. More efficient than writing out a list, movers and family members can use the stickers as guidance on moving day.
  3. Assessing practicality and sentimentality. Items that are both practical and sentimental should move with you. Items that are neither should be left for family, sale or charity.
  4. Eliminating duplicate items or items that are the wrong size. Chances are, you only need three sets of towels, not six. If clothing does not fit, do not bring it with you.

Before the move, Santoro recommends creating a floor plan and determining the practicality of existing furniture. Nick says, do not go out and buy new furniture. Instead, be open to using furniture in new ways.”

Taking measurements of available space is also important. Virginia, a recent client said, “We had large paintings that we really loved, but did not think we could bring with us. Nick had our floor plan and measurements and said, “Oh, yes we can. I know just where those paintings can go!’”

“It’s the sentimental items that make a house a home,” Nick reminds our clients. “Those are just as important as packing up your sensible shoes and kitchenware.”

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

How to recognize signs of delcine in our aging loved one

Recognizing signs of decline and the need for help of our elderly loved ones

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJAre you the close friend, son, daughter or caregiver of a senior loved one? Have you begun to notice signs that your elderly loved one is having difficulty processing routine daily chores; conversations, and or having trouble remembering name?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes… then this may mean that your elderly loved one may now need help, and may no longer be able to live independently.

Census figures and recent studies indicate that in the next 11 years, our elderly population will double. This means that caregivers and children of elderly loved ones will be dealing with a situation that for many is something that we are often not prepared for.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into senior care and senior transition services by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Personal Property Managers specializes in senior transition services such as downsizing, content clean out and removal, estate sales, full service real estate and property sale and moving.

While we are certainly not medical or health care professionals we often work with adult children and caregivers of elderly loved ones who are going through so form of lifestyle transition. We’ve put together a list of the top 9 signs that your elderly loved one may need some assistance, and whom you can reach out to for that help.

1. Memory loss and Forgetfulness
Have your parents have begun forgetting appointments or bills that need to be paid? Have they been getting lost more regularly? Maybe they have begun repeating themselves or putting common objects in illogical places. Perhaps they forget the dosage for their medicine, or don’t take it altogether.

If this is the case you might want to suggest a formal assessment to help determine your options. Once you know what is going on with your parent, such as is the issue a medical condition or dementia, you will better know how to help them.

2. Mobility issues
Are your parents having trouble walking or getting up from a chair? Take a look around your parents’ home. Is the staircase awkward to navigate, are there slippery tiles, does the furniture create obstacles or are they having trouble getting in and out of the shower? Muscle, joint pain or trouble with knees might indicate that a cane or walker is necessary.

3. Eating issues and loss of appetite Are your parents losing weight, becoming dehydrated, not cooking, forgetting to eat or eating unhealthy? They might be having trouble cooking, reading a recipe, holding utensils or operating a stove, or they may have difficulty with the senses of taste and smell. You may want to check the refrigerator for out of date food. Make sure your parents are drinking and not becoming dehydrated, especially during the heat of the summer.

4. Detachment and overall lack of involvement
Is your parent social and active, visiting friends, participating in faith, civic or community activities? Or are they listless with low spirits and a lack of energy? If you’re not sure why, why not simply ask them about it. It may mean eyes should be checked or a hearing aid might be in order.

5. Change in personal hygiene
Is your dad’s hair uncombed and teeth not brushed? Is he no longer going to the barber with usual regularity? Is he wearing the same clothing or inappropriate clothing? Lack of awareness about his personal appearance might be a sign of physical problems, depression or Alzheimers. Talk to your parents what you noticed and ask them about it.

6. Change in Personality
Do you notice a change in your parents’ personalities, especially in the evening? Are they talking too loudly or too softly? Are they accusing people of doing or saying things against them, wanting to check on children or displaying other odd behaviors? These may be common signs of sun downing or late-day confusion. You may want to plan activities during the day that include exposure to sunlight and keeping a nightlight on to reduce agitation. Changes in personality can result from other things aside from Alzheimers or dementia, which looks different in every individual. You may have to be creative and try multiple strategies to address changes in personality and meet your loved one’s needs.

7. Illness or Physical Disability
If your parents suffer from advanced diabetes or have visual difficulties, such as Parkinson’s or severe or recurring strokes, they may need you to step in.

8. Unusual Amount of Clutter
Is there dirty laundry or unopened mail? Is the house unkempt, especially in the kitchen and bathroom? Does the lawn need mowing? Maybe maintaining the home is becoming too much for your parents to handle.

9. Bruises, Scratches and Burns
Have you noticed unexplained bruises, bumps, scratches or burns? These may be signs your loved one is having difficulty taking care of themselves.

After being independent and self-sufficient for so long, it’s difficult for parents to admit they need help. But it’s important to communicate with your parents, letting them know why you are worried and that you want to help. Then come up with solutions together.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Aging Parents and Adult Children – a Role Reversal that needs looking into

Time for a role reversal – when adult children need to step up and become the caregiver of their elderly parents

If you are the son, daughter or caregiver of an aging parent or elderly loved one life can be very challenging and very frustrating. We often cannot understand why our parents cannot understand or remember things or why their tidy home is now more and more cluttered with stuff. This can lead to frustration, anger and resentment, not to mention be outright dangerous to your aging loved one.

This is a sensitive topic that needs to be talked about. It seems quite common for our elderly loved ones to live many years beyond expectations of just a few years ago. Today it is quite common for our loved ones to live well into their 90’s. 

This is part of a continuing series of articles and insights by Nick and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers, senior real estate and senior transition specialist servicing Pennsylvania and New Jersey (www.personalpropertypropertymanagers.com ). 

Are you prepared for a role reversal where the child becomes the adult and the adult needs more and more direct care? Are you the adult child of an elderly parent or loved one? Have you been by to see how your folks are living? If not, it’s probably time to pay a thorough visit because ultimately, their home environment and everything in it and around it will be your concern–in a big way.

Are you absolutely your aging loved ones home safe? Can your parent negotiate through their house without the risk of falling over stuff accumulated over the years? When you walk into their home do you feel “squeezed” for space? Is every possible surface, including the floor, covered with their stuff? Do you have to step around things to get from one room to another? Is there too much furniture? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to clear the clutter and look after your aging loved ones physical safety.

Besides general clutter and excess in their home, have you bothered to check the food pantry or refrigerator/freezer contents lately? Many of the seniors we work with have homes that are completely filled with stuff from by gone years.  In addition, have you looked into the refrigerator? Are they eating expired foods; do they even know to look for expiration dates of foods that can make them gravely ill?. Just a quick heads up….when you begin sorting through their cabinets, freezer and refrigerator, sorting through the good from the bad? In fact, prepare yourself for a possible challenge regarding the disposal of expired food items. Remember, in many cases, your elderly loved ones lived through the Depression, so throwing out anything is hard for most of them.

Another huge issue when going through your elderly loved ones home is its overall and general cleanliness, or lack thereof. Have you checked to see if your parents are living in a filthy or less than clean environment? Who’s cleaning for them if they’re not able? We’re seeing more and more really nasty living conditions from the kitchen to the bathroom.

What about the medicine cabinet? Have you looked through it recently if at all? If you see expired medications or medications that are no longer taken, get rid of them.

What about hoarding?  Look around. What do you see? We can tell you that we’re experiencing an increase in clients with just too much stuff…everywhere. This is where adult children need to step it up, and get involved and take control of this situation. Even if your elderly loved ones have a desire, many hoarding seniors are unable to admit their problem or simply have no idea how to begin paring down their stuff. It’s time to have a sit-down with mom and dad and begin the process of eliminating the excess in their homes, if for nothing else other than their own safety to simply be able to move about without tripping over something.

In addition, please think about what you say and how you say it. The difference here is how you say it. Don’t sound critical or angry; say it gently and with a friendly smile.
 
The most important thing is that as our parents or elderly loved ones age that we go out of our way to maintain good relationships and look after them. In many cases, for adult children this is a complete role reversal.

For more insights into working with seniors in transition, or downsizing services, content liquidation, full service real estate service or moving services, please contact Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909 www.personalpropertymanagers.com servicing New Jersey and Pennsylvania