Is Right-sizing your New Year’s resolution? Perhaps you have recently experienced a significant event and now it feels like a good time to make a housing change that will help you simplify your surroundings and your life. Right-sizing is a process but it is often triggered by a specific event or series of events and making a carefully planned, intentional change, can help you focus on what matters most! Here are 4 things you should consider before making a change.
- What is your motivation? Perhaps you need more space for children, extended family, or pets; or a different kind of space for horses, gardening, or your classic car collection; or you have too much space because your children have left the nest, you are divorced, or you want to split your time between 2 smaller homes traveling or living in a sunny place ½ of the year; or you just want or need to retire in a different location.
- What Information do you Need? Change can often be overwhelming so it really helps to break a big decision into smaller ones and focus on just obtaining the data you need for the small decisions. How much will you make selling your home? How much do you need to buy your next home? Maybe you can remodel your space instead of having to move – learn your options so you can make informed decisions.
- What is stopping you? Change can be stressful or it can be exhilarating – usually it depends on your attitude and the planning that goes into the change. Worried about the finances – learn the numbers that can help you make the decision and determine timing. Perhaps you don’t know what to do with all of your things… there are moving & estate sales professionals who can help you! Is it the memories & emotions – photograph the spaces where memories were made, talk to your family, keep items that are special, and be open to making new memories – again there are people who can help you with this.
- Who can help you make it happen? There are many resources that can help you whether you need a little bit of help or a lot. There are high quality Real Estate Brokers, Financial Planners, Organizers, Estates Sales Professionals, Movers, Cleaners and other professionals that are ready to help you. They can help you determine your wants & needs, provide the data to make good decisions, and help you make the Right next move.
Real Estate Corner (Article published in the Woodinville Weekly 12/25/17 edition)
This is not an all-inclusive list of questions; but rather a great place to start when touring a new continuing or assisted living facility. Keep in mind that different municipalities have different laws and requirements for senior facilities, so some questions may not be applicable.
For more in-depth information, visit the Washington State human services website to learn about requirements and laws regulating senior facilities and about the differences between retirement communities, assisted living facilities, adult family homes, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities.
Note: It is highly recommended to call the facility beforehand to schedule a tour of the facility.
- Is the residence licensed? What credentials do staff members hold?
- Is there an ombudsman or an organization of residence that can help raise issues with the staff and management?
- Are there ample conveniences in and around the residence? (ex. grocery store, cleaners, shops, restaurants, library, theaters).
- Is there a hospital nearby?
- Is there a waiting list? If so, how long may it take to be accepted and admitted?
- Is the staff professional and happy to help? Do residents seem happy and well cared for?
- Are there special programs for residents with disabilities? For residents that have dementia or memory impairments?
- What makes this residence unique from other communities?
- Is there an on-site clinic or 24 hour nurse?
- Can residents hire outside caregivers or assistance?
Services & Activities:
- Is transportation provided for medical appointments and recreational purposes? Is there a fee?
- Are there any types of housekeeping, laundry, or linen service offered? Are these services included in the entry or monthly fees or at an additional cost?
- What healthcare services are available for each level of care?
- Is there a gym on campus? Are there organized exercise classes?
- What kinds of social events are planned? Is there a monthly schedule of events?
- Does the residence accommodate special diets?
- What meal options does the residence offer? Does the residence offer group meals or in-room programs?
- What sizes and types of living options are offered? Are residences furnished?
- Is a resident required to move into independent living before moving to assisted living apartments?
- What amenities does the residence have?
- Are layouts in all types of housing wheelchair and walker friendly?
- Is parking available to residents? Is there guest parking?
- Are their guest accommodations?
- Are the residence’s grounds well maintained, manicured, and easy to navigate?
- Is this a smoke-free facility? Are there designated spots for smokers?
- How is security addressed in each type of residence?
- Are pets allowed?
Cost & Fees:
- What are the contract options?
- Are residences owned or rented?
- What is the breakdown of fees for basic housing and additional services? Monthly fees? Are fees raised on a yearly basis?
- Does Medicaid, Medicare, or other long-term care insurance cover any on the costs?
- What are the income requirements for a particular unit?
Whether you want to move to a smaller home, smaller property, or you just want to simplify your life and reduce clutter, here are some tips and great local resources to help you achieve your goal.
Where to start? Don’t try to do all of the rooms at once, it can be overwhelming and you might stop before you start. Select a single room, one that you don’t use often, or maybe even start with a junk drawer to begin. Remember two rules to keep the process moving and successful: (1) never handle an item more than once and (2) categorize and sort each item based upon 4 categories:
Trash – you don’t need it and it no longer has value, throw it away into a garbage bag.
Donate/Sell – you don’t need it but it has value, designate a spot for these items.
Relocate – you rarely use or just don’t need any more but these items may be important to someone else in your family or a friend, designate a spot for these items and put a name on them.
Essential – these items are essential to you on a daily/weekly basis, pack them in a box if you are moving, or put them back if you aren’t.
If you have more trash than what fits in your regular garbage service (and it isn’t toxic, flammable, reactive or corrosive), you or a friend with a truck can haul it to the Houghton Transfer Station in Kirkland (11724 NE 60th St.) or get some help from Ray’s Hauling (425-844-2509) or 1-800GotJunk.
- Household Hazardous waste (toxic items such as paint thinner, fluorescent lights, pesticides & car batteries) can be dropped off at the Factoria Transfer Station (13800 SE 32nd St., Bellevue) or check the King County Waste Mobile website schedule to see when they will be in a community near you.
- Unused or Expired Prescription Drugs, Household batteries, and CFL light bulbs can be taken to the Woodinville City Hall and placed in the drop boxes for each of those items.
General item donations can be taken to Goodwill (Woodinville Park & Ride Lot), Northwest Center (Safeway parking lot on weekends) or you can schedule to have items picked up by Salvation Army (www.Seattle.SATruck.org). Northwest Center (www.donate.bigbluetruck.org), Google “Buy Nothing Woodinville” (or your city) – a great way to share your treasures with others in the community that would like to have them and Value Village (Woodinville/Redmond).
- Specific items such as: (1) Books can be donated to Friends of the Library for fundraising sales (most King County libraries) or www.booksForAmerical.org; (2) Beds, Mattresses, Couches– Salvation Army will pick up!; and (3) Cell Phones can be donated to www.CellPhonesForSoldiers.com, or Eastside Domestic Violence Program send by mail or drop off with the Woodinville Police Department. Tip: Every September Windermere Woodinville hosts a free electronics recycling event (pcs, tvs, appliances and more) – call or email us if you want to know the next date.
- Garage/yard sales at your home, sell limited items locally via ads on Craigslist, or for shippable items try eBay, or get professional help by using an Estate & Moving sale company such as Flotsam & Jetsam (206-818-2428), Caring Transitions Seattle (206-330-0878), Girlfriend Estate Sales (425-829-3848).
- Family & Friends. Contact everyone who has an item with their name on it and schedule them to come pick it up. Often our clients have “moving parties” where they invite friends and family to come see what they are looking to relocate to them and when they leave the party they take those items. Anything leftover can be donated.
Make sure you evaluate everything – don’t skip something merely because it doesn’t take up much room because you will just have to deal with it/move it later. Celebrate your successes as you clear out each drawer, room, and your home, and enjoy all of your new space!