St. Augustine Woman's Journal - Educational Resource to the Women of St. Johns County Since 2009

By Leslie Vlachos
President Design 55 Inc. 

Senior Move Management Downsizing an Aging America

 

April 1, 2017 | View PDF



What do I do with all the stuff I no longer need and my kids and grandkids do not want? This is a question that a Senior Move Manager hears frequently. Whether you are downsizing, helping a parent move, or handling an estate, getting rid of excess furniture and household contents can be a significant challenge. Beyond the economic significance of what furniture and household contents will sell for in today's marketplace, there's the emotional struggle that comes with letting go of decades worth of memory-laden stuff. It is important to remember that household contents are not just things. They often hold memories and are part of the fabric of one's life.

Unloading household contents is proving harder than most people anticipate. Indeed, it's hard to know where to start. A Senior Move Manager can provide the resources to assist older adults and their family with dispersal of household contents. An experienced Senior Move Manager will recommend several strategies to assist with unloading excess household contents for older adults who are contemplating a later life move.

In part one of Downsizing an Aging America, we described the two strategies of family gifts and estate sales. In this article, we will address consignment of furnishings and donation of household contents.

A Senior Move Manager may recommend that furniture that will not move to a downsized home be sold through consignment. There are a range of consignment businesses in northeast Florida. Many consignment businesses sell only furniture. Some consignment businesses will also sell art prints, area rugs, and decorative decor items. A consignment shop may be the best place to sell your dining room table and chairs or the extra deep sofa that will not move with you to your downsized home or retirement community. Consignment businesses look for furniture that is gently used and in excellent condition. If your couch is still covered in a floral pattern fabric that was so popular in the 1980's, it may not appeal to today's buyer!

Consignment businesses typically sell product on their showroom floor for a 50/50 split. This means you receive 50% of what your dining room table sells for and the consignment business keeps 50% of the sale price for selling your furniture on their showroom floor. The key is the initial price that is established with the consignor when the furniture is first placed on the showroom floor. Many people are surprised when an initial sell price is lower than what they think their furniture is worth. Keep in mind that your furniture is only worth what someone will pay for it in today's marketplace.

Neither you nor the consignment shop make money if your dining room table is priced higher than what the marketplace will pay. Most consignment businesses discount prices after 30 days and again after 60 days. If an item does not sell in 90 days, it is typical to receive a phone call inquiring whether you would like to pick up your dining room table and chairs or donate to charity!

Donations to charity are a good avenue for dispersal of household contents. A Senior Move Manager can provide the charity resources to contact, identify which company provides home pick-up services, and advise you on the kinds of items that are not accepted for donation. It may surprise you that many charities will no longer accept the perfectly serviceable mattress that you slept on last night or the old-style television that still works just fine.

Armed with a list of the items you have donated, a visit to your CPA at tax time will determine the value of your donations. Donation of excess household contents is also a terrific way to pay it forward and provide much needed items to people in need who will appreciate your kindness.

A Senior Move Manager can help you determine the best avenues for dispersal of your household contents when you are ready to downsize to a smaller home or retirement community.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

"We tried to plan ahead as best we could, but Design 55 handled many of the details of moving for us. In addition, they knew who to contact for any issues we had in relocation. We were so pleased and grateful for all the kind services offered by Design 55. I can't imagine making a move without all their help!" - C. Lewis

"When the move was finished, we felt like we were saying goodbye to close friends. We actually hugged! The whole experience was outstanding. Some of the arranging was not in my realm of thinking, but I love it and have kept the furniture where it was placed. Great ideas! Thanks for everything. We love our new home!" - S. Dingfield

"Design 55 staff were prompt, hard-working, efficient, and cheerful. They were very respectful while asking questions and seeking our opinions. I was also impressed that your staff arranged my china cabinet based on a photo I had taken of it! That in itself saved me hours of work unpacking and arranging crystal. Your services are very comprehensive. I can't think of anything you had not thought of first." - S. King

 
 

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