On a lovely Wednesday morning, the Interiors for Seniors crew took a drive out to New Smyrna Beach. It’s about a 90-minute drive to get to the beach from Central Florida where our company is headquartered. The weather was just lovely and the drive was a peaceful one filled with daily banter and chatter among the staff. There was a bit of excitement and anticipation because it is always nice to head out to the beach side of Florida, even if it’s for work. It also helps that all of the crew are truly friends on and off the clock, so the camaraderie is pleasant.
As we drove, the scope of the upcoming day was discussed. This was to be a two-day job…a very large downsize. We had scheduled one full day for pack up and one full day for unpack. Upon approaching the house our packing feat became apparent, the visual is just so much more impactful than just hearing it’ll be a large downsize. The home was exquisite, two stories right on the water. The homeowner urged us to go out back and look from the dock…there were dolphins idyllically jumping in the bay!!
Once we had all soaked in the beautiful scenery, it was time to get to the task at hand…..DOWNSIZING. This home is 3400 sq ft, 4 full bedrooms and bathrooms, formal living area, large office. The larger home was being downsized to a 2000sq ft 3 bedroom 2 bathroom villa in John Knox Village.
I usually tackle the kitchen first. The scope of this kitchen pack up definitely required two people. The kitchen was massive, very organized and full of useful gadgets, formal dinnerware, delicate stemware and a lot of cookware. The homeowner had already done an extensive amount of sorting and paring down the large amount of items…but there was still soooo much. We ended up packing about 28 boxes with kitchen items, many of them were the large size boxes. Fortunately, the client was moving to one of the larger units in John Knox Village…however we all still had questions in our minds regarding how we would make it all fit.
The kitchen is usually the largest single area in the house to work on. It often takes the entire day to complete the kitchen, both pack and unpack. This particular kitchen was a real puzzler to figure out. How does one shrink this massive original kitchen into such an abbreviated space? The original kitchen area was very nicely appointed. It had copious amounts of storage space, drawers galore and large areas for oversized appliances. Where to begin?? YIKES!! Well, it goes something like this…assess the whole kitchen, how will like items be grouped together? What makes sense for the cook/end user? One key factor to taking on such a daunting task is to properly pack and label the original kitchen. Our movers are very good at packing the truck so when the boxes come off, they are grouped together and sorting is made easier. However, despite valiant efforts, there was simply no way to fit all the culinary items in the kitchen alone. It was necessary to look for other storage areas around the villa. A small linen closet was deemed to be the perfect repository for the overflow kitchen items. After loading the cabinets, then playing around with the space and reorganizing numerous times, all of the kitchen items were put away!
It ended up being such a long pack up day and the weather was so beautiful. Missy, owner/operator of Interiors for Seniors, had a brilliant idea and treated us all to a delicious lunch on the beach at a local favorite eatery. As we ate our meal, the discussion turned to the organizational masterpiece that had to be performed the next day. We all agreed to get an earlier start to the day so that we could finish up in the allotted time.
First thing in the morning we all met at the head office. Missy had wisely called in some backup help…that’s always a welcome sight when we know the day will be more intense than normal. The muscle side of our move had already arrived at John Knox Village ahead of us packers. The guys on our moving crew are literally the backbone of the whole move. It is very nice to have such professional and helpful coworkers. As the guys began unloading the truck, the usual trepidation set in. How will we fit all this in? Where will it all go? There just isn’t enough SPACE!!!! Missy, in her usual calm manner, assured us all, homeowners and crew alike, that it would all work out…and she’s always right!!
It is very important to Interiors for Seniors to ensure that the new home looks very similar to the one the client is leaving. One reason is that often our clients are just developing Alzheimer’s or are in the full throes of this debilitating disease. When there is a change in the environment, when the surroundings do not look familiar than the confusion already present will increase. Keeping a comfortable and consistent environment is very important. When a new job begins, one of the initial tasks is to take extensive numbers of pictures. We capture images of the curio cabinets, wall hangings, kitchen counter decor, desk tops, bathroom layout, etc. This gives us an exact reference point to go back to when the decorating phase begins. Missy strives to hang the pictures as they were, lay out the knickknacks in a familiar fashion, place the beloved memorabilia exactly as it was in the previous home.
On a large move, each box unpacked and organized into the new space is a triumph. Open, unpack, sort, place, take empty box outside…Yeah one more done!!! Repeat, repeat, repeat. In no time a bathroom is done, a closet finished. The sense of accomplishment drives us forward to complete the relocation.
After two long days, we finished the move. Missy had once again worked her magic. The pictures were hung artistically, the bedrooms looked almost identical to the original layouts, albeit shrunken down a bit. The clients loved their new space. Smiles were huge:) Over and again the comment was made “I can’t believe you fit it all in.” It was indeed another Downsizing Feat Accomplished.