It began with a call to our office, as the nervous voice on the other end introduced herself as Mary (not her real name), explaining that they had sold their farm, home for 43 years and were moving to town – could we help?
So began the 3-month process of carefully preparing the Greens for their move.
With weekly visits, our ladies arrived after the hour of driving, armed with packing materials, bags for donations and rubbish, for the full day of sorting and packing.
As Mary shared stories of her and Jack’s long happy life, his sporting and art achievements, their travels – room by room we began sorting through the many years they had lived in the grand homestead.
They had sold to a developer and were moving to a modern house in town. They didn’t need to take all the things in their current home, nor was there room.
Starting in the areas not lived in every day – storerooms, guest rooms, the sorting and packing was methodical. Each visit we took away unwanted rubbish, and donations for charity. Working each week towards moving day, the packing areas came in closer, as the dining room, study and kitchen were decluttered and items carefully wrapped and boxed for their new destination.
Over the weeks, we developed a deep respect, easy familiarity and great care for Mary and Jack, and what started as a “bit of help packing” turned into a “we would never have done it without you”.
Moving day was emotional, hot and exhausting – reaching close to 40 degrees in the shade, a fortnight before Christmas in rural NSW. The moving team found access difficult as the huge trees in the garden, planted when Mary & Jack moved in, now prevented anything but a small vehicle within 50 yards of the house!
Everyone persevered, and after two truckloads, litres of cold water and dust to the horizon, everything had gone to town.
Mary and Jack fell early into their perfectly made bed after a ham sandwich and a whisky, as the unpacking team slept well to tackle over 140 boxes over the following two days.
In a matter of days, with a multitude of paintings hung, beds made, bookcases filled, and kitchen organised with pantry in tip-top shape – Mary and Jack felt like this was “home”. Now with a 5 minute drive to the shops, 3 bedrooms instead of 5, and finally plumbing younger than they are, with heating at the flick of a switch – downsizing brought so many delights.
With no family within half a day’s drive – we continue to call in to see Mary and Jack, recently for a day of catch up things, popping rugs out for winter, rehanging art which has been reframed, and even delivering a reupholstered version of the gold velvet bedhead, cherished since they were first married!
If moving house is stressful, downsizing is even more daunting – often ill health and age are the triggers for such a move, and the enormity of the task is cause for further decline. We recognise that this is a difficult time as often independence may be lost, and family emotions may be stretched.
When I called in only last week on a trip to Dubbo, with fresh Mudgee Sourdough – Mary smiled (she looks 10 years younger than the first day we met) and said: “How can we ever thank you enough?” – it’s this feeling and the delight we provide to our clients which makes us realise – everyone downsizing deserves to be Perfectly Sorted.