Senior Move Managers

Senior Move Managers

- in Housing, July/August 2017

Downsizing Simplified

Get Help with a Move

By Marie Elium

Almost nothing is more daunting than transitioning to a house, apartment or senior living community that better suits your lifestyle and needs for how you live today.

Each year, thousands of families help loved ones downsize. Many have no idea where to begin. Usually there’s a family home that’s packed full with a lifetime of furniture, collections and papers.

There’s an explosion of companies right here in Northeast Ohio that will manage a senior move. These professionals usually charge anywhere from $40 to $125 an hour. You can plan on spending about $1,500 to $5,000 for a job — plus the cost of the moving company.

Many families are unaware of the many professional services now available specifically for downsizing. These professionals will sort through each room and closet, help sell items, find a Realtor and manage every aspect of a move. A place to start is the National Association of Senior Move Managers (

A senior move manager helps with the emotional and physical aspects of relocating older adults. A senior move manager is a great choice when family members live far away, are already managing other aging parents or the needs of children, have demanding careers and family issues, are physically unable, or are not available to do the work themselves for some other reason.

Here’s what a senior move manager can do for a family:

  • Develop and coordinate a move plan
  • Organize and sort for downsizing
  • Create a customized floor plan for the new home or apartment
  • Interview, schedule and supervise movers
  • Professionally pack and unpack
  • Set up and decorate the new residence
  • Make the new residence safe and accessible
  • Shop and purchase furniture and household goods
  • Change utility services at old and new residences
  • Handle shipping and storage of non-move items
  • Arrange profitable disposal of unwanted items (auction, estate sales, buy-outs, consignment, donation, etc.)
  • Stage current residence to appeal to buyers
  • Clear and clean the former residence

If you’re considering hiring a move manager, ask these questions:

  • What specific senior move service do you provide?
  • What do you charge for the services that you provide?
  • Do you add markups to other services that you arrange?
  • Do you add markups to services provided by others that you arrange for clients?
  • Do you provide written estimates and contracts?
  • How long have you been providing senior move management services?
  • What are your professional credentials?
  • Are you fully insured for liability and workers compensation?
  • Can you provide references?

If it’s time for a move, either for yourself or a family member, consider hiring a specialist. You may be surprised how much help is available.


Marie Elium suspects most of her lifetime accumulation of treasures are just junk.

About the author

Marie Elium spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter in Virginia and Ohio before switching to freelance writing when her two children were young. The kids are now Millennials, but writing continues to be one of her favorite endeavors. Marie was named editor of Northeast Ohio Boomer and Beyond magazine in November 2015 and is a graduate of Miami University. Marie can be reached at [email protected]

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