Our Client Eva is a busy, modern woman-- and now a happy one.
An AIDS Educator for a large University in Los Angeles, she had lived in a beautiful 1930's Spanish Colonial for 9 years with her two dogs. It was a two-story unit, with lots of space she filled with gorgeous estate finds discovered around town and around the world.
But Eva has always wanted to be a homeowner. One day, while she was casually house hunting around her local Los Angeles neighborhood, she struck real estate gold. A newly renovated, turn-key architectural gem: a mid-century styled condo with incredible hardwood floors, a modern kitchen, warm light and views of Larchmont Village. But what her new home didn't have was a lot of space, but was in fact, roughly 1/2 the size of her rental she'd been for in so long. Recognizing the treasure she'd stumbled upon, Eva moved quickly--putting down a large deposit and agreeing to a 30-day escrow.
Eva called OrganizingLA to manage the entire move. This included creating a schedule, designing a floor plan, helping her select what to take and what to shed, packing and unpacking, and hiring and overseeing the moving company. Best of all, we settled her belongings into a beautifully designed and organized home that she and her two dogs love spending time in.
Eva's relocation project provided three key challenges and here's how we solved them:
First challenge: Downsize:
There was no way Eva could live comfortably with the same amount of furniture and clothing in a home 1/2 as small. Although she had decided to use our services, it was also tough to work on a day-to-day basis with a Client who didn't want to give up as much as she needed to make the move work. We had to minimize the pain, and make it easier to lighten her load. We did this by scheduling several easy, in-home pick-up charity donations with Out of the Closet. We advised her on potential prices for valuable items through a local antiques dealer and got her set up on Craigslist. The extra income and charitable donations really pushed Eva to give up more and more and reach her goal.
Second challenge: Move Logistics:
A huge logistic challenge for Eva was to sell, donate or move her heirloom upright piano. The piano was in perfect visual condition, but we discovered unmovable due to four broken wheels and a structural problem. Well, the mover refused to move the piano up the new home's unsafe staircase. We researched a piano mover but the cost was prohibitive and donating was not an option-- it was a valuable piece and Eva wanted the cash. We facilitated a personal visit by Auction Depot LA but the timing to list, sell, pack, and move the piano out of the house before the end of the month was not feasible. Finally, we located a professional piano dealer in the Valley, who purchased the piano. Eva was pleased to see it go to someone who will properly repair the piece and find a loving owner.
Third challenge: Emotions
Buying a first home was difficult enough but Eva was not prepared for the balance act of the needs of a home Escrow and moving in the same time period. Her challenges involved Eva maneuvering through a mortgage disaster that threatened the entire deal. She was under constant stress. At this point, our team really stood up to the plate and took over the entire project. We became her "stress free" zone. We did a great deal of listening, were cheerful and kept Eva focused on the big picture of moving. We took her calls late at night, wrapped up the last hours of packing two days before the move, and drove down to LA City Hall for encroachment (moving van) permits. We arranged for cable shut-off, a cappuccino for Eva the following morning as well as lunch at the new house. Yes, we took over a lot of little issues but we made Eva's life easy because she was under so much pressure.
5 months have passed since Eva and her dogs moved and she is finally enjoying her new space. We set her up with a top notch handyman and a painting crew. She's purchased new furniture, a new closet system and is celebrating a birthday in just three weeks, which will also serve as her official house warming. We'll be looking for the invitation and Eva's inevitable question: Can I book some organizing time to finally tackle the filing system in the office?
Your Turn to Comment:
What are your moving secrets? What action items would you give to someone who is just about to tackle a big move, perhaps to a different city? How do you decide what to bring so you'll know it will fit in your new space? Let us know here in the comment section or you can tweet us @johntrosko on Twitter. You can also check me out on Instagram (@johntrosko).
*We recieved permission from our client Eva to post this story, but changed some of the facts for privacy.
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