Moving company helps prospectives downsize

Getting rid of possessions is stressful even in the best circumstances. Many people are forced to transition to long-term care in the worst circumstances.

They’re downsizing from multi-bedroom homes to an apartment after decades in one place. That’s rooms of furniture—and memories.

"We have these memories that connect to these little trinkets or art we have on the wall, or photographs," said John Cagle, an associate professor of social work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, to The Baltimore Sun, adding downsizing can be like "losing a bit of your own identity."

That’s where a small but growing niche market is coming in: senior moving managers who act as a neutral third-party and sidestep some of the arguments between parents and children. Movers can help sell and donate items, pack and unpack belongings and coordinate with long-term care facilities. They even create floorplans to help seniors visualize what can and can't fit into their new home. And with 10,000 people turning 65 each day, business is expected to boom.

The National Association of Senior Move Managers formed in 2002 with 22 companies. It now has close to 1,000 members who did an estimated 100,000 moves and $150 million in revenue last year, said Jennifer Pickett, the group's associate executive director to The Baltimore Sun.

Services can range from $40 to $60 an hour but, it might be a worthwhile investment—and viable alternative—for potential residents and their loved ones who may not be physically or mentally up to the challenge of downsizing.


Topics: Executive Leadership , Housing