The new year means a new home for our client, Shirley, who will move from her 3-bedroom home to a newly remodeled apartment in a nearby senior community.

As is the case with many of our clients prior to a move, Shirley is apprehensive about the change. The Bridge Forward team, though, is working alongside her to make the move as stress free as possible.

We began the move process in December when a Bridge Forward move manager met with Shirley and her daughter to go through each room of her house and identify which pieces of furniture she would move. We then created a floor plan for the new apartment to make sure the furniture selections would work.

The next step was to contact several movers for price quotes. Because good movers book up quickly, we wanted to reserve the move date before the holidays. With our guidance, Shirley selected her mover and locked in the moving date.

Even though she would move in mid January, Shirley and her daughter were able to relax over the holidays knowing that the Bridge Forward moving team had a schedule in place to ensure the work would get done on time.

The first week in January, the Bridge Forward team spent three afternoons with Shirley going through each room in the house to determine which items she would move and which would be donated to friends, family or charitable organizations. All items to be donated were packed up and delivered to their new homes.

With COVID-19 safety protocols in place, We packed and successfully moved Shirley the second week of the month.

Even with strong family support, Shirley and her daughter realized they needed extra sets of hands to accomplish the move. Downsizing, in particular, is an emotional process and an objective, third party often helps a family accomplish this challenging task.

If you or a family member is considering a move this year, A Bridge Forward offers free consultations and price quotes based on your specific needs. We are bonded, insured and a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers.

Learn more at: or call 414-731-1608.

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  • lisa1372

At its best, moving is highly stressful. While it won’t eliminate all of the stress, a good plan and careful packing will help reduce it. At A Bridge Forward, our teams are experienced in helping clients navigate the complexities of a move. Here are our 10 top tips for a successful move:

1. Set a moving date and create a plan: To set yourself up for a successful move, begin with a written plan and timeline. Start with your move date and work backwards. Make sure to include time for clearing out and decluttering before you start to pack. Call the movers early to schedule your date. During busy moving seasons, the moving companies book up quickly.

2. Talk to at least 3 movers to obtain moving estimates. You will need to provide a complete list of the items you will be moving and an estimated number of boxes. Be sure to ask about their charges for travel time to and from your home. Also, it’s important to ask about and understand insurance coverage. In some cases, we recommend that clients purchase additional insurance for their belongings.

3. Declutter, declutter, declutter. Moving is expensive and everything you move adds to the cost. The best time to get rid of things you do not use is now. Sort through and donate books, extra dishes and kitchen items, out-of-date clothing and shoes, unloved household décor, excess linens/towels and surplus household maintenance/cleaning products. Start early and tackle one area of the house at a time.

4. Obtain plenty of packing boxes, wrapping paper and bubble wrap. You can find online calculators that estimate how many boxes you will need. It is almost certain that you will need more boxes than you expect, especially small boxes. Most packing material suppliers will take back anything that you don’t use. Most movers supply wardrobe boxes for your hanging clothes which means they can be moved on their hanger. Be sure ask if there is a charge for this service.

5. Use good quality materials and mark boxes clearly, including “Fragile, Do Not Stack” on boxes with especially fragile items. All boxes must have lids and be taped shut.

6. Start packing early – Depending on your timeline, begin by packing 3 to 4 boxes a day. Packing takes more time than many people anticipate so getting head start should help you avoid a last-minute crunch.

7. Have a plan for your valuables and important papers. During the move, it is best if they are in a safety deposit box or with a trusted relative or friend for safe keeping.

8. Plan ahead for items you will need for the first couple of days in your new home. Transport anything you need ready access to with you in your car including prescriptions.

9. Have everything packed including artwork, lamps and

10. bedding so that you are 100% ready when the movers arrive. They will work quickly and may have questions so you won’t have time to pack last minute things once they are on site.

11. Know where everything is going to be placed in your new home ahead of time. A floor plan helps the movers know where to place the furniture, saving them time and you money.

Need help? Contact a senior move manager. Experienced senior move managers have the expertise to help clients prepare for a home transition as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Bonded * Insured* Member National Association of Senior Move Managers

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If the cooler weather or an upcoming move are motivating you to clear out clutter from your home, you are headed in the right direction. Now, the big question: “What do I do with all of this stuff?”

As a company that specializes in senior move management, we hear this question frequently from our clients. In fact, right-sizing and decluttering is so overwhelming for many people that it holds some back from moving. Moves for seniors are most successful when there is a plan and timeline in place.

Many people are surprised at how costly it can be to get rid of excess stuff. To help save cost, here are some of our insider tips:

1. If you are moving, create a written document of what you will move, give to family and friends, sell, donate or throw away. Decluttering becomes more manageable when you know exactly what you have to get rid of. We use colored sticky dots and post-it notes to help in the process.

2. If you are starting early enough, fill up your trash cans and recycling bin every week. This saves money down the road.

3. Start packing up bags of items that can be donated. We use large outdoor trash bags for clothes, linens and other soft, but bulky items. Paper grocery bags with handles are free and work great for kitchen items, home decor and books. Double up if necessary. Move these bags to the trunk of your car right away. When full, make a trip to the donation center.

4. If you are giving belongings away to family members, ask them to arrange for pick up by a specific date. If it is not picked up then, arrange for donation.

5. Many donation sites have reopened after being closed earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 shutdown. If you want to drop off larger items, it’s wise to call ahead. Donation drop-off sites have been unusually busy, and some are running out of room. While there are many to choose from, here are several of our favorites:

a. Goodwill locations are plentiful and most have contactless drop-off.

b. Restore: We like Restore for furniture, appliances, kitchen items, home décor and building supplies. (They do not accept soft household goods or clothing.) Proceeds help build homes for those in need through Habit for Humanity.

c. St. Vincent de Paul: Drop offs are contactless and proceeds from the thrift stores support the mission of the organization to eliminate poverty and hunger.

6. If you have furniture to donate, both Restore and St. Vincent de Paul will send a truck to pick up good quality, used furniture. For Restore, there is an online form and some items (i.e. sofas) require that you send a photo. St. Vincent de Paul requires that you call to schedule a pick-up. The time slots can be booked three to four weeks out so be sure to call early. Also, items to be picked up will need to be in a garage or on a porch so that the crew does not have to come into a house. (We often coordinate this with the movers so that they move these pieces to the garage and donation pick-up is scheduled afterwards.)

7. If you have furniture or other large items that you would like moved to a family member’s house or taken to a consignment shops, most movers also will do this on the day of the move, saving you the cost of a separate delivery. Be sure to schedule this ahead of time with your mover.

8. Many libraries accept used books in good condition, but each has its own policy. The libraries have used book sales, and the proceeds go to the library. If interested, call your local branch.

9. Many electronics are banned from Wisconsin landfills and should not be put in your trash. Disposal can be complicated, but here are a few options:

a. Goodwill accepts many electronics for recycling including laptops, flat screen monitors, camcorders, CD players, VCRs, DVD players, stereos, radios, printers and scanners. The agency accepts flat-screen TVs only. It has a complete list of what is accepted here:

b. Older tube-style TVs are more challenging. Best Buy takes such TVs under 32 inches for $25 each. City of Milwaukee residents may take up to 3 TVs to the city’s drop off centers for $5 each. If you live in another city or town, you should check its website. Many communities have mobile collections throughout the year.

10. The best way for Milwaukee County residents to dispose of paint and other hazardous waste materials is through the MMSD Hazardous Waste drop-off centers. It is free and drop-off is contactless. Be sure to check what the centers accept and their hours:

11. If you have a sizable amount to dispose of, there are several options. For a fee, many communities offer pick-up for bulky items. Although the cost is reasonable, all items must be placed on the curb for the scheduled pick-up. There are numerous companies that specialize in picking up unwanted household goods. Call around. Their services can be expensive. We are always happy to provide a recommendation for our clients depending on the specifics. If you require a Dumpster, plan on spending between $450 and $500.

Need help? Contact a senior move manager. Experienced senior move managers have the expertise to help clients prepare for a home transition as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Bonded * Insured * Member National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM)

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