During the process of staging, downsizing and moving not once, but three times, the Hahns were thankful they brought in support as early as they did.
When most people think of moving, they envision of a brief period of time spent packing, moving and unpacking. But Maryland residents John and Sharon Hahn knew their situation would be startlingly different. It’s why they enlisted the help of Let’s Move as early on in the process as they possibly could.
You see, the Hahns had a plan. They knew their new home wasn’t scheduled to be completed until winter, but the market for selling their home would be stronger in the spring. So they decided they would sell their home sooner, rather than later, take advantage of a hot seller’s market, then live in a suite-style hotel until their new 1,700-square-foot apartment was completed in December.
Downsizing and Staging
Knowing they wanted to get top dollar and sell their home fairly quickly, their first set of tasks for Let’s Move was to downsize, declutter and stage their townhome for sale.
“We had plenty of time to get a lot of stuff in our house,” jokes Mr. Hahn, implying that Debbie Wegman and her team had their work cut out for them. But like every good move manager, Debbie knows that a seamless move experience begins with looking at the bigger picture, followed by careful planning and scheduling. Through a series of collaborative meetings, planning and downsizing sessions with the Hahns, Debbie gained a clear understanding of their needs — which led to a clear vision for what needed to happen over the next several months.
Debbie knew she wasn’t just decluttering and staging a home for sale. Once this home sold, she would be 1) moving the Hahns into their temporary living space (a nearby hotel) and 2) creating two storage spaces: one short-term space, filled with things the Hahns might need during the next year, such as seasonal clothing and work-related items and a long-term storage space filled with furniture and other items for their new home.
“What we found was, they organized everything,” said John. “The first thing they did was get a floor plan of new place. They helped us downsize. They took our stuff to the Goodwill store and arranged for Habitat for Humanity and consignment stores to come pick up items. She measured the lengths of the new closet and told me what I needed to get rid of. She told me I had too many blue shirts,” he chuckled. “It was a difficult process but, Let’s Move was willing to do anything for us.”
Debbie separated every single item into one of five categories: Keep for Staging, Temporary Living Space, Short-Term Storage, Long-Term Storage and Sell/Donate
Together with Let’s Move co-founder Kim McMahon, she also created a winning home staging design.
Creating a Temporary Home(s)
The good news: The house sold in one day.
The bad news: The construction of their new home now wouldn’t be complete until the following April. That meant they’d be living in a temporary living space for one year versus the six months they had originally planned.
Luckily, Debbie designed their temporary storage space to function as a closet. Seasonal clothing was stored in easily accessible wardrobe boxes, and John’s work documents were clearly labeled and organized so he could drop in and pick up what he needed when he needed it. But sometimes things don’t go quite as planned. Just a few weeks after Debbie helped them move into their all-suites hotel, they realized it wasn’t going to work for them. It was too noisy. Too hotel-ish. And it just didn’t feel like home.
Many couples might throw in the towel and decide to stick it out. But the Hahns knew they had a team of professionals on their side. One phone call later, and Debbie was assembling a team to help them prepare items for their next temporary destination: their vacation condo in Ocean City, Maryland, approximately three hours away.
Settling Into a New Space
When their forever home was finally completed in April 2016, Let’s Move, led by project manager Susan Coyne, cleared out their storage spaces and moved them into the new apartment, laying everything out according to Debbie’s floorplan, filling their cabinets and drawers, organizing their closets and setting up the coffeemaker. Despite having a new project manager after Debbie’s promotion to operations manager, the transition was absolutely seamless — so seamless that Mr. Hahn said it was as if Susan had been part of the project all along. Debbie anticipated this transition and adapted accordingly, communicating every detail with Susan in person and through a detailed documentation and labeling system. Susan was able to integrate herself into the project without missing a beat, taking charge of packing items and supervising their transition to the moving truck. The team had also labeled every single drawer and cabinet so the Hahns knew exactly where everything was.
“We left them on for a few weeks until we got used to it,” John said.
“Everything fit well,” Mr. Hahn said. “But the first night we stayed in the apartment, we figured out it wasn’t quite going to work. The heat vent was right over my wife’s head. The lighting wasn’t exactly the way we thought it would be. So we had to rotate everything in the room about 90 degrees.”
Again, he placed a call to Let’s Move and within hours, the room was reconfigured to their liking. “It was really above and beyond,” said John.
But the best part? After a long year spent going from home to home, living out of storage units and driving three hours for doctor’s appointments, John and Sharon were finally home. From Day One, John and Sharon have been free to immerse themselves into their new community without having to worry about unpacking and settling in.
“We’ve made a lot of friends,” said John. “We joined a Thai Chi group. A computer club. There’s a car-making group. We’re busier now than we’ve ever been in our lives.”
During the process of staging, downsizing and moving not once, but three times, the Hahns were thankful they brought in support as early as they did. When most people think of moving, they envision of a brief period of time spent packing, moving and unpacking. But Maryland residents John and Sharon Hahn knew their situation […]