Whether you’re an empty-nester moving from a large family house into a smaller home, someone tired of cutting the grass and heading to a condominium or just looking to simplify your current space, the process of downsizing can be stressful, overwhelming and time-consuming. At Next Step Baltimore, we carefully handle every stage so you feel cared for and confident that all will be taken of.
When it comes to downsizing, deciding what to sell, donate, hand down, remove or keep can be a very involved process. While it’s easy to toss dusty cocktail napkins and expired cans of food, figuring out what to do with a set of antique china or nearly-new TV can be a different story. Our considerable know-how and experience will streamline the process and help you figure out which option is best for every item in your home.
Everything Has A Place, We Help You Find It
Clearing Out the Clutter
The first part of downsizing is to get rid of things that are easy to see go. Old hotel shampoo bottles, dry rotted boots, threadbare blankets—Toss! We help you sift through the clutter and arrange for the removal of all unwanted items.
Next Step Baltimore will also go through old documents and determine what really needs to stay, organized and filed someplace safe. To protect your information, we get a shredding company for those papers that should not go into the trash.
Selling That Makes Sense
Auction, consignment or e-Bay? Are those first edition books worth anything? Selling can be worthwhile and lucrative for some clients, but it’s hard to gain the best return when you don’t know the current market or the right place to go. It’s important to approach selling with clear understanding and proper expectations. Some clients are surprised to find that their grandmother’s perfume bottle collection isn’t worth as much as they thought, while their old silver and gold coins have considerable value.
At Next Step Baltimore we guide you through the selling process by…
- helping you figure out what to sell and provide you with the pros and cons of each selling option
- inventorying and photographing items
- getting appraisals
- locating experts to clean and make repairs
- checking insurance for the move
- making arrangements to get everything to its final destination.
Selling doesn’t have to be confusing. Our experience makes the process clear and gives you the best return possible.
Donating for the Good of Others and Your Closet Space
Donating unwanted or unneeded items benefits both the community and your downsizing goals. We provide the information that saves clients time and money. Charitable donations are tax deductible, but the IRS can be very picky about claims. We keep the records clear. When possible, we provide IRS information on suggested values for donations. We also take photographs of higher value items such as designer clothing.
At Next Step Baltimore, we know a variety of donation options and will even arrange transportation or pick up. When necessary, we find alternatives to usual donation centers when items are very hard to find homes for such as medical equipment, large filing cabinets and steamer trunks. We had a client who had many old wicker chairs in need of considerable repair. The cost to restore was prohibitive and no Goodwill or Salvation Army would accept them. However, our client hated to think of these chairs ending up in a landfill. We found a DIY enthusiast who happily took the chairs, mended them and later sold them at a flea market. The client was thrilled and the fixer-upper was as well.
Before any item of yours is sold or donated, we diligently go through every pocket, drawer, folder, etc. Over the years, we have found many a long-lost diamond pin on the lapel of an old suit, car title stuffed in the crevices of suitcases, and even an Orioles’ World Series ring!
Handing Down with Care
For items you want to keep among friends and family, we take all the steps to get your possessions safely to your loved ones. Whether sending an item across town or across the country, we will take care of the sorting, packing and shipping. Additionally, we include a photo inventory to every recipient. This way they have proof if the condition has been compromised during the move or not.
Planning: Our Precise Process, Your Peace of Mind
When moving from a larger space to a smaller one, it is so important to carefully plan where everything will go, before the moving truck pulls to the front door. For new homes-even apartments and condominiums which often don’t have accurate floor plans-Next Step Baltimore measures everything. We note all
- bulkheads (so the grandfather clock will fit with its finials)
- electric, cable, and phone outlets
- linear feet available for books, clothing and shoes (so you know everything will fit in the closet)
Once we know every square inch of clients’ new homes, we measure all furniture and pieces intended for the move and place them on the floor plan. If possible, Next Step Baltimore will also map out furniture with tape on the floor of the new place. When clients see how things will fit, they can visualize the space and make any needed adjustments. Our detailed planning gives clients ultimate peace of mind.
Packing and Moving: Our Experience Makes It Easy
Packing can be time-consuming, especially when you want to stay organized and protect your possessions. Next Step Baltimore will pack and label all of your valuables and provide tips for how to save money on the moving expenses. If you haven’t decided on a mover, we have suggestions based on many years of working with all the companies and can make the arrangements for the right time and day.
We’ve facilitated many moves over the years, so we know all the little tricks to keep the transition well-organized and safe. We have clients take a photo of the front of prescription medicine bottles, and hand-carry items like essential medication, silver, jewelry and important documents. Next Step Baltimore will inform those important to you of your new address and phone number by sending out announcement cards.
We Direct the Movers and make sure All Furniture is put in the Right Place
On the day of the big move, we direct the movers and make sure all furniture is put in the assembled and put in the right place. Next Step Baltimore can have your phone, computers, TV, internet and cable set up. We are there for any requests that will make the transition to your new home easier, such as putting in shelf-paper, filling the refrigerator, or getting your favorite kind of dish soap.
When you arrive at your new home, we will have the boxes unpacked, packing material removed, clothes hung, medicine cabinets filled, linens in the bathroom and beds made. Moving is hard and an emotional experience. Next Step Baltimore wants you to end the day with a smile and the ability to get a good night’s sleep.