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When moving is on the menu

Workshops offer helpful, pre-move advice

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January 30th, 2014
When moving is on the menu
When moving is on the menu

Laurie Phillips knows the process of moving can be overwhelming. To alleviate that anxiety, personal moving consultant has expanded her services to include informative workshops for those considering a move to the Peabody, Mass., Erickson Living community.

The four-part “Lunch and Learn with Laurie” mini-workshops feature lunch, advice from guest experts on preparing for and making the move, and a look at Brooksby’s amenities, highlighted by those who work and live in the community.    

“I cover downsizing concepts, organizing for smaller spaces, senior move management services, moving companies, antiques and auctioneers, selling things on eBay [an online auction], what happens to donated items—anything related to making a move,” Phillips says.  

When she joined the Brooksby team in 2012, Phillips brought eight years of experience in selling real estate and tackling the related processes of downsizing and staging. Phillips’s expertise is available to those who join Brooksby’s priority list, which secures their place in line for the apartment home of their choice. 

Start early

As Brooksby’s personal moving consultant, Phillips visits the homes of those interested in moving to Brooksby to assess what they have and what will fit in their new apartment. 

Participants of Phillips’s workshops hear from her during the first session, in which she focuses on her key downsizing concepts, including sorting. Phillips encourages starting early and sorting items into buckets: “Keep, give away, sell/donate, trash, and bring to Brooksby.”     

Phillips adds, “[The workshops] encourage people at any stage—whether just starting to think about moving to a retirement community or already reserved and committed to coming to Brooksby—to start the downsizing process as early as possible.” 

Phillips also recognizes the need to limit sorting sessions to no more than two hours at a time. “Don’t bite off too much when you start the process,” she says.

In recent workshops, Phillips has welcomed speakers from Brooksby-recommended moving and organizing companies and antique dealers, who share tips with audiences of about 30 people. In each workshop, Phillips also highlights different activities and amenities offered at Brooksby. Participants have heard from the practice manager of Brooksby’s medical center, the executive chef of dining services, an instructor within the fitness center, and the community’s trips coordinator. 

Build a support system 

Workshop participants have also heard from surprise guest Judith Lichenstein, who lives at Brooksby and was in a similar position just a year ago. Judith moved to Brooksby last May from her home of 30 years in Revere. Along the way, Judith relied on Phillips and other Brooksby-recommended services for help. 

“I think Laurie Phillips, since coming to Brooksby, has done a wonderful job,” Judith says. “She’s an innovator. But most important, she’s really dedicated to her job, and it shows.” 

Out of the Box Moves, a local move management company, packed Judith’s house, coordinated the move, and unpacked for her at her new Brooksby apartment home. The transition was so smooth that just two days after her move, Judith hosted an open house in her apartment. The event was an immediate opportunity to make connections with her new neighbors.   

“Every person who came to the open house, I developed a friendship with after,” Judith says. 

Upon moving to Brooksby, Judith took Phillips’s advice and went to dinner at Brooksby’s restaurants on her own. There, she was seated with people she didn’t know, giving her the opportunity to expand her circle of friends. In less than a year, Judith has become involved with bridge clubs and the iPadder Group. She also created her own weekly card group and has taught popular card games to others living in the community. 

When Phillips asked Judith if she would be willing to speak with the workshop participants, the answer was easy. 

“I was eager to share the information about my moving experience with the potential new residents,” Judith says. “It was very delightful, the atmosphere at the workshop was wonderful, people were talking with one another, and I think they really got a lot out of it.”

Both Judith and Phillips say the workshops are an opportunity for participants to connect with one another as well as Brooksby staff. 

“We see a support system, connections, and friendships evolving from the class,” Phillips says. 

Priority list members who are interested in participating in upcoming workshops can contact Laurie Phillips at 1-800-516-4798. 

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