Frequently Asked Questions

Downsizing Q&A

Commencing the downsizing journey can be daunting, but we recommend starting with the room holding the fewest emotional attachments or addressing significant pain points. By initially focusing on items of lesser emotional value, clients often navigate the process with a sense of accomplishment, easing the emotional burden.

This approach empowers clients, creating momentum that accelerates the entire downsizing process. While addressing challenging areas may be demanding, taking it one step at a time brings clarity and restores control. We're here to support you through each stage, ensuring a smoother downsizing experience and providing the assistance needed for a successful transition.

While some vintage items hold considerable value, especially rare and well-preserved pieces, the broader antique category can be challenging to sell. Modern shoppers often lack interest, making it difficult for clients to find homes for their antique items without considerable effort. If you believe your item is valuable, consider consulting an antique store, and providing photos and measurements for expert insight.

Platforms like can be used for dishes, but note that packing and shipping responsibilities may increase costs. We aim to equip you with the information necessary to make informed decisions about rehoming your cherished belongings.

Commendations on your commitment to preserving heirlooms for the next generation. When loved ones show disinterest, it's natural to feel conflicted. Recognize that you've admirably honored past generations' wishes. Now, consider rehoming these items through donation or sale.

Like some clients, capture memories with photographs and create a meaningful coffee table book featuring cherished items. This thoughtful process allows you to meet personal space requirements while keeping memories alive. Acknowledge that your dedication has fulfilled its purpose, and exploring alternative options ensures these treasures continue to be appreciated by those who value them.

Photographs encapsulate life stories, and we urge clients to locate and immortalize significant moments, places, and people. Share extra prints and slides with family and friends, as loved ones often appreciate filling gaps in their collections.

The final step includes digitizing images using online services or responsibly recycling physical materials. Dispose of photos without guilt if they no longer serve a purpose, streamlining your life and preserving the most meaningful memories. Don't let hesitation impede decisions that contribute to a more organized life and the enduring legacy of cherished memories.

Certainly, our aim is to bring order to your storage unit if that's your choice. Storage units prove beneficial with a clear plan for eventual placement in a permanent home, such as awaiting a larger apartment, anticipating a grandchild's move, or reviewing items with a returning family member.

However, exercise caution to prevent using storage as a delay tactic. While it may offer temporary relief, extended storage periods become costly, and decisions to empty units later can be financially and emotionally challenging. We're here to guide you in making informed decisions aligned with your long-term goals, emphasizing the importance of weighing the costs and benefits to avoid unnecessary complications.

Fortunately, managing your belongings offers diverse options:

Donations: Choose a charity, check their accepted items, and obtain a donation receipt for tax purposes.

Sales: Host estate or garage sales, sell online through platforms like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay for specialty items.

Recycling: Responsibly recycle chemicals, paints, and electronics at local centers like Metro or Staples. Shred sensitive documents, and recycle appliances at specialized locations.

These choices empower you to thoughtfully handle items, ensuring they serve a purpose or are disposed of responsibly. Select the option aligning with your goals and values.

Packing Q&A

Certainly, using your long-held cardboard boxes for a move is an option, but there are factors to consider. Over time, cardboard weakens, increasing the risk of damage to your items during the move.

Additionally, a mix of box sizes may not be as efficient as designated moving boxes designed to fit well together in a truck. Genuine moving boxes offer better protection by minimizing movement and friction. While using existing boxes may save money initially, it's essential to weigh potential risks against the cost of investing in new, sturdier moving boxes tailored for the purpose. Consider your priorities and the value of the items being moved.

Labeling boxes and using colored tape to associate them with specific rooms is an excellent and efficient approach to the moving process. It streamlines the delivery and unpacking process in your new home, making it easier for both you and the movers.

By using this method, you save valuable time that would otherwise be spent searching for boxes and moving them multiple times, which can be especially helpful during a busy move.

This level of organization not only simplifies the logistics but also reduces the potential for confusion and mix-ups when unpacking. It's a smart and practical strategy to ensure a smoother transition into your new home.

For local moves, it's advisable to hand-carry items of significant value or sentimental importance, such as art, computers, and heirlooms. These possessions are not only irreplaceable but also more prone to damage during transit.

While moving companies offer insurance options, it's crucial to review their policies thoroughly. Ensure that the coverage aligns with your comfort level and the value of the items destined for the moving truck.

Understanding insurance terms and limits empowers you to make informed decisions about entrusting valuable possessions to the moving company or opting for the added precaution of hand-carrying them.

A key guideline for liquids during a move is to avoid placing open containers in the moving truck. This applies to items like shampoo, wine, and mouthwash. The risk of spills, leaks, or breakage during transit can result in unpredictable and extensive damage to both the box's contents and surrounding items.

Even with sealed containers, some risk remains, making it advisable to hand-carry liquids of concern or consider using new bottles at the destination. Taking these precautions helps protect your belongings, avoiding potential hassles and damage caused by liquid incidents during the move.

Don't assume potted plants are automatically accepted in the moving truck. Inquire with your moving company about their plant transportation policies. Moving plants poses challenges due to their weight and fragility, making them susceptible to damage during transport. A sudden truck turn could lead to collisions with furniture, risking harm.

By understanding your moving company's guidelines, you can make informed decisions about whether to include plants in your move or explore alternative safe transportation options.

Estate Sales Q&A

The traditional business model of an estate sale company typically involves accepting projects with a minimum threshold of "sellable goods," which can vary between companies but generally falls in the range of $7,000 to $15,000. Once accepted, the estate sale company sets up, advertises, and executes the sale, with the client typically receiving 40% to 50% of the proceeds. The handling of items that do not sell can vary, with the client potentially incurring expenses to clear them out, or the company may take possession of these remaining items for future sale.

Changing Places initially started as a Senior Move Management Company and upholds specific ethical standards, including:

  1. Our staff cannot accept household items as gifts.
  2. Our staff cannot purchase items from clients, as they set the prices to avoid ethical conflicts.
  3. 100% of all sale proceeds go directly to the clients, as Changing Places charges based on time and materials worked.

Moreover, Changing Places is committed to helping clients rehome their items in a way that aligns with their values. They are willing to work with clients to conduct sales even when the household's "sellable goods" threshold does not meet the estate sale company's minimum. This approach offers several key benefits:

  1. Items in the home find new owners, extending their usefulness and reducing landfill waste, which can be important to clients.
  2. Sale proceeds help offset the expenses of clearing out the home.
  3. Many clients genuinely wish for their belongings to be used and enjoyed again, and a Changing Places Estate Sale facilitates this goal.

This approach not only meets the objectives of clients but also supports sustainability and responsible rehoming of items, aligning with clients' values and preferences.

Absolutely, our approach of empowering clients to do what they want and can do for their projects while being there to assist with the things they can't or prefer not to do is both supportive and client-centered.

It allows individuals to maintain a sense of control and involvement in their moving or downsizing process, while also benefiting from your expertise and assistance when needed. This client-centric approach ensures that the services you provide are tailored to each client's unique needs and preferences, ultimately making the transition smoother and more manageable for them.

The duration of an estate sale can vary based on factors like estate size, item quantity, location, and preferences of the estate sale company and the client. Typically, sales last two to three days, often over a weekend (Friday through Sunday).

Some may be one day, while larger or complex sales can extend to four days or more. The aim is to provide ample time for potential buyers to visit, browse, and make purchases.

Discussing the specific duration, and considering circumstances, timeline, and sale goals, is essential for a successful estate sale.

Absolutely, responsibly handling leftover items after an estate sale is crucial. Sorting for donation, recycling, or disposal not only clears out remaining items but also reduces waste and environmental impact.

You have the option to donate items to charities of your choice, considering free pick-up or alternative hauling arrangements. For items unsuitable for donation, options like dumpster rental or hauling services are available. Responsible recycling of electronics, chemicals, paints, and cleaners is encouraged for proper disposal.

Your preferences are a priority, and we're here to provide clear and compassionate guidance throughout the process.

By using multiple platforms and methods, we increase the visibility of your sale and reach a wider audience. Here's a breakdown of our advertising efforts:

  • Online Listings: Posting sales on and Craigslist is a great way to reach potential buyers in your local area. These online platforms provide a convenient way for people to browse and learn about your sale.
  • Company Website: Having the sales listed on our company's website ensures that interested individuals can easily find information about our services and upcoming events.
  • Physical Advertising: The use of directional road signs and door hangers in the neighborhood is a clever and traditional approach to attract local foot traffic to your sale. These physical signs and notices are eye-catching and help people find the sale location.

By utilizing both online and offline advertising methods, Changing Places maximize the chances of drawing in a diverse group of buyers, enhancing the success of your estate sale.

Offering multiple payment options is a convenient and customer-friendly approach. By accepting cash, major credit cards, Zelle, and Venmo, you ensure that clients and buyers can use their preferred method to make transactions. This flexibility not only makes the purchasing process more accessible but also enhances the overall experience for everyone involved.

A question that's valid but quite challenging! We often like to remind ourselves that all it takes is just one buyer for each item we have. Effective advertising and providing detailed descriptions play a vital role in selling items that may pleasantly surprise us all.

In general, we typically expect to see buyers interested in the following categories:

  • Mid-century modern furniture.
  • High-end cookware.
  • Vintage denim.
  • Yard and power tools in good condition.
  • Jewelry.
  • Well-preserved toys.
  • Unique home decor.
  • Collections of specialty items, such as quilting materials, crafting supplies, woodworking tools, Star Wars memorabilia, model cars, and more.

Our goal is to ensure that each item finds the right buyer, and your understanding of what tends to attract buyers helps us tailor our approach to meet your needs and expectations. We're here to make this process as smooth and successful as possible.

Nationwide Services Q&A

The Changing Places team begins our partnership by deeply understanding your needs and priorities. Once your objectives are clear, we work diligently on your behalf as dedicated representatives.

Recognizing the importance of your involvement, we utilize FaceTime or Zoom meetings for real-time input at every step. Collaboratively, we create guidelines defining what to store, sell, or discard, ensuring efficiency.

At the end of each session, we offer a comprehensive synopsis with photos, fostering open communication for feedback and suggestions. This transparent and collaborative approach ensures your voice guides the process throughout our partnership.

Our team ensures a seamless transition during your move, coordinating with interstate movers for optimal timing. We unpack furniture and boxes, aiming for a familiar feel in your new home.

Coordinating with your packing team by understanding labeling systems and receiving 'before' photos helps replicate your previous living space.

Our goal is to have your bed made, lights on, and clear pathways on the first night. Subsequent visits address settling-in needs.

We depart leaving your space tidy, taking all packing materials. Your comfort and peace of mind during this transition are our top priorities.

We recently assisted a loving son in relocating his fragile father closer to him, providing a heartwarming experience. Traditional movers didn't fit their unique needs, so we devised a plan.

Our team flew out, spent two days meticulously packing cherished belongings, and coordinated with an interstate mover. We accompanied Dad on his journey, ensuring his comfort. Days later, we assisted in unpacking at his new Senior Community.

This experience brought joy and relief to everyone involved, showcasing Changing Places' commitment to smooth, stress-free transitions for you and your loved ones.

Navigating the choice between a POD and an Interstate moving company can indeed be complex, with advantages and drawbacks for both options. If you have a substantial move and a clear destination to unload your belongings, an Interstate Mover might be the most suitable choice. On the other hand, for smaller moves that may involve temporary storage, a POD could be a more practical solution.

We understand that every move is unique, and your specific circumstances should guide your decision. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Changing Places for a personalized assessment of your situation. We're here to offer guidance and support as you make this important decision.