Dec 3rd, 2015 : The Millbrook Times, By Maryann Caldwell
You’ve sold your house, the moving company is booked and you’re looking forward to settling into your new home. Then you look around and think “Boy, do I ever have a lot of stuff!” Fortunately, you just heard about Patti Priestman and her business, Home Suite Home Transitions.
“Moving is rated in the top 10 of the most stressful life events” says Patti “and we work with clients to take, what might seem like an insurmountable task, and break it down into smaller pieces.”
The story behind how Ms. Priestman discovered the missing link which became her business
began when her father-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2009. The triggered the decision to sell the family home in Kitchener, Ontario, where the couple had lived for 50 years. In an effort to help her mother-in-law, Patti and her husband Keith, would make the three hour trek to help them on weekends. “It was stressful for all of us; mom just wanted to have tea and talk but we were on a mission to get her moved. The whole process was so rushed that it broke my heart. It was after that I started investigating how other people had managed this type of situation. During my research, I learned of the National Association of Senior \Move Managers (NASSM) and attended their conference in Florida where I became a member. I researched Peterborough and surrounding area retirement communities and Home Suite Home Transitions was launched in 2011.
Patti and her team of four ladies (Louise, Denise, Julie and Gisele) help their clients through every step of their move. They have all had training from how to pack fine china to making sure the pets are properly prepared for the move.
Home Suite Home Transitions staff will also help with the donation, sale, or disposal of a clients possessions. “With our help our clients give to local charities like the YWCA Women’s Shelter, church youth groups, and Victoria Quilts to name a few.
Patti’s ladies work in teams of two and typically work with the clients in 4 hour shifts, “Sifting through so many years of memories is bound to be stressful and tiring, but we try to make it fun. Certainly there are tears, but there is also a lot of laughter”. Patti makes no bones about the fact that the process of sorting, decluttering, downsizing, and organizing can take up to a month, depending on the size of the house. Their goal is to make the customers’ new homes feel like their old ones but with less ‘stuff’.
It is clear that Priestman loves what she does. The process she uses in her business ensures that her clients have a smooth transition from one home to another. Her philosophy is a sound one. “Years ago, family members would support their senior parents(s). However, the baby boomer generation seem to be caught between caring for their own children and doing what they cab for their aging parents. Many families are spread all over the globe. We have had calls from close relatives living in Colorado, England, British Columbia, and across Ontario. We also get a lot of calls from seniors themselves who do not want to burden their children, or are afraid that their children will not respect their wishes. Although she works primarily with seniors, Patti and her team also work with residential business professionals that simply do not have the time to co-ordinate all the elements of a move.
Patti resides in Cavan, Ontario, with her husband Keith and their son Ryan. Her daughter Kelsey is at the University of Guelph. When Patti isn’t working you can find her out in the fields with her horses. For more information, visit www.homesuitehometransitions.com or call 7805 761-0018.