Mariam was in mourning. Her husband’s passing left her in a large condo, alone. She was willing to move yet was unhappy about it and knew she couldn’t do it alone. Her daughters were concerned for Mariam’s health and contacted me: “Since my sisters and I live out of town it is going to be challenging to help her with the complex details of a move that has very specific requirements. Can you help?” I organized Mariam’s transition into 4 phases: designing her new home, liquidating unwanted furnishings, packing her belongings and unpacking them in her new home.
At first, nobody knew Mariam wanted a pink bedroom. Not even Mariam. As we began to talk together about what she envisioned for a new home, Mariam made discoveries about what she wanted to bring with her, changes she wanted to make, and what she was ready to leave behind. When she shared a bedroom with her husband, pink and florals hadn’t been an option. Now that she was on her own, it was a way for her to create something new for herself. I created a new floor plan that utilized her existing furniture. Then, I selected a coordinating paint scheme to bring it all together. The best part? I could see Mariam’s spirits lifting as she grew optimistic about her new home.
7 Moves in One
Downsizing for Mariam involved distributing precious belongings she was ready to give away to people in 7 different locations throughout the U.S. in less than 3 weeks. When it was time to remove unwanted items, I carefully packed and shipped antiques and artwork to their destinations, coordinated donations, and managed logistics of liquidating remaining pieces. Throughout the process, I updated Mariam’s daughters via email several times a week so there were no surprises.
Packed and Unpacked in One Day
On moving day, Mariam woke in her old home and went to sleep in her new pink bedroom that same night. I coordinated movers and was on site for both pickup and delivery. According to her daughter, “Every detail was thought through and every effort was made to make our mother feel stress-free about moving.”
Mariam enjoyed the planning and design process and came to look forward to moving. She felt in control of designing her new life and relieved that someone else took care of the details. After Mariam moved into her new community, she quickly made friends and hosted gatherings to show off her new home. She grew to enjoy her new life and her daughters witnessed a significant shift in their mom’s well-being.
“Gwen did a fantastic job discussing mom's concerns and requirements for her new apartment. This process of brainstorming together created a space mom feels comfortable in and absolutely loves. Every detail was thought through and every effort was made to make our mother feel stress-free about moving. Gwen even completed one portion of the project 4 days early. She didn't miss a single detail, and had to work with multiple constraints, which she did with good humor, patience, and kindness.”