Older woman uses assistant to downsize

Anne is a widowed writer and translator who had lived in her UES townhouse for 40 years, and was moving into a much smaller apartment nearby. Two months before the closing date, she realized there were too many tasks for her to do by herself. She contacted Lambent Services and was paired with an assistant with a specialty in professional organizing. Over the course of several months, her assistant assumed responsibility for almost every aspect of the move. She was given a key to the apartment in order to work at times that Anne was away, including weekends. 


The assistant’s work included: 

  • Creating a timeline detailing what needed to be done by calendar date. 
  • With Anne, going through the household furnishings to determine where everything should go – to the new apartment, for sale, to Anne’s second home, to charity, or to relatives. 
  • Identifying an auction house to sell a list of items, documenting each piece and its estimated value, and being the contact person with Doyle for these sales. 
  • Finding a secondary buyer for items that did not sell at auction. 
  • Dividing everything that had collected in the basement into two categories. Some was picked up by Goodwill, and the rest was removed by a junk company. The assistant supervised the pick-ups. 
  • Arranging delivery of furniture to each relative. 
  • Researching moving companies and hiring the best one. Also found a service to clean the townhouse following the move. 
  • Color-coding files for Anne’s bills, and putting what she would need during the move in a separate box. 
  • Liaising with real estate company to provide information such as the property tax amount. 
  • Handling calls from relatives to act as an overall buffer and lower Anne’s stress. 
  • Packing entire house for the move, and bringing very fragile items to the new apartment herself using a cart alongside Anne, unpacking everything in new apartment and putting it in the right place.

Anne was very happy with the move and with her assistant. They developed a great working relationship, and in short order Anne felt she could trust her assistant with her belongings, her home, and to do a good job with all the components of this project. While Anne was not able to completely relax, everything was much easier than if she had tried to do it herself or asked her children and grandchildren for help. Anne used her assistant for an average of 12 hours a week.