Jami Shapiro is the founder of Silver Linings Transitions, a San Diego based company that handles senior and specialty move management. They have been in business for over 10 years and specialize in home organization, downsizing, and senior moves. Silver Linings Transitions has aided hundreds of San Diego seniors through the process of moving from family homes to senior living communities.
We sat down with Jami to discuss downsizing, moving, and what advice she had for those looking to make the move to a senior living community.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself, your company, and your area of expertise:
A: As someone who comes from a family of chronically disorganized people, I have first hand experience in knowing how too much stuff can be a challenge both for safe living and for the downsizing and organizing process.
Silver Linings Transitions partners with local San Diego and Orange County realtors to provide free move services when a preferred partner represents a client in the sale of their home. We are a Diamond Service Member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers, a member of the BBB, and has a Five Star Yelp and Google Rating.
I am a Certified Senior Move Manager and have spoken nationally about downsizing and organizing. There is a difference between a Senior Move Manager and a mover. Senior Move Managers are members of NASMM and have special training to learn how to deal with the emotional component as well as the logistical elements of the move. Because this is our specialty, we have systems and resources in place that make the process so much less stressful. I have appeared on numerous podcasts and TV shows geared towards seniors and downsizing.
Q: What is the best part about your job?
A: My favorite part of our work is seeing our clients' faces light up when they walk through the door and see their new home. The relief and happy tears is truly magical.
Q: How do you know when it’s time to move?
A: I have definitely learned “crisis doesn’t make an appointment.” It’s always better to make a move proactively rather than reactively. When the decisions are beyond your control, it’s more difficult to get adjusted. Almost every time we’ve assisted a client with their move, they say “Why did I wait so long to do this?” Thinking ahead and making a plan of action together can help you be prepared when the time comes.
Q: How can you lessen the stress of a move?
A: I’ve also found that people who embrace change and approach it as a new adventure with curiosity versus dread have a much easier time. I’ve also found that clients who put off moving because they don’t want to let go of their stuff or feel they will lose their independence find that once they’ve moved, they actually have more freedom to enjoy living.
Q: What are your top 4 downsizing tips?
A: Remember the 80/20 rule. We generally only use 20% of what we have 80% of the time. This is a great statistic to remember when taking stock of your possessions.
Let go of the value of what you paid for an item or what you think it’s worth. The reality is most of your things might be worth about 10% of what you once paid for them, so it is more important to focus on the value things add to your life then their cost.
Also, remember that it’s normal for your loved ones to not want your things. Just because they don’t want your things doesn’t mean you won’t be remembered. I was an only grandchild. When my grandmother passed away, my mom wanted me to take her china. I wasn’t even using my own china. If it is important to you that certain items remain in the family, create a top 10 list of these items, photograph them and share them on a site like Artifcts.com.
Start with bite-sized pieces. Break the tasks down into increments. Set out to spend 10 minutes a day or make a list of all the areas you need to sort through and rank them from easiest to hardest. The momentum will make a difference.
Q: What are some key pointers people often forget about/overlook when thinking of senior moving and downsizing?
A: I find most people don’t even know the senior move management industry even exists. Often if people realized how easy a move can be - logistically, they wouldn’t put it off. Also, it’s important to recreate favorite spaces that make the new space feel like home. Lastly, it’s important to be realistic about the actual space. If you try to bring too much, you’ll feel more stressed with the clutter.
Q: What is your best piece of advice for moving into a senior living community?
A: As someone who faced cancer at the age of 34 and named the company Silver Linings Transitions as a result of my experience, I try to help our clients focus on all the positive things they will gain when they move to a community. I try to remind them that whatever difficult times they’ve faced, they are still here and able to make this move. It’s also important to remember how vital socialization is to our happiness. Look at the decline in mental health during Covid and isolation. Attitude really is everything.
Pacifica Senior Living understands the importance of easing the moving process. Seniors can often feel overwhelmed, unsettled or even emotional about making the move from a family home to a senior living community, but the process does not have to be a painful one. By partnering with programs like Jami’s, residents and their families can reduce stress, ease transitions, and move towards a happier, and more free lifestyle.
Senior living communities offer a wonderful alternative to individual homes, as they provide security, assistance, a variety of amenities, and a vibrant social life all in the comfort of your home. To learn more about a Pacifica Senior Living community in your area, browse our community map, or give us a call for more information.