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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
And Welcome back to answers for elders radio. I have a very special guest here today, a lady by the name of Katie Muonios from moving forward ink here in a greater puget sound. Katie, welcome to the program well, thank you so much for having me. This is thrilling to be here. Well, we’re thrilled to have you on the program because obviously you are the guru here on organizing and getting things downsized for moves, et Cetera, and I think you know, one of the things that I look at right now is that how do you even start? It’s like when we’re downsizing, everybody wants to downsize and they turn around and they look at their house and they see how much stuff they have and it’s like, you know what, I’ll deal with it another time in my life. Yeah, I love a sudden it looks really attractive to go do the laundry or something. Right, exactly. Yeah, I got other things. So, Katie, tell me a little bit about how you got started in this work. This is amazing. Well, I I got started when I had to move my mom from her house to retirement community and I was fortunately, unfortunately, how you want to look at it. Lay it off right at the same moment I went to Virginia. I was Sara for almost three months getting through the this process and by the other easy. No, I realized who could have done it in two and a half weeks and it would have been easier for her. And after a few years in the business, I learned so much or realized we could have saved several thousand dollars as well. Amazing how there it’s not something that you become expert in because you only get to do it once or twice in a lifetime and there’s all these things to know. You don’t even know the right steps to take. I remember, I remember when I moved to my mom it took me three months. So there’s that magic thing and I was overwhelmed. First of all, it’s an emotional thing and I think for me, you know, we I want to talk about sorting for a move and today because I think it’s really important. I remember when we were packing up my mother’s things and of course we’re working right, working really hard, and all of a sudden we’d pull out these boxes that she had in her garage, and I mean she kept every piano recital program that I ever had. She kept all of my art, my report cards. There was a box that said susy. That’s what they called me as a top and all of these things, and I just remember seeing these things of as I’m going through these things, and I’m just like disengaging my most because I have to work, and yet here’s my whole childhood going in front of my face and I’m throwing it in trash. Gosh, I mean because hard it was way over. Oh, you’re Ling for me and I think there’s a lot of families out there right now that can relate to that. I know for me I remember just being so numb because I had to be, and then I wondered why, at night, when when I’d worked, you know, fifteen hours in that day, feeling this overwhelming sadness. And because it is, it’s like an end to an era and for those of us that are part of the family to sort through all that stuff, it’s part of our life, it’s our memories, isn’t it? It is. And one of the mistakes that I see children make, and they make it, I mean they’re trying to help right, but they say, mom, don’t tell me the story, just do you want the ice skates or not? And the problem is mom has to tell the story because she has to put it into the emotional contacts to decide if she wants the skates. And this is where a third party can come in, a professional listen to the story and right away we get the impact. It’s like, no kidding, you will need to bring you don’t give my husband that advice to you. Give me a call on a phone. That’s a glad attack. I think that’s that’s a dynamic between men and women too. Yeah, that’s that’s true, but it’s really true what you’re saying. That is because we are all in this emost. It’s emotional time. It’s our history, it’s our man see, it’s all the things and stuff. Is Not the legacy, it’s not the but it’s the memories. Since what it meant triggers and sometimes, when somebody can hear it for the first time, it’s a no kidding, that’s so cool, uh Huh. Then all of a sudden it’s like no, I don’t need the skates. I married the man that I met wearing those skates. I don’t need the skates. Right, but the kids can’t do it because you already know the stories and you can’t go no kidding, because yeah, sounds absolutely pretty condescending. So how do you deal with people? You know, how help people that have like a lot of stuff? I mean, you know, I know that the older that seniors get, you know, when they look start losing their faculties. It’s like you want to hang onto something that gives you right. So oftentimes, I know that hoarding can be a big issue one with seniors. Is that correct? Definitely true. Now, most people who get called hoarders or who call themselves orders, so not technically hoarders, orders or are people that have difficulty distinguishing between trash cookie wrapper and the deed to the house right also from were of equal importance. Wow, but for those, for those people it’s very challenging to work with. We have a little bit, but it’s an impersonal thing and it’s a mental healthing. But for for people who are not really that that much in the spectrum, it’s oftentimes just needing somebody to talk to and ask the questions that help them find the way through. And one of the most important things I’ve learned is don’t start with the question what can I do without because the answers almost everything. Yes, but instead you start with a question. What do I use the most? Sure, and you start with the big things. Start with the furniture. Well, what I mean you Susanne. What pieces are furniture if you use today exactly, and you know we at first of all, I want to continue on that round, but I want it let everybody know we are talking again to Katie Munio’s from moving forward here in Greater Seattle and tell me about the area that you serve. What the geographical and we go from south of film view, we do new cal also locationally parts of rent and we go all the way up north of Arlington. We serve the holy side and the light a big territory. Yeah, yeah, definitely Seattle, the area saw at the ends of the bridges in Seattle and north of the ship Canal Bridge. That’s great. Now, if you call us and we don’t serve that area, I will find you somebody who does. That’s in so don’t hesitate. will do it if we can and if it seems that somebody else would be better suited, I’ll find and you’re very well connected, I know, in the area. I know that you have come very highly recommended to me by several individuals in the industry that I know here in greater puget sounds. So it’s nice to meet you and to get to know you a little bit more. So I want to talk a little bit now really about you know, we talked about the hoarding piece. Right, I kind of feel like, and I correct me if I’m wrong, I want it. Do you think part of it sometimes can do with as we lose our physical capabilities, we don’t have the ability to like deal with hauling things to value village and, Gosh, you know it is. Does that part of it? Oh, that’s a huge part of it. There’s there’s a bunch of reasons clutter builds up when, when people are not horders in the mental illness definition, it can be grief. You’re so staggered by the loss of a spouse that you just you can’t think depression, as you impression. If you become a caregiver for your spouse, then I mean you don’t have time to be putting things away down obs in need right now or, like you say, you lose your physical builbility. Is Is. Yeah, people, there’s a lot of I think one of the most common things is that people are so involved. We used to think of orders just being these people who walt themselves up in their houses. It’s not true. Many people with deep clutter are people who are extremely involved. They volunteer their quilting, there really active. Then something happens, they get sick or oh yeah, and everything drops. It’s like all of the balls they were juggling in the air everything falls for her it is and when they recover from whatever the interruption was, the house is out of control and it’s so overwhelming they can’t catch up. And probably a lot of our listeners today might have a senior loved one, our loved one. They don’t even have to be a senior that who are facing on a lot of depression, a lot of situations like that. What are some tips you can give families here? Well, one of the most important things is listen. What I hear people sometimes say, Oh, mom, don’t worry, it’ll be fine. That is so disrespectful, right, you know, especially say if somebody’s moving. They could say to you something so sad about leaving this house, and somebody might say, with the best of intentions, don’t worry, you’ll love the new place. Sure, sure, well, they could be really excited about going to the new place and they’re sad about leaving their house, and it’s not even is not the kind of sadness it’s bad. You wouldn’t tell somebody at a funeral, Oh, don’t be sad, so and so died. Right, we’re having a moment of respect, sure, that’s what we’re doing. It’s different than just moping around. And isn’t it okay to have a moment of respect for the House that you’ve lived in? Absolutely the years, I always talked about. I always talk about two things. Number one, when it’s time to let go of the house, write a letter to the new owners. Oh, you know, have share this stories. And then the other thing that I always do is, you know, as a group is a family, go to every room in the House and talk about the memories in each room. What as were those like, because those that helps to kind of close that loop. It brings people together in a positive a way. That’s beautiful. That’s that’s really what’s needed, and I think listening and acknowledging the feelings of the emotions and the importance is so if that can unlock and it’s always too I love what you said about hearing them out, because it’s important for mom or dad, if they’re starting to let go and starting to begin this process. You as a family. It’s important that we, as family members, hear them out. Yeah, listen to their stories. Let them process it in their own way. It is a huge, huge thing that they’re dealing with. It is and sometimes their stories become very significant. When you’re younger you may not appreciate them. So, Katie, how do we reach you? You pick up the phone in new dial for two five seven hundred, two eight, seven six one. I’m happy to talk to you. I talk to people that for some length on the phone when they call at no charge. And your website is it is moving forward, IMCOCOM. Well, we really are grateful to have you on the program today, Katie, thanks so much for joining us. Thank you for having me.
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.