As the governor slowly begins to re-open Vermont and realtors and appraisers are able to get back to work. Moov Consultants would like to offer Remote Staging and Styling so that your house is market-ready and so are YOU!!
It’s simple. Here’s how it works:
1- Initial phone call to establish an understanding of your home needs.
2- We set up a video call and you virtually walk us through your home. We can also work from photos if a video call is not convenient.
3- We put together a game plan which may include furniture layout, de-cluttering, simple styling tips, and more.
4- We walk you through step-by-step to make the necessary changes.
5- If you are unable to complete the necessary work on your own, depending on the circumstances, one of us could come to your home and help with this process.*
*As a precaution due to COVID-19, we will ask homeowners to wear masks and practice social distancing. We will respectfully practice the same.
We can do this!!! Give us a call and let’s get started TODAY!
My children are already talking about how in 20 years their kids will be reading about this time in history. It’s true. But we are here, NOW. Making history or rather staying at home, while history is being made around us. Hoping that we do not fall victim and that our efforts to flatten the curve and social distance ourselves from our friends, family, co-workers, and communities will work. Shifting our energy from our self-focused lives to the people that risk their lives for us on the front lines during a time of crisis.
The countless articles, updates, and news reports keep us informed, but it’s the personal stories of sacrifice, true sacrifice: choosing your job over your family, risking your own health for the health of others, rising to the occasion and allowing your skillset and passion to kick in that matter most. We’re all in this together. We can all contribute in one way or another. Even if your contribution is staying at home. It’s a time to reflect, be grateful, reset, slow down, put things in perspective, and even on days when the world seems to be crashing down…remain hopeful. Hopeful that we’ll learn and grow and come out better and stronger on the other side.
Until then my friends: stay home, stay safe, stay healthy, and please wash your hands. #alonetogether
The call came in. A mom, not desperate, simply READY and SUPER MOTIVATED. With two young, active, energetic, creative children she knew that the cluttered basement full of unused furniture, old paint cans, tools, and lots of gear had potential. Somewhere through the chaos, she envisioned a playroom. A retreat for her kids. A space of their own. A spot where they could go to swing, bounce, play pretend and dare I say, get out of her hair for a few minutes:))
So the motivation was there, but standing in the cluttered basement it felt way too overwhelming. The vision was blurry. How could this all come together? Was it worth the effort?
Check out the BEFORE shots:
Here’s where we came in. Standing in the chilly basement in the middle of December, we looked around, quickly figured out their lifestyle, asked questions of what needed to stay and what could go. We then asked one key question:
How does this space need to function?
The answer was this: They wanted a playroom that could grow with their young kids, a family room for movie nights, a place for playdates and entertaining, and as a laundry room, gear room, and storage room. No problem. There was plenty of space for everything if we designed it properly.
So right then and there we came up with the plan. It made sense to section off areas for gear and tools. Define the laundry area a little better. Install half walls to partition off the water heater and electrical stuff. Get rid of shelving that was acting as a resting place for dump bound things, create smaller spaces within the room for a reading nook, dress-up area, include a multi-purpose table area for tea parties and art, include items for large motor development and furniture for movie night. The overall aesthetic needed to be playful and bright, yet not too age-specific so it wouldn’t be outdated in a year or two.
Once we brainstormed the ideas, this motivated mom was ready. Typically this is when we start organizing, even subbing out junk guys, calling a contractor and painter. But in this scenario that motivation was the driving force of making things happen quickly. The motivation carried over to her oh so handy husband who was able to build walls, make countless runs to Good Will and the dump. They cleaned and organized, decluttered and downsized. Check out their progress:
Next, we picked out paint colors and she painted on nights and weekends. We suggested where to install walls and doors and her husband got to it. We decided on the perfect carpet tiles and scheduled the measuring consult and install. We encouraged a simple addition of faux shiplap on the divider walls for a little texture and interest and boom…done! As they worked, we worked. The homeowners were mindful of wanting to upcycle and re-purpose items they already owned. We found several items at ReSource, Good Will, and Boho Baby, a new kids’ consignment shop in Williston. We worked within a budget and helped coordinate the carpet install. Then once all the pieces were ready, we installed the art and shelving, laundry table, dress-up area, play kitchen, reading nook, and even a kid-sized clothesline. We suggested using chalkboard paint on one of the walls and the homeowner nailed it! This was definitely a group effort. Such a fun project. The reaction from the kids….”Pure bliss…they love it!”
The AFTER pictures answer the question. YES, it was worth it!!!
It’s interesting that as I drove away from the home in Waitsfield for the last time, I think I actually felt a bit emotional. Our very first job as Moov Consultants came to an end yesterday. Everything from the floors to the walls to the outside decks is complete. The beds are made, pictures hung, and books stacked. The contractors are paid, the lawn is cut, and the homeowners are heading to Vermont.
This project was given to us last September. And it felt like that at the time and it still does; a gift. We were trusted to create a beautiful, liveable vacation home for a family to enjoy and share with their friends. They live and work in a huge city overseas and had no idea where to start or what they really even wanted their Waitsfield home to turn into. At this point, we have spent much more time in this house than the family has. It has been an incredible experience on many levels. We have learned lots, met amazing people, and solidified that we are on the right track. It surely does take a village to make it all come together. We are hoping that they feel like we have returned the gift to them. Take a look:
After 14 years of living in their 1840s farmhouse in Starksboro, Susan Thompson’s family decided on a major renovation. She, her husband and their 9-year-old daughter had to pack up the entire house and relocate to a 1,000-square-foot garage apartment for about six months. As the May 18 move-out deadline approached, Thompson had no idea where to start.
So she called Claire Mahoney and Marlene Simson, owners of Richmond-based Moov Home & Moving Consultants. The women came to Thompson’s home and went through it room by room, helping her come up with a plan. Their organizing process allowed Thompson to purge unneeded items before putting the rest of her home’s contents into storage.
“I’m not a pack rat, but I have a lot of stuff,” she says. “I was just super overwhelmed.”
Even in the best of circumstances, moving is chaotic and stressful. It can be emotional to leave an old life and embark on a new one. It’s time-consuming for someone with a job and kids with soccer games and dozens of other tasks. Most people can’t just drop everything else to accommodate the transition. That’s when a client might call Moov and say, “I need to get my life back on Monday,” Mahoney says.
Established in September 2018, Moov is a hybrid business: part packing and unpacking service, part house-staging operation, part interior decorator, part professional organizer, and — unofficially, of course — part therapy. Mahoney and Simson will help clients clear out closets and downsize. They’ll pick paint colors to spruce up a house for sale or brighten a new living room. They’ll even manage contractors such as plumbers and electricians.
Some moving companies offer packing and unpacking, but they won’t usually organize in the process or put a new home together the way a customer wants it.
Moov does that. Mahoney and Simson transfer every last utensil into a kitchen drawer. They hang shower curtains. They place laundry detergent near the washing machine. They make the beds.
“We literally fold the towels. We put the towels in the linen closet,” Simson explains. “When [the clients] walk in, they are box-free and can eat at their table if they like.”
When Thompson and her family moved into their temporary apartment, Mahoney and Simson created cozy bedrooms out of the open floor plan to make it feel like home, she says. They even returned to the farmhouse to grab a few colorful items for her daughter’s nook.
“They had this amazing vision for how the bedroom would be set up,” Thompson recalls. “They really have the skills — the way they pair things and place things and arrange things … They sprung into action.”
Their website calls them consultants, but Mahoney and Simson consider themselves “move managers.” Its name notwithstanding, though, there is one thing Moov will not do: “We’re not movers,” Mahoney clarifies.
She and Simson might shimmy a credenza into its designated spot in a dining room, but they won’t load furniture onto a truck. They’ll let movers pack a 52-inch TV and get it safely to its new quarters.
“They are strong guys who are coming to lift baby grands,” Mahoney says.
Mahoney and Simson, both Richmond residents, had completely different careers when they met as neighbors with kids in the same school. Mahoney grew up in South Carolina and spent 20 years in education, first as a teacher and then in school management. She came north to New Hampshire and ultimately made “a lifestyle move” to Richmond when her husband got a job in Vermont. She became the manager of the private Bellwether School in Williston.
Simson, a Shoreham native, went to nursing school in Washington, D.C., and became a psychiatric nurse. She worked in hospitals from Boston to California before returning to Vermont to do home health care. After getting a bit burned out on that field, she jumped from clothing store ownership to pharmaceutical sales to working in the design center at the Ethan Allen furniture store in Shelburne.
There, Simson realized she had a knack for interior decorating. In 2017, she left to start her own decorating business, called Pure Living Interiors, and moved with her husband and two daughters to Richmond.
One day, she and Mahoney were talking in the school parking lot when Mahoney mentioned some friends in South Carolina who had started a moving-assistance business and were “killing it.” Mahoney suggested that Simson try that line of work.
Simson balked at doing it on her own, and finally, Mahoney agreed they should launch Moov together.
The women have no inventory, no overhead, not even an office. To see clients, they carpool from Richmond’s city park, with Simson driving and Mahoney scheduling with clients on the phone. Though they travel around the state, their primary focus is on Chittenden, Addison and Washington counties.
Companies like Moov exist elsewhere, particularly in urban areas. Many such services have carved out a niche in the senior housing market, focused on clients who are downsizing and transitioning to assisted living facilities. Moov offers that, as well.
Simson merged her interiors business with Moov. Their first project was a decorating job that’s still ongoing. For the client — a couple who lives in Taiwan and purchased a second home in Waitsfield — Simson and Mahoney are outfitting the place from top to bottom, artwork to carpeting.
The women have had about two dozen clients since launching last fall. Often, Moov’s services overlap. When the women unpack a family after a move, they might also design the layout of their new rooms. When they stage a client’s home before a move, organizing and purging excess stuff is a big part of it.
Mahoney and Simson each charge $50 an hour for Moov’s services, or $100 per hour if they do a job together. They’ll take on projects large or small, working within a client’s stated budget. Recently, one young mother of a toddler called Moov because toys and clutter had overrun her home; she hoped the team could restore her sanity. For a few hours’ work, she paid $200.
“We did her bookcases and gave her some ideas,” Simson says. “Sometimes we’re just eyes, and they pay us to come for an hour and a half” and offer advice.
For Moov’s owners, packing skills are less important than interpersonal ones. They need to build rapport with clients, gaining their trust before rummaging through closets and rearranging furniture.
Each successful relocation means easing a client’s stress. Says Mahoney, “There’s some level of satisfaction in making it all come together.”
The original print version of this article was headlined “Getting a Moov On”