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”
You’ve been meeting with architects, designers, and contractors. You are excited. You are ready! The new kitchen and new floors you’ve been dreaming of are finally going to happen. The thoughts of family dinners, more space, functional cabinets, and updated lighting are making you feel a little giddy.
Then it happens. “You need to be out of your house by June 5.” BAM! Just like that. Your excitement turns to anxiety at the news of your quickly approaching deadline. How are 30 years of life going to be packed up and cleared out in less than two weeks? As you walk from room to room the paralysis starts coming on, you feel completely stuck and overwhelmed by the thought of packing everything that you own into boxes, storing it, and moving into a less than ideal temporary living situation while the renovation is completed.
Guess what? There is now a new solution to your new problem: Moov Consultants.
Here’s our process: As we walk through your home, you start talking and we start listening. We create a clear plan and a manageable timeline for you. We work around your schedule. Life doesn’t stop simply because you are renovating your home. We help you sort through furniture deciding what will go into storage and what you’ll want to move into your temporary home. We think ahead and help you see the big picture of how this is all going to pan out. Remembering to keep the kids’ Halloween costumes accessible isn’t necessarily on the forefront of your mind, right? We can also visit your temporary home offering creative solutions, a workable floorplan, and cozy liveable spaces to help ease the transition for everyone. No one likes feeling displaced.
Then, we start packing. We pack valuables and heirlooms with care. We pack closets and kitchens. We work alongside movers as they wrap furniture and prepare the large items.
Ready for more good news: It doesn’t stop there. We come back and UNPACK the boxes, set up your kitchen, and style your home; as much or as little as you need. Once the renovation is complete we will return to your new and improved space and help you come up with organized systems. All that decluttering that was supposed to happen on the front side, that didn’t, can happen now. Once the boxes are unpacked we help create the home you’ve been dreaming of. We make it make sense, liveable and beautiful! Finding the perfect new spot for your old treasures, your empty space is quickly transformed and ready for living!
The dirty work…it’s what we do. We are here so you can exhale and focus on the important decisions. We provide a service that eases stress and takes that overwhelming feeling away. Here’s what clients are saying:
“Thank goodness, I hired you!”
“I can not believe how fast you are.”
“I didn’t even know how to get started.”
“We couldn’t have done it without you…thank you!”
“The best money I’ve ever spent.”
We are grateful for our clients and the relationships that are instantly created. Call us today for a consult. Moov Consultants: It’s time to look at moving in a new way!
I don’t know if your life is anything like mine, but in the winter I am simply at home more often. Or maybe I should say, I am inside my home more often. I run around like everyone else all week and spend most of my daylight hours in the woods or at a ski area on the weekends, but the doors to the deck have been locked and unopened for more than three months now. I often long for opening the windows to welcome the fresh spring and summer breezes, but for now, I’ll find beauty in the icicles hanging from the sills.
However, spending this time inside I think it’s pretty natural to start paying attention to the details of your home. You may notice the eggplant purple accent wall that the previous owners gifted you or the mantle adorned with expired holiday cards or the cluttered bookshelves that need a little love. But, is that where it stops? At the noticing? Maybe it’s time to take it to the next step…the ACTION step.
Winter is the perfect time to re-style your home and this is one of the services that we offer at Moov Consultants. Basically, we come to your house and you walk us through your home sharing the things you love and the things you don’t. Through this process, we are able to gather a sense of your style, how you live in your space and what you need help with. We essentially are a set of fresh eyes, looking at your own furnishings, your artwork, your accessories, your paint colors, your furniture layout and lighting. Then, through this outside lense, we are able to offer advice on ways to improve your space. It’s a really fun process and clients are often amazed at how quickly their home can be transformed into a space that they love. Check out this Before and After photo below. There is still more work to do, but by changing the layout of the furniture an entirely new look was created.
Moov Consultants can help transform your present space without losing touch of your style and personality.
Here are the BEFORE pictures:
And a few AFTER:
Here is what our client had to say about her overall experience with us:
“With all the demands busy family and work lives bring, “finishing” a home renovation project by fully moving into and styling our new spaces was quickly falling to the bottom of the list. At the same time, we knew we had to make the most out of the investment we had made in our home. So I called Moov. They took care of the house, saving me precious time to focus on other things in my life. Touches of color, practical and beautiful furniture accents, soft pillows, clutter free shelves appeared and more appeared like magic. All of the selections they made were reasonably priced and matched our style. Everything they put together came with total flexibility to return or rearrange but we didn’t change a thing! Months later I still wander around my house and think, “Thank you Moov!”
A special thanks to Ethan Allen, Vincent Fernandez Oriental Rugs, Gardner’s Supply in Williston.
We are thrilled to announce that the mudroom project is complete! And wow, what a difference a fresh coat of paint, inexpensive carpet from Home Depot, and a bench made from scrap lumber and a clearance rack fabric can make. It’s really fun to bring new life into spaces that are an integral part of your every day. It’s so easy to walk past the pile of bags that desperately needs to be dropped off at Good Will or add one more jacket to the crowded coat rack. But with a little bit of effort, any room can be transformed. And believe it or not, walking into an organized clean space truly does make a difference in one’s overall emotional balance.
We’re pretty good at this. Invite us over and we can brainstorm ideas together. Sometimes all you need is a new vision. We’d love to help you fall in love with your home all over again. Check out some of the before, during, and after photos:
We know that you’re not supposed to have favorites, but the project in Waitsfield that we have been working on has quickly become simply that: our fav! It’s a unique situation because the homeowners purchased the property and then left the country for 4 months. During that time, we have spent endless hours planning, designing, managing contractors, accepting deliveries, and selecting all of the home furnishings, paint colors, light fixtures, flooring, and furniture to create a beautiful and livable home for our lovely clients. Even though the job is not complete, here are a few photos to show the progression of our work. Check it out:
That’s a wrap. The moving trucks arrived at 10:00 am and the house was unpacked and ready for the homeowners by 4:00 pm. But maybe I should be a little more specific.
Our clients closed on their new home yesterday, we met them after the closing for a walk-through of their space to get an overview of their needs. After spending about an hour walking from room to room, we were able to not only get a sense of their needs but also a peek into their style and overall design plan. We then shopped for requested items and met the movers the next day at 10am.
As the movers unloaded, we began to unpack. We asked the homeowner if she knew where she wanted her dishes, pots and pans, cutlery etc. At this point, after juggling a job, managing a family, and dealing with the last minute stresses of actually signing the paperwork to close on the house, she was ecstatic to be able to look at us and say: you decide. We happily agreed to her request. We unpacked and created a sensible kitchen layout including a warm decor to make the clients feel like they were truly settled. We then hung curtains in the dining room and filled playroom shelves with kids’ crafts and family photos. We made suggestions for furniture layout and discussed the options for changing a few paint colors. And then, unpacked a little more.
If you’ve ever moved, you realize the emotional, financial and overall intensity of the process. When 60+ bins are unpacked for you, your process just got a whole lot more manageable.
Chittenden County, Vermont is such an amazing place to call home. If you are relocating to Vermont or simply moving to a new home in the area. Please consider looking at moving in a new way. It’s time to call Moov Consultants. Box free in a day…it’s our goal.
One of the key steps in selling your home is getting it staged—the process of rearranging or tidying your home to entice potential buyers. This comes naturally for some, but for others it can be downright overwhelming and time consuming. Sometimes all it takes is having another person coming in with fresh eyes and a single focus—that’s where Moov can help.
We work like a modern-day Mary Poppins: moving room to room, making changes here and there, adding essential items, hiding wires, opening blinds. We know that if we can stage your home so that others are able to easily imagine themselves living in your space, your home is one step closer to being sold. If potential buyers aren’t distracted by your belongings, then they are better able to imagine themselves settling in and creating the home they’ve always dreamed of.
This process recently came to life in Richmond, Vermont – the community we call home! Robin, our client, was trying to sell her house. She had worked tirelessly painting, cleaning, and packing her family’s belongings for their big move. The For Sale by Owner sign was ready to be placed in the front yard and the photographer was scheduled to take photos for the online listing.
We met with Robin a few days prior to the photographer’s appointment to get a full understanding of her needs. Together we created a plan that worked for her schedule and her family, and we were able to stage her home efficiently and stylishly.
“Marlene and Claire were a huge help in staging my home,” says Robin. “As an owner selling my property, I needed direction about how to get it ready to sell. They talked with me about the process and developed a plan with me. Their kind, fun, direct style gets it all done without stress! They used some of what I had to decorate the house and brought in beautiful items to complement it all—and it sold within the week! I couldn’t have done it without Moov!”