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Handled with CARE: Business Spotlight on Caring Transitions

Kathy Wojcik  |  Tuesday Jul. 1st, 2014

Change is easy. The emotional, psychological and physical acts of leaving what was, and moving into what is, is tough. It’s not the change. It’s the transition. Fortunately, we have Caring Transitions to help us navigate through these choppy, often unknown, waters.

  Caring Transitions of Bozeman is owned by long-time Bozeman resident, Johanne Lebeau. Originally from St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada, Johanne took care of her own mother during a prolonged illness and personally felt the impact of this type of transition. Last year, she started Caring Transitions in her mother’s honor: to help other families in their time of need and distress.  

What can make matters worse is the fact that many of these transitions come on as a crisis: something totally unexpected. Perhaps a family member needs to move into assisted living. Maybe someone is suddenly disabled. A job can require a dramatic and rapid move or a parent can pass away, leaving a spouse solo for the first time in decades. Lots of these situations are highly charged with emotion; not only for the person closest to the event but for the entire family unit. We don’t need research to tell us that this is not our best time for decision-making or straightforward thinking.

Caring Transitions of Bozeman and its mission mirrors Johanne’s personality. Johanne has a gentle presence, a keen ability to listen and an aptitude for organization. She uses these talents to effectively deal with people who are moving through a life-changing transition. Often her clients are older folks who are downsizing or moving into assisted living.

What does Caring Transitions do? Well, let’s take a look because the list is long and deep. Let’s use a typical situation, a seventy-eight year old woman, Molly, who lost her husband two years ago. Now she is moving into an assisted living community from her home of more than 30 years. This move will make her life easier and reduce the stress on her children, but Molly and her adult children are anxious and overwhelmed. That is, until they call Caring Transitions.

The first thing Johanne does is visit with the family. She will listen and take notes. Is the goal to get the house ready to sell? Where is Molly moving? How big is the space? When is the planned move-in date? Once these details are clear, Johanne digs deeper. What furniture, pictures and items are most significant to Molly? What things does she love and want to have with her? What items are targeted to go to her kids and grandkids?  Again, more notes. Then they will tour the home. Is there a garage full of garden tools and lawnmowers? Is the attic or basement full of stuff?  

A distinctive characteristic of the Caring Transitions service is the crafting of a comprehensive 3-D floorplan of the new space. Everything is measured including closets and cabinets! Johanne’s aim is to assure a comfortable, functional and safe new residence, without the worry of being overstuffed from the beginning. When the model is done, Johanne and Molly (and her adult children) will use it to make important decisions about what to take and what to leave behind.  

Now Johanne and her trusted crew jump into action. They will help Molly sort through items, separating them into piles. Things that are destined to go to the new space are carefully wrapped, packed and labeled. Things that are going to family members are isolated. Items that can be sold are separated and Johanne will personally oversee an estate sale or arrange an online auction. The key here is to assure that things go to people who can use them and yes, it results in some pocket money for Molly and her family. If there is a lot of stuff that needs to be tossed, Johanne will get dumpster brought in. Every nook and cranny of Molly’s house will be cleaned out.

Curious about those estate sales and online auctions? Well, Caring Transitions of Bozeman has quite a following. Johanne prefers to use online actions whenever possible because her tribe can “shop and bid” from anywhere.  Her team will research items that might have significant value. All items will be priced, with all but the big stuff, having no reserve. Then photos will be taken and the lot will be posted to www.CTOnlineAuctions.com as well as www.estatesales.net and several other sites. An email blast will be sent to all previous online shoppers and the bidding starts! The process is fast and easy.

If Molly’s house is being sold, Johanne will stage it using what Molly has available. Johanne has a degree in architecture and a certification in interior design, so she’s got a great eye. With her touch, the house will show well and be quite appealing to potential buyers. Maybe Molly has a car or tractor that needs to go. Yep, Caring Transitions can take care of that too. Plus they can handle the shipping arrangements to assure that the China cabinet and dining room set get to Molly’s daughter in Texas.

Johanne opened Caring Transitions because the services offered align with her heart, skills and passion. She is a compassionate person. Her keen organizational methods (touch each thing once and make a decision) keep the process moving along and make her clients relaxed and relieved during what often is a difficult time. She says the work is demanding and also extremely rewarding. Her clients often speak of her services as a small miracle and they are amazed that what first appeared to be a mountain of work, went so smoothly.

Johanne shared that during these transitions, plans change everyday based upon the client’s needs and desires. Caring Transitions of Bozeman has the flexibility to adjust to these needs and the organizational skills to assure a seamless and timely move is accomplished. Johanne wants each of her clients to bring what they love and find meaningful to their new space. She sees these transitions as not an ending, but the start of a new chapter.

Caring Transitions is a nationally based franchise that is known as the total moving and relocation solution. They can manage your entire project providing you with peace of mind. All team members are insured, fully bonded and have passed thorough background checks. You can reach Johanne at Caring Transitions of Bozeman at 406-404-3074, check out her website: www.EstateMoveBozeman.com or email her at JLebeau@CaringTransitions.net.    

About the Author(s)

Kathy Wojcik

Kathy Wojcik is a speaker, author and Bozeman-based business owner. Her company, Bluheron Coaching & Consulting focuses on positively impacting small business and organizational results by improving people performance. You can reach Kathy at 303-720-9262 or kathy@bluheroncoaching.com

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