Beth-Shapard

About Me

My husband, Charlie, and I started Smooth Transitions in 2013 after semi-retiring from our sales and marketing careers. We were very interested in helping seniors and their family’s transition during the extremely stressful downsizing process, which includes moving, gifting items to family, selling, donating and disposal/recycling. Given all the sincere thanks and appreciations we have received in the past years, I can truly say I love the relationships and guidance we provide our clients.
October 1, 2020

Tips to Better Understand Your Aging Parents

As senior move managers, we enjoy working with all families that are transitioning their parents. In many cases, the family has the time and skill to perform the project.
April 20, 2020

4 Ways You Can Support Small Businesses (and Their Employees) Right Now

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across the U.S., and the globe, small business owners are growing increasingly concerned. Retail stores are seeing less foot traffic, and some are seeing none at all. And with restaurants in many cities being forced to shut down or limit their services, countless small business owners and employees are no doubt in for a financial shock -- one many will ultimately struggle to recover from.
March 20, 2020

When You Support Small Business, You are Supporting a Dream

The outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 has affected our lives in every way. It is understandable that during times like this, we are all feeling varying levels of fear and anxiety as well as being overwhelmed by constantly changing media messages regarding the spread of the virus.
May 12, 2019

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! WE ARE SIX!

Happy Anniversary as we celebrate six years as Smooth Transitions of St. Louis! We look back and reflect on how blessed we have been to assist several hundred families transition to a new adventure. We have taught many lessons in right-sizing and have learned a lot more from our clients.
April 1, 2018

Memories for sale: What is a household worth?

It's so true: Some things in life you just can't put a price on. Until you have to. When it's up to you to liquidate your parents' treasure-filled home, you need to price the priceless.
January 26, 2018

Senior Friendly Guide to Downsizing

I recently read a “downsizing” article from GoodCall®, a company whose mission is to give the reader the knowledge, tips and tools to make “good calls”. There are as many lists on" Tips to Downsize" as there are seniors looking to downsize! 
September 20, 2017

There is an App for that!

I recently read a “downsizing” article from GoodCall®, a company whose mission is to give the reader the knowledge, tips and tools to make “good calls”. There are as many lists on" Tips to Downsize" as there are seniors looking to downsize! 
May 15, 2017

Ten Tips to Downsizing and “De-Stressing” Your Move

The first question many clients ask during the consultation with a senior move manager references the cost of completing the project.  The good faith estimate is principally based on the services you request and the amount of “stuff” that is involved.  Ultimately, price is based on the senior move manager’s time.
July 27, 2016

Helping the Elderly Downsize: A Must Read

During the last several years, I have attempted to educate readers and clients about the features and benefits of senior move managers as they work to downsize their homes.  Listed below is a link to an excellent article that appeared in the New York Times that summarizes the challenges to downsizing and the benefits of using a senior move manager.  Enjoy…
March 23, 2016

Downsizing to the Community. Be Disciplined

During past posts, I have outlined in detail the essential steps in downsizing.  The MOVE (sort, pack, transport, unpack & design) is always the most comprehensive and also the most important.  An orderly move allows the senior to transition into their new home with minimal emotional and physical stress. 
March 6, 2016

Transitions Ballad

Jean Long Manteufel, senior move manager and CEO of Long’s Senior Transitions -- (Jean@TransitionsWithJean.com) writes her Transitions column on the first Sunday of each month about life changes associated with aging. 
April 4, 2015

THE DONATION

In review, we have completed The Move and our senior(s) are in their new home and hopefully enjoying their new adventure.  Secondly, The Family has sorted through the remaining items at the original home and we have shipped to the appropriate locations.  Thirdly, The Sell was successful basis an on-line auction, estate sale or dealer purchases.  We have gone from a large amount of “stuff” to a much reduced and more manageable quantity of items for further liquidation.
April 3, 2015

The Disposal

Well, the downsizing process is nearing completion.  We have Moved (sorted, packed, moved to new location, unpacked and designed); shipped desired treasures to the Family; sold unwanted items via the Sell to Auction houses, dealers, and on-line; and Donated items of value to our preferred charity.  The last component of downsizing is the Disposal.  Sounds easy, but the process is somewhat comprehensive if done correctly.
February 14, 2015

The Sell

Today we will discuss The Sell (step 3), which is the beginning of the liquidation process that occurs after The Move (step 1) and The Family (step 2).  Remember, during The Move, all the household items were sorted for treasures and necessities.
December 22, 2014

The Family

During my last blog, I talked about The Move as being the first and most important step in downsizing.
December 3, 2014

DOWNSIZING? WE ALL DO IT!

During my last blog, I talked about The Move as being the first and most important step in downsizing.
June 3, 2014

WHERE DO I START?

In our business, the most commonly asked question is “Where do I Start”? The simple answer is to select a room, then sort, de-clutter and organize the contents.
May 7, 2014

What to give Mom for Mother’s Day

It is better to receive than give.Sounds backwards, but
April 10, 2014

Your Parent’s Stuff is Priceless … Until You Have To Sell It

When the time has come to clear out the contents of our parent’s home, because we are not experts, we have a tendency to attach an emotional value on the items.
January 28, 2014

Keep it Moving and Let it Go

As I think about making my 2014 resolutions, I start small in terms of what I will accomplish every day, instead of trying to make action plans for the whole year.
December 3, 2013

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Holiday time often means putting up decorations and family returning home. Take advantage of the following tips to declutter and make your home holiday-ready.
November 5, 2013

We Needed to Downsize our Home

My husband Charlie and I were like most 40 something couples with busy lives, corporate careers, kids and aging parents.