Stuff Happens To The Best Of Us
When life calls for a change to your living situation, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Stuff Happens provides support to clients and their families to make these events more manageable and successful:
Moving & Downsizing - always a major undertaking. Senior moves have their own special considerations. Click here to learn more about how we can help you downsize, make a local or out-of-state move, or clear an estate. Stuff Happens is a proud member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers.
Aging In Place - seniors can more easily remain in their own homes by making changes to improve accessibility and safety in their daily routine. Stuff Happens can plan and implement the steps to make this possible.
Decluttering & Organizing - do you long to live in an environment where your stuff is pleasing to the eye and works with you instead of against you? Stuff Happens provides thoughtful and efficient assistance to make this happen.
The Process: Getting Your Stuff Together
No matter what your project involves, Stuff Happens offers compassion, perspective, project management, and heavy-lifting assistance. We start with an in-home consultation where we discuss your goals, priorities, and concerns. From there, the process is customized to suit your needs and schedule. Services include:
Move Planning & Scheduling
Donations to Charitable Organizations
Consignment, Private Sales, Estate Sales
Scheduling and Supervision of Movers
Coordination with your Realtor
Consultation: Free in-home consultation, followed by a written scope of work and cost estimate.
Standard Services: $50 per hour.
Extras: To be determined. Examples include shredding services, large-load assistance (truck/labor), packing materials.
The Stuff Happens Story
My name is Kendra Henning. I am a Chicago native who has called New Mexico home since 1998. I've enjoyed careers ranging from software project management to real estate (click here for my full resume). I founded Stuff Happens with a passion for serving clients in times of transition after learning many related lessons from my own professional and personal experiences.
During thirteen years as a Realtor, I completed nearly 400 transactions with home buyers and sellers, and witnessed just how difficult the moving process can be. It troubled me to see them struggle, and at times abandon their plans to move even when it was in their best interest to do so. Clients commonly spent weeks
and months sorting through mounds of stuff in order to make their homes presentable for sale. Clients who were downsizing were overwhelmed by the decision making that was required to fit into their new, smaller home. Senior clients needed physical assistance in addition to emotional support and overall project management advice, especially when they did not have family living nearby.
In my personal life, two events motivated me to start Stuff Happens. First, my husband and I lost our home to a forest fire. Our lives and one carload of personal belongings were thankfully spared. As we regrouped, we gained a stronger appreciation for what is truly important. We replaced only a fraction of the things we lost. There are a few precious family items that we still miss, but we can count them on one hand. Second, in my late 30's, I experienced the loss of my parents just 18 months apart. They lived in two separate households in Chicago. My brother and I crossed the country many, many times to sort their belongings and sell their homes. It was exhausting and heartbreaking. We remember our parents fondly and cherish the items we kept, but the truth is that 95% of their things were sold, donated, recycled, shredded, or discarded.
Change is hard, but our possessions are not our memories, and the stuff we own does not define who we are or what we can achieve.
Frequently Asked Questions
I'm Moving / Just Moved / Moving a Loved One. How can you help?
LOGISTICS & SCHEDULING: Together we will determine what services you need, and when you need them. We will create a move-out checklist for all moving tasks right down to mail forwarding, utilities service cancellation, and other fundamentals so that nothing is overlooked.
SORTING & DISTRIBUTION: If you skip this step, you're likely to move an awful lot of stuff that is not needed in your new home. That will add to the time, cost, and stress of moving. It will also make the unpacking process more difficult. You may also need to prepare your home for sale by thinning out personal items and reorganizing spaces to make them look as functional and attractive as possible to prospective buyers. If your move is a downsize, it's especially critical to consider your new floor plan, and thoughtfully sort all of your belongings before you pack. It's common to have mountains of obsolete paperwork that does not necessarily need to move with you. We will make these decisions together, and I will pack and distribute the items that you decide not to keep.
PACKING & MOVING: When it makes sense, Stuff Happens will pack for you. In many cases, partnering with a full-service mover will be the most time and cost-effective way to complete this task. I can arrange and supervise this service for you for both local and out-of-state moves. Your possessions will be properly packed and labeled, and all the correct items will stay/go as you wish.
UNPACKING: Treat yourself to help from Stuff Happens. We will create a move-in checklist to make sense of this process in advance. Not only will you be settled into your new home faster, but you'll also be organized from the very start. All of the bulky packing materials will be hauled away.
SENIOR MOVES: I am a proud member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers. Relocation can be especially difficult for seniors and their families, and there are tricks to this trade. If your senior wants control over the moving process, but you want to protect everyone from getting overwhelmed, we can easily work together to achieve this balance. Your loved one may be moving to a new independent living situation, or an assisted living or memory care community. In all cases, it is possible for me to unpack and arrange their new home before they arrive so that move-in day feels settled, and features their familiar personal possessions.
HOUSE/ESTATE CLEARING: In the case of a loved one's passing, you may need to clear their home in preparation for sale. Stuff Happens will coordinate with your family, Realtor, attorney, trust officer, or any other key players required to make this process as smooth as possible.
If i have items i wish to sell or consign, how do you handle this?
Generally speaking, I can assist you with the sale or consignment of most things. If an estate sale is in order, I partner with estate sale professionals to provide this service. Estate sales are typically large-volume, specialized events. They are very different from an everyday yard sale. When high-value items are to be sold, additional considerations apply. When smaller volumes of more common household items are to be sold, I utilize eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Nextdoor. I charge you for my time to advertise and complete these transactions. I do not take any portion of the sale proceeds. For consignment, I will deliver your items to a suitable consignment store, establish an account in your name, and from that point forward you keep in touch with the store to collect your sale proceeds.
When items from my home are to be donated, where do you take them?
We will start with your favorite local charitable organization. If you don't have a favorite or your favorite cannot accept the items that you wish to donate, I'll work through my list of others who can accept your donation and put it to good use. I will review all organizations with you. I will provide you with a donation receipt from the organizations who accept your donations.
What shredding service do you use for documents that may contain sensitive information?
I take your documents to Office Depot. They use Iron Mountain Shredding for document destruction. They weigh the documents, and insert them into a locked Iron Mountain container for pickup and destruction. The cost is currently $1 + tax per pound. I will invoice you for the cost of this service and provide you a copy of the Office Depot receipt. If you have large quantities of shredding (10 or more boxes), onsite shredding can also be arranged.
What do you recycle?
Absolutely everything I possibly can. Items that can definitely be recycled include paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, glass, electronics, light bulbs, and household hazardous waste (i.e. paint, oil, pesticides).
Are you licensed and insured?
Yes. My business is licensed with the City of Santa Fe, NM. I carry professional and general liability insurance.
How fast can I get a quote?
I will deliver a written scope of work and cost estimate within 48 hours of our in-home consultation meeting.
What payment methods do you accept?
I gladly accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Venmo, or PayPal. I respectfully ask for a 50% deposit to start your job, with the balance due at the time of completion/final invoice.
Can you help me organize paperwork or other areas beyond the usual household spaces?
Yes. I work miracles on paperwork clutter - from the piles on your countertops to your vast collection of file cabinets and boxes full of statements, receipts, manuals, and other documents you’ve tucked away over time. If your home office is pristine but your outside-the-home office needs help, take me to work with you and I’ll organize that too!