How Gone For Good aims to help older people ease anxiety and do good for the environment in the process.
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The aging population is growing daily as the baby boomers reach retirement and beyond. According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise to nearly 24 percent from 15 percent.
As this segment of the population downsizes and move from their larger family homes to smaller homes or even retirement communities they often need to de-clutter and reduce their belongings.
Many of these seniors find themselves in a very emotional and confusing place. They may have lost their lifelong spouse and have grown children that now live far away. With a house full of memories and heirlooms mixed with common furniture and other items together with possible memory issues that come with age, they may have a recipe for heartache that can be paralyzing. This can make it difficult or impossible for them to move on to the next phase of their lives.
In most cases, a new home is a very positive environment but they have to get through this challenging time first.
This growing population of baby boomers has created some new business models that offer a variety of products and services to seniors and their families. I recently interviewed Reid Husmer, founder and CEO of Gone For Good, which is an eco-friendly junk hauling business in the Denver Metro area.
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Reid recently authored a book called Cleaning Out Grandma which is chock full of tips and advice for seniors and their families as they face the ominous task of getting ready to downsize and relocate to a new home. The following are just a few that make a lot of sense:
People have an emotional attachment to their stuff.
In his book, Reid mentioned a survey conducted by Closet Maid that stated that 57% of Americans have a hard time getting rid of things because of sentimental value. We have a way of attaching memories and emotions to things we own. This makes it harder to part ways and things tend to pile up. Seniors often don’t think about these items until they are faced with the inevitable downsize. Often the emotional decisions are exacerbated by the loss of a spouse. He found that most seniors care more about finding a good home for their items than selling them for money.
Decluttering and donating can free you from anxiety.
Seniors experience a flood of emotional decisions all at once when they are faced with a move. It is best to work through the organizing and donation decisions a few months before a move. Reid suggests that his clients work with a professional organizer or Senior Move Manager to get things in order. This reduces stress as the move day approaches. You can find help at the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).
Related: These Strategies Help Entrepreneurs Combat Anxiety and Depression
Reduce, resell and recycle is good for the environment.
Many businesses claim to be green. Gone For Good was recently recognized by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce for their eco-friendly business model. Their goal is to keep items out of the landfills by finding them new homes or recycling them.
Related: How Business Leaders Can Tackle Anxiety in the Workplace
The most important aspect of Gone For Good
I asked Reid what he feels is the most important aspect of what his business provides. He said, “Seniors that are downsizing want to feel good about where their items go. They feel better when they know their items won’t go into the landfill and can live on for someone else.” He added, “Family members are overwhelmed when they have to move mom or dad. We can do in one day what may take the family weeks to do. This allows them to move on to the next phase of their lives.”
These words of wisdom will come in handy for anyone that is in a business that works with seniors. The senior market is growing by the day and any business that offers innovative products or services to these individuals are in the right place at the right time. Reid recently began franchising to expand his business across the country to meet the need in other markets.