Downsizing Diva FAQ

1. What is Senior Move Management?

The term Senior Move Management covers a variety of services that focus on helping older adults and people who need assistance and resources during a time of transition: The name Senior Move Management is the property of the National Association of Senior and Specialty Move Managers ( and may be used only by its member companies who are trained to meet the organization’s standards.

2. Why would I need Senior Move Management Services?

You and your family may need Senior Move Management services to help you define and accommodate your needs as you face lifestyle changes. Often this means a safer, more manageable, or healthier environment which could require moving to a new home or adapting your current home to support your changing needs. When you are feeling overwhelmed by the work and worry of the change, Senior Move Managers like Downsizing Diva can bring you peace of mind.

3. What services does Downsizing Diva offer?

Downsizing Diva, with our trusted affiliates, are proficient in all elements of a relocation or home adaptation: planning and designing the space to accommodate the things our clients require to feel comfortable and function efficiently and safely; sorting through their belongings to choose the items that will continue to support their lifestyle as their needs change, while preserving the things they treasure and that remind them of their journey through life; managing the specific tasks that are required by this change which may include floor planning, packing, moving, unpacking, organizing, downsizing, decluttering, estate clearing, cleaning, picture-hanging and more.

4. How much do Senior Move Management services cost?

Costs vary depending on the type, scope and quantity of tasks to be performed and the supplies required. Each client and each home is unique. For this reason, Downsizing Diva offers a no-cost, no-obligation assessment to create a plan based on your needs and preferences and then we will prepare a cost estimate. This will always be provided in writing.

5. How long does a typical Senior Move Management project take?

A project may be completed in a day, a week or a month, depending on the specific needs and preferences of the client. You will always know, before the project begins, the details of the plan, the length of time it is expected to take and the estimated cost.

6. How do I get started with Downsizing Diva services?

Following the link on the Downsizing Diva website to your local Diva will take you to the phone number or online contact form connecting you directly to your nearest Diva. If you aren’t sure who to contact, our head office will make the connection for you.  A phone conversation with your nearest Diva will follow and will include the opportunity to book an in-home consultation where we will work with you to create your customized plan and cost-estimate for the project.  

7. Does Downsizing Diva handle downsizing and decluttering?

We call our company Downsizing Diva for a reason. Working with older adults and people who need specialized services almost always requires some downsizing to edit or simplify possessions. Downsizing Diva helps you accomplish that by selling, donating and, as a last resort, discarding. Decluttering is editing (downsizing) your household belongings so you have just enough to support your comfortable home and lifestyle. The goal of decluttering is a space you love where there is a place for everything you keep and it is easy to put things away where they belong. Downsizing Divas excel at both downsizing and decluttering.

8. Will Downsizing Diva work with my family members as well as with me?

We are happy to have family members involved. We just need to know who is the alternate decision-maker. As NASMM members we abide by a strong code of ethics which states, “The client is the person in transition. I will provide services and recommendations based on the needs and concerns of the person in transition.” The Divas on the project will enjoy and appreciate the help of family members with this important distinction understood by all.

9. Can Downsizing Diva services be customized to meet my specific needs?

As we see it, every project must be customized. Our policies and systems are flexible for that reason. From the length of time we work in each session to the decision to sell or donate an unwanted item, the client’s needs and preferences give us purpose and direction.

10. What happens to my belongings if I can’t take everything with me?

With our information and assistance you will identify all of the items in your home that you will be keeping or sharing with family members and friends. The remainder will be identified to sell, donate or discard, according to your preferences and the realities of the resale market at the time. We can’t guarantee to sell everything that you believe to have value but we do make every effort to do so. When we are unsure of the value we have Divas with that expertise or we will seek expert advice. Donation opportunities may be through local charities or refugee support groups. We discard items only when they have no further use or when any other option would not be cost-effective. We seek out green initiatives where possible.

11. Will Downsizing Diva help me with the actual move, not just the packing and unpacking?

Yes! When you are moving, the actual move requires a trustworthy and capable moving company. After 20 years in this business we have had experience with a few moving companies who did not meet these criteria but we’ve been fortunate to affiliate with local movers in each territory who will do a great job. We have confidence in their ability and integrity. They make it possible for Downsizing Diva to include them in our service as if they are part of our company. We will find you a dependable mover, even on short notice. We are also happy to work with a mover of your choice.

12. What happens if something is damaged or lost during the move?

Loss of an item, when Downsizing Diva is managing the packing, moving and unpacking is highly unusual because Divas inventory everything, item by item, box by box and we check the truck as the movers are preparing to leave to be sure nothing was inadvertently left behind. If you can’t find something at the end of moving day, chances are it’s there, just not where you expect it to be. A quick phone call to the Diva can usually point you in the right direction immediately or we will stop by the next day to look for it with you. On rare occasions, damage occurs. We will draw your attention to it as soon as we are made aware and determine next steps. We will always discuss moving and storage insurance options with you before signing the service agreement.

13. How experienced are your Senior Move Managers?

Divas are promoted from within. There is a “Diva way” and it is important that everyone knows what that is, regardless of the task they are performing. Training begins in a classroom setting and continues on the job with supervision by a Team Leader. Advancement is dependent on knowledge, attitude, ability and experience in all aspects of a project. Our most experienced Divas, the Team Leaders, are responsible for the project and always on the job.

14. Are your Senior Move Managers insured and bonded?

Protecting our staff, our clients and their belongings is extremely important to Downsizing Diva. We carry extensive liability insurance plus Workers’ Compensation. Bonding is another form of insurance which is redundant with our current coverage.

15. How can I be sure my privacy and confidentiality are protected during the project?

Downsizing Diva includes a privacy and confidentiality clause in our contract. This protection is a requirement of NASMM A+ Accreditation which Downsizing Diva has proudly maintained since 2017.

16. Does Downsizing Diva work with estate planners, real estate agents or other professionals during a project to ensure a smooth transition?

Yes! We have developed working relationships with professionals in a variety of industries that serve older adults. It is important to have these connections so we can obtain accurate and timely advice and information on topics that may not be in our area of expertise. We are also happy to work with those who have been chosen by our clients.

17. Will you provide references from past clients?

Yes. Many of our clients have given us permission to provide their contact information for this purpose.  We will always be mindful of privacy issues.

18. What sets Downsizing Diva apart from other Senior Move Management companies?

Our experience is a significant differentiator. Our founders, Karen Shinn and Gail Shields opened independent businesses in 2001 and 2003 respectively and were pioneers in this industry in Ontario. Company-wide, we have successfully completed thousands of projects, sharing advice and best practices to maximize the learning opportunities and be the best in our field.

Secondly, we state clearly and truly mean that we work with care, compassion and comedy. Of course, most people who are drawn to this industry are caring and compassionate. We add comedy because it is important to us to wear a smile as part of our uniform and to try to get at least a chuckle from our clients every day. Senior and specialty transitions are not easy. The emotional impact of fear, loss or frustration plus the myriad details and the heavy lifting associated with a project make it serious business. We believe a moment of levity changes our clients’ perspectives and helps us all feel more positive and less anxious about this new phase of life.

Thirdly, Downsizing Diva is committed to staying at the leading edge of the Senior Move Management industry. The corporate franchise is NASMM A+ Accredited, the first and still the only Senior Move Management business in Canada to achieve this designation. Some Diva franchise owners are Certified Professional Consultants on Aging and all are members of NASMM where we have the benefit of university level education in our field and have achieved or are working to become Certified Senior Move Managers.