Tapestry offers a unique move-in support service to make your move into one of our communities seamless and stress-free. In this special question and answer feature, we meet Garna, the Move-In Coordinator at Tapestry at Village Gate West. Garna has worked at Tapestry at Village Gate West from almost its first day of operation! She brings 30 years of design and downsizing experience to this valued role, and loves working with residents seeking to live a healthier, happier and longer life at Tapestry.
Q:Tell us about your role at Tapestry.
A: As Move-in Coordinator, my role is to help make a resident(s)’ move to Tapestry seamless and stress-free! Once a resident has selected a suite, I meet with them in the comfort of their home to establish a furniture layout. Upon completing a floor plan with the resident’s selected items, we choose a move-in date and I facilitate the move to make things simple and easy. When the resident(s) arrives in their suite, everything is completely in place, right down to clothes put away, art on the walls and cable and internet working!
Q:Do you assist with downsizing? What is the biggest hurdle for people to overcome when it comes to downsizing?
A: I help with the downsizing process as it is impossible to move everything from the home you may have lived in for many years to your new suite. The most significant hurdle is letting go of items that have been held on to for many years or items of special sentimental value. There are creative ways to capture the memories without keeping accumulated items.
Q:How do you turn the stress of moving into an exciting adventure?
A: Our team works together to simplify the move and take care details that cause stress. We also understand this is a very significant change. We love to engage with residents about the history of their lives and understand what the pieces they are bringing mean to them as we work together to create a comfortable suite that feels like home from the minute they walk through the door.
Q:What is your approach to helping someone that has lived in a five-bedroom house for fifty or more years move into a one-bedroom suite with a den at Tapestry?
A: In reality, most of us only really live in three rooms of any existing home: The kitchen, bedroom and family room or TV area. We work towards identifying the pieces that best replicate how one is currently living. For pieces we don’t move, we consider a variety of options from donating to selling depending on the situation.
Q:How many homes have you created at Tapestry? Where do you find your inspiration?
A: Given my history with the community, I have likely done most of the suites at Tapestry at Village Gate West. Inspiration is different for every suite and I have a very good idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to furniture selection. The most important part of this process is to provide our new resident(s) with a home they will love the moment they step into their new living space encompassing their most cherished possessions.
Q:What has been the most interesting item or collection that you discovered assisting someone with a move into Tapestry.
A: We had a resident that was putting her great, great grand mother’s 25-place setting of dishes in boxes labelled Goodwill. When I asked about them, she provided a bit of history, and when I turned a plate over I noticed they were “Limoges” china ; quite unusual for dishes. I suggested I send a few pictures of these to an auction house just to make sure there was no value before she let them go. We were stunned to find out that these were in fact quite rare and would sell at auction for over $30,000! It was an incredible find for the resident that day!
Q:Do you have a favourite part of a move-in at Tapestry?
A: Of course! It is when a resident(s) opens the door to their new home and are so happy and pleased that its more then they could have ever imagined ! That gives me such satisfaction because it confirms my job has been well done!
Q:What is most challenging for you and/or your clients when making a move into Tapestry?
A: Most of the moves go without issue as the resident(s) has made the decision to move and is committed to move forward. There are challenges when residents have difficulty envisioning the size of their home leading them to bring too much. This can make the move more stressful as decisions need to be made in the moment. When that happens, we work through that together and find solutions.
Q:How do you know when you are ready to move into a retirement community?
A: Many people wait too long to move and miss out enjoying the social connection, activities and general wellness that comes from living in our active aging community. If I have learned anything over the years is that you should not miss out on enjoying a vibrant lifestyle you would not enjoy your home alone. It can make a world of difference to health and wellness.
Q:Any tips or takeaways that you want to share with anyone who may be thinking about making a move into a community like Tapestry?
A: Never say “I’m not ready”! Life is for the living to enjoy laughing, making new friendships and connecting as part of a vibrant, engaged and wellness-inspired community. Embrace change (and Embrace A New Age!); you will be surprised at how liberating it can feel! My Mother once told me, “you were not born being afraid…don’t let fear hold you back from making positive choices in life.“