real estate
GRAND OPENING: New business in Columbia
Smooth Transitions l Moving service for seniors
Columbia Daily Tribune
May 2, 2009

Ralph and Mickey Havener started Smooth Transitions of Mid-Missouri
to help seniors who need to relocate or downsize.

Phone: 817-5789

E-mail: mickey@movingforseniors.com

Web site: www.movingforseniors.com

Nature of services offered: Smooth Transitions of Mid-Missouri is a downsizing and estate dispersal service. Owners Mickey and Ralph Havener help older adults who need to move to smaller quarters develop a moving plan, organize and sort possessions for preservation and arrange for the disposal of unwanted possessions.

Opened: Yesterday

Hours: By appointment

Costs: Smooth Transitions charges by the hour. The cost depends upon the size of a home, the quantity of possessions and what services Smooth Transitions performs. “We might do a move for as little as $750 or as much as $2,000 to $3,000,” Mickey Havener said. The business offers a free one-hour consultation for prospective customers.

Reason for location: This is a home-based business.

Owners’ experience: Mickey Havener is an ordained minister. She has served as associate pastor at Olivet Christian Church and worked as a hospice and hospital chaplain. Ralph Havener is the former director of archives for the University of Missouri system. Mickey Havener said she and her husband have moved several elderly relatives and understand the emotional toll such moves can take on people. The Haveners also downsized a couple of years ago, and that’s where they got the idea to start the business.

Clientele: Older people and their children

Origin of name: Smooth Transitions of Mid-Missouri is a licensee of Louisville, Ky.-based Smooth Transitions, which was founded by Barbara Morris.

Customer appeal: Mickey Havener said Smooth Transitions can arrange for moving, selling, donating and cleaning up. The Haveners also have the skills to help their clients deal with the emotional trauma associated with a move. They can offer pastoral care, life review, ethical wills and preservation of pictures or documents. Ralph Havener has four decades of experience in selection and preservation of documents and artifacts.

Why take the plunge now?: Mickey Havener said they figured they could cater to baby boomers who need help caring for their parents and boomers who are ready to downsize.

Future plans: “We would like to see the business grow as long as it’s really helpful to people,” Havener said. “If we need to, we’ll train other people to work with us.”

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©2001 SMOOTH TRANSITIONS™ • Illustrations ©1998 Carol L. Cornette