real estate
Carla Roccapriore (CROCCAPRIORE@RGJ.COM)
October 6, 2007

A new business that helps senior citizens and busy families downsize, relocate and blend households has obtained a license in Reno and also plans to get licenses for Sparks and Carson City, its co-owner said.

Smooth Transitions of Northern Nevada is owned by Julie Dunlap of Carson City, Karen Faehling of Reno and Katie Di Lillo of Reno. All are Reno natives and graduates of Reno High School and University of Nevada, Reno. Faehling is Di Lillo's mother.

Julie Dunlap, Karen Faehling and Katie Di Lillo go through a “test run” as they
sort through items in Di Lillo's garage because she’s getting ready to move.

Smooth Transitions originated in Louisville, Ky., and there are now about 20 nationwide that are independently owned. The group is a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers.
Faehling, 63, is a social worker and said she understands the emotional side of moving one's lifelong goods. She said she helped her mother move several years ago from a home she had lived in for 55 years.

"That got me thinking, 'There's got to be a better way to do this,'" Faehling said. "She wasn't a pack rat."

Di Lillo, 35, is a financial planner who focuses on senior issues such as estate planning and long-term care.

Dunlap, 41, operates her own concierge and errand service and has a background in public relations. Her husband was in the U.S. Navy and that helped make her an experienced mover.

"This ties in a little bit what I've been doing with my own business," Dunlap said. "I'm an organized person, and I think there is a need for this kind of service."

Di Lillo said she'll be able to refer her financial planning customers to Smooth Transitions.
"For me, it's another service for clients," Di Lillo said. "It'll be a great opportunity to have a great service and to offer them something that'll relieve stress."

Smooth Transitions is more than packing and moving.

For example, Faehling said she and co-workers make a list of a client's inventory and meet with them to evaluate what should be kept or disposed of based on where they're moving.

"You can't just take what you want to take," Faehling said. "You've got to get down to what's truly going to fit and that's a hard concept for people."

Smooth Transitions also does estate dispersal, which includes assisting a family by sorting goods after a death and arranging for a home's cleaning and repair.

The business also plans to work with trust officers, Realtors, attorneys, movers and senior housing agencies, Faehling said.

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