4Life’s Transitions - My Story

4Life’s Transitions - My Story

Here is my story of how I began 4Life's Transitions.

My name is Susan Kemp and I am a wife, mother, sister and business owner. I have been married to my best friend Wayne for 45 years. We have two amazing children Jennifer and Andrew and three wonderful grandchildren. This is my story.

In a small rural village, there was a large old brick house which had been home to a large family with seven children since 1918. Over the years the children grew up and left the nest leaving behind not just the treasured memories but all the “stuff” that accumulates over time in any home. One sister who never married bought the house and continued to live in it.

Unfortunately she fell and after a lengthy stay in a hospital was transferred to a nursing home. Three of her nieces and nephews were left to deal with the situation. They spent years convincing her to sell the home, dispersing the contents, dealing with the real estate agents, insurance brokers, lawyers and of course, the family members. When she died, they had to cope with the emotional toll and the mess left behind.

I understand the sadness and burdens families that are left to “clean up” have to deal with as I am one of those nieces. My AHA moment came while I was standing there watching my aunt’s possessions being auctioned off and I thought “No one should have to shoulder this job and still have to deal with the emotional and physical toll that this type of transition takes.”

“One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.” ~ John W. Gardner

I realized late in my aunt’s downsizing process this was a totally new business field but a sadly, a badly needed service. I opened 4Life’s Transitions in 2010 after dealing with the deaths of my parents, and my elderly spinster aunt. Six months later my brother Marc joined me in our business and has been my business partner ever since.

I have an extensive background and organizational experience as Project Co-ordinator for Public Libraries that includes program management for an Outreach program for over 300 libraries in Southern Ontario. I still needed more knowledge so at 59 years old I expanded my horizons and became a Certified Relocation and Transitions Specialist (CRTS®) and joined the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).

CRTS® is not a membership or course certificate. It is a professional designation which is awarded based on individual understanding of industry standards. A large portion, part of being a CRTS or senior move manager is the consultation process of the transition. This consultation process is more than just moving and involves identifying and addressing health concerns, emotions and memories that impact all the decisions that need to be made.

To disperse excess household goods for our clients we often sent goods to auction houses to be sold. In early 2014 two of the “live” auction houses we regularly used to clear our client goods retired and closed their doors. We were left with very few options so in 2014 4bidding Online Auction & Appraisal Services was opened to bring clients a reliable solution that focused on the dispersal of Household & Home or Estate goods. An online auction is similar to our regular live auctions except that it is conducted entirely over the internet. I completed more training and I am now a member in good standing of Canadian Personal Property Appraisal Group and the Auctioneers of Ontario Association.

I am also the coauthor of an ambitious project called “The Fallback Plan” “A Family Survival Guide to Important Information, People, Numbers, Accounts and Stuff” and I speak regularly to civic groups, and retirement communities.

Currently we offer a large variety of services to our clients through 4Life’s Transitions and 4bidding Online Auction & Appraisal Services. We specialize in Auction & Estate Settlements, Moving & Transition and Organizational and Decluttering Service.

I am looking forward to sharing with you some stories, tips and tricks of my business. Please feel free to share with me your questions or comments.